We often get questions from our clients about calls, emails, contact forms, or other requests about their online presence. “Is this something real or is it a scam?” In today’s online world, there seems to be an increasing number of online scams. This week we’re talking about some of the scammers we see targeting your website and online profiles.
Image Copyright Scams
Contact forms claiming image copyright violation – sometimes they’ll even ask for payment for use of images.
Recently we’ve seen a lot of contact forms submitted to websites that claim you are using images that violate copyright. You should only use your own pictures or validly licensed images, but if you’ve done that and gotten this notice, you may be wondering what is going on. Scammers usually provide a link to get a list of pictures that allegedly violate copyrights. Do not click this! In this scam the goal is to get you to click on a malware link. We’ve also seen another version of this, where they are asking for payment to use images that don’t even belong to them!
With the increasing capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, online scams are getting even more sophisticated. Search Engine Land recently highlighted a version of the copyright scam where a non-existent AI-generated lawyer with a fake website and computer-generated photo demands you link to them from your website because you are infringing on their copyright!
Don’t Transfer Your Google Business Profile
Accounts requesting transfer of your Google ownership – just click No!
There are still real people scams out there too! We’ve recently seen a few requests for ownership transfer of people’s Google Business Profile listing. In this situation, a random account you are not affiliated with tells Google they own your business listing and it should be transferred to them. When you get the request to approve this, just say NO!
Google Does Not Call You
Google does NOT call you! – it doesn’t cost you anything to list your business with Google.
As a business owner you probably get robot calls claiming “Your Google Listing is in Danger.” Remember, this is not Google calling you! It doesn’t cost you anything to claim and manage your Google listing.
The bottom line is this. Be aware of fake requests relating to your website and business listings. When in doubt, question it. Typically if you Google you’ll find others have reported the same messages.