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Joy Hawkins, a local SEO expert, has said she has seen a “large increase” in the number of hijacked Google My Business listings over the past couple of months. There is this large Google My Business Help thread with almost a hundred posts in it about hackers trying to obtain ownership of their business listings.
The first complaint dates back several months ago and reads:
I’ve been receiving suspicious emails to my Gmail account, alerting me that “Someone has requested ownership of My Business on Google My Business.” I’ve reviewed and declined the requests, but they persist using different accounts.
How can I prevent these daily attempts? Thank you!
If you get one of these emails, do not respond, just delete it Joy said. Joy added “Also, it’s a very good idea not to have tons of managers on your Google My Business listing. Having more users increases the likeliness that one of them could accidentally click it and give an unauthorized party control of your business listing.”
If someone hijacks your listing, they can change your phone number, email, etc and have all your leads from Google go to them, instead of you. Joy said “For example, weeks ago, this listing was called “Car Accident Lawyer Rosenberg” and the phone number on it led to a phone tree that sells leads to personal injury lawyers.”
Please be careful and tell your customers to be aware.
Forum discussion at Local Search Forums and Google My Business Help.