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WSJ: Google Maps is flooded with ‘millions’ of fake business listings (updated) – Engadget

WSJ: Google Maps is flooded with ‘millions’ of fake business listings (updated) – Engadget

Why would someone create a fake business listing? WSJ found out that there are a variety of motives behind such scams. Some businesses will create fake profiles for their competitors listing wrong phone numbers or addresses. Scam artists will also impersonate legitimate businesses and lure unsuspecting customers. One federal employee profiled in the story was…

Why would someone keep a counterfeit substitute itemizing? WSJ realized that there are a series of motives in the aid of such scams. Some firms will keep counterfeit profiles for his or her opponents itemizing snide cellphone numbers or addresses. Scam artists will also impersonate legitimate firms and lure unsuspecting customers. One federal employee profiled in the memoir changed into as soon as conned by a counterfeit restore service she found through a Google quiz. The con artist impersonated a firm contractor, did a wretched job and then charged the victim almost twice the quantity of previous repairs.

Google has responded to the claims in the WSJ document by taking down the identified counterfeit listings. The firm acknowledged it’s added recent safeguards for “excessive-menace classes” in its substitute listings. These comprise contractors and restore products and services, which customers in most cases most appealing flock to in an emergency and obtain dinky time to learn. This is never any longer the search engine’s first response to deception on this service: Final year, Google took down larger than 3 million counterfeit substitute profiles and disabled 150,000 accounts inclined to design them. Furthermore, in a weblog put up, the firm explained its within methods flagged “larger than 85 p.c of those removals” and over 250,000 counterfeit profiles were reported by customers.

“Every month Maps is inclined by larger than one billion folks across the enviornment, and each day we and our customers work as a community to enhance the plan for every diversified,” Google Maps product director Ethan Russell wrote. “All of us know that a dinky minority will proceed making an try to scam others, so there’ll continuously be work to make and we’re committed to aid doing greater.”

Currently, creating a substitute itemizing on Google is free and comparatively easy. Companies can take a look at their itemizing’s address and cellphone number by technique of SMS message, a cellphone call or a postcard mailed to their listed procedure. The form of very easy vetting course of no query lead to Google Contrivance’s monumental narrate — for the time being 150 million firms are on Google My Substitute, when put next with 25 million firms on Whitepages. However the ease of joining also opened the door for a wave of fraud, which now Google will have to contend with most steadily. We reached out to Google for a comment on the matter, and we’ll update this memoir after we hear aid.

Update 6/20/19 5:47PM ET: Google printed a weblog put up quickly after out memoir went stay with files concerning the counterfeit Maps listings. Many of the numbers were already portion of the WSJ document, but we obtain up to this level this put up with extra particulars and a quote from product director Ethan Russell. That you might read the elephantine put up/response right here.

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