I almost got scammed.
I am very skeptical about most phone calls, and rarely answer numbers I do not know. In a weaker moment this week, I received a call from Big Stone Gap, VA and I accepted it. The person on the other end of the call said they were from Google Local Search and had been trying to reach me to verify my business address.
Why did I believe this? Because, I've moved multiple times and my art Facebook page still shows the Google map of my studio located in Arlington, Virginia despite listing the correct address.
I thought the two things might be related. I vaguely remember trying to get my business "Google Verified," but couldn't remember if that had been completed.
The person on the call was very polite and helpful. They said they were able to list my city without the street address. After we reviewed the categories and particulars, she said she was transferring me to the SEO Specialist. This person was even more eager to help. We reviewed what listings came up in my town for the categories and keywords I had given; they suggested some different words and tested those to get me the best possible results in Google searches.
Then the other shoe dropped. They said it was a one time fee of $349. This was a surprise, but I honestly thought that it could be legitimate. I was thinking, "It will be worth it. I'm not moving again. People will have an easier time finding me." They asked how I would like to pay. That's when my Spidey Sense woke up. I told them that I do not give my credit card numbers out over the phone unless contact is initiated by me. I said, "But, how do I know you are actually from Google?" They said I would instantly receive a receipt with all the information on it. I said, "Well, perhaps, but by then it may be too late." They asked if I could receive a text while we continued talking and offered to send me a sample of what I would receive.
At this point, I was armed with Google search terms (ironic, no?!) to ferret out the truth. As I feared, this was a scam. There's more information here. But, the main points:
I'd still like a correct map, so I'm off to try and do that myself. ;)