You Can Report Robocalls Promoting Google Local Optimization

When I first started managing websites, a client once called me in panic. He told me that he had received a letter from someone that said he owed them several hundred dollars for submitting his website to search engines. Even though I was an online marketing beginner, I was pretty sure that the Internet didn’t work this way. I went to my client’s office where he showed me the letter. It was a crude looking invoice that said the charges were for “submitting your website to Google, Bing, and Yahoo”. After I assured my client that it was a scam, I did some investigating. I looked up the return address and found out it was for a storage lot near Niagara Falls. I called the owner of the storage lot and he seemed just as confused as I was. Either way, I let it go and told all my other clients to disregard letters like this.

Since then, I’ve noticed a lot of scammers taking advantage of people’s ignorance. When it comes to scams related to search engines, it usually involves trying to get people to pay money for services that are free.

What To Do About Google Robocalls?

In the last few months, our office has gotten numerous robocalls saying that our Google listing is unverified and we should press 1 to speak to a rep who can help us solve this problem. If this was from a legitimate company, they probably would have noticed that our listing is indeed verified and that we operate Spider Gourmet, an SEO company that specializes in this sort of thing.

3PRIME optimized google my business listing

At first, I just hung up when I got these calls. But then they became more numerous so I decided to do something about it. The next time I got a Google listing robocall, I pressed the option to speak to a rep. I asked him “Do you know that you’re calling an SEO company?” He feigned ignorance. I asked him politely, but firmly, to stop calling us. He got defensive and said I was being disrespectful. Not wanting to hear any more nonsense, I hung up on him. In the next few weeks, we still got several more of these calls but they eventually stopped.

Now, I’m a SEO professional and was able to know when I was being lied to. However, not everyone else is in this position. Our clients have also complained that they have also been receiving these calls. Many of my friends have also asked me about these calls as well. This enrages me because Google My Business (the service that handles your Google listing) is and has always been a free service. If you are going to pay to have an SEO company do it for you, it should be a company you know and trust, not one that relies on unsolicited robocalls. These companies using Google’s name are trying to get business, or worse, trying to steal personal information.

Recently, Google has taken notice of these robocalls:

“This year, we’ve received hundreds of complaints from users about illegal robocalls they’ve received from callers claiming to be affiliated with Google. They often promote misleading offers for improving users Google My Business profiles or search ranking. These calls are not from Google, and we’re making sure our clients know how to report them. Should you ever receive this type of call, you can report them directly here.”

To further help users, Google has set up a place to report these robocalls. If you receive one of these calls, be sure to write down anything about the call, such as the phone number, the company name, and any other identifiable information. Then fill out this form. By each of us doing our part, we can work together to put a stop to this dishonest practice.

Spam domain renewal – Domain Notification – This is your Final Notice of Domain Listing

I have received half a dozen of these in the last week. The emails are unsolicited offers to “renew” your domain with the phrase” Final notice” in the subject to get people to open it. The top looks like this:
domain renewal spam email letter-top

Then we have the “Scare Line”


And Finally, the false savings:
false domain savings

$75 for one year? This company and most of our clients are registered with GoDaddy, which has their own methods of boosting sales, but charges a fair price of around $12 per year for domain registration. Savings will not be found in this offer or ones like it!

Other info about this spam domain renewal email

The messages come from “” and also mentions ““. It’s a shady tactic but perfectly legal. As they say in the fine print at the bottom:

Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer. … There is no pre-existing relationship between DS and the domain mentioned above. This notice is not in any part associated with a continuation of services for domain registration.

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Spotting phishing and fake order spam in 5 seconds flat

We get these fairly regularly (1 per week), and occasionally our website maintenance clients forward one to us. Who knows how much time their salespeople waste following up on fake orders, only to decide at the end that the order is fraudulent. Or worse, they ship the order only to find that the payment fails.

Review the following message and I’ll tell you how you know its a BS phishing or fake order spam in 5 seconds flat!
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What is a bot

We build websites for business in Connecticut and many other locations. A recently launched website has started to get form spam, which is an unfortunate fact of life if you want to make it easy for visitors to fill in forms (i.e. no CAPTCHA). Seeing it come in, (Yes, we monitor our forms for spam so business owners can be alerted to activity and what it means), I alerted the owner that this was just spam and could be ignored. A bot had spammed his form and it was not a particularly concerning event.
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Spam marketing message received this morning

And what really kills me is they were boneheaded enough to publish all of our email addresses in the CC field. That’s just plain rude.

So I apologize but I took advantage and responded to everyone offering our services. As business owners, exploiting opportunity must be our top priority.

Here’s my response:

Spam marketing probably means spammy practices.

Since they thought kindly to include me in the mailing, I thought I’d let you all know that if you’d like a free 10 minute consultation regarding valuable keywords you may be unaware of, feel free to contact me.

Other examples of service are

* Regular blogging, news-related, industry specific
* Link-bait articles, promoted via social media
* Highly relevant reciprocal link building
* Article writing and submission (ezinearticles, etc.)
* PRNewsWire paid press release distribution
* Local newspaper submissions in CT
* Onsite architectural optimization (URLs, filenames, internal link profile)
* Onpage keyword optimization

We are located in North Haven, CT and hope to hear from you!

3 articles I read this week

1) An article about companies using free games on Facebook to generate leads for advertisers, this was really interesting to me, mostly because it explains why half my facebook friends keep trying to pry me into Mafia Wars or some damn thing.

2) Another article from TechCrunch concerning Facebook, see a pattern here? This one concerns more general advertising, and really draws attention to why spam exists; It makes a profit.

3) Can’t help but get into some political news, despite my general attempt to avoid it during business, but this one deals with how money affects politics and I think it’s important for everyone to pay attention to such things.