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Beware of Telephone Salesmen Purporting to be from Google


10. May 2009 14:46

Unfortunately there are people that do not want to make an honest living and decide instead to set-up businesses which scam people into handing over their hard-earned cash.  The Internet is no exception.

While the majority of search marketing firms are legitimate businesses, there are a few bad eggs that give the industry a bad name.

There are people that are ringing up website owners purporting to be from Google, offering top rankings for certain search phrases and putting them into contracts of 6 months or so.

If you are approached by a company who are trying to sell you something on the telephone, get them to send you an email with their contact details and end the conversation.

Do not make a decision on the spot, say you need time to think about it.  This will give you time to research the company and make a more informed decision.

Trading Standards give this advice:

“There are a number of steps you can take to avoid rogue publishers such as never agreeing to an advertisement over the phone, always asking for written details…”

If and when you get an email with their details, perform a search on the company name, look at their website and then at other results your search brings back.  If they are using free web-mail email addresses, such as @googlemail.com, or @hotmail.com be suspicious.

If their email address is not a free web-mail address such as @badcompany.com, do a look up on their domain name to see who it has been registered to;  Use a Whois service to do this.

Try doing a search for their telephone number as this sometimes brings up interesting results.

If you have already entered into such an agreement, then you should contact your local Trading Standards office.

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Category: Search Engine Marketing

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