Google vs. Locksmiths and Plumbers: The Fight Against Fraud

In every profession, you’re going to find two kinds of people: the professionals and the scammers. In the locksmith profession, scammers have been using Google to lure customers with false promises of a cheap service only to hand them a much more expensive bill.

Now Google is planning to rollout a new verification system that will make it harder for scammers to get customers. This new process is mainly geared towards locksmiths, but plumbers may also have to go through this verification system. Here’s what you need to know about it.

The Scam

The locksmith scam starts when someone locks him or herself out of the house. The person does a quick Google search and finds local locksmiths in the area. The Google AdWord and Google My Business displays show offers for inexpensive locksmith services that seem almost too good to be true.

Well, they are. Once the person calls the number, the call is sent to an offshore call center, and a local locksmith is dispatched to the location. Once the locksmith arrives, he or she wastes no time drilling the lock to open it. The locksmith doesn’t try any other option. When the service is complete, the locksmith hands the person a bill, one far bigger than the expected rate.

So how do plumbers fit into this? Google hasn’t been clear on how plumbers are conducting similar scams, but regardless, they may be included in this verification process.

What Google Is Doing

In an effort to cut back on these scammers, Google is putting together an advanced verification process for businesses that want to have a presence on Google search results and Google AdWords. The new process is currently being beta tested in San Diego. Sources say it will combine questions from Google with an application with a third party verification company.

As the process is still in beta testing, we don’t know just how it will affect plumbers, but if it does, the experts at Contractor 20/20 will be ready to help your plumbing business stay active on Google.

Contractor 20/20 can help you through Google’s advanced verification process and ensure your business stays up on Google. Contact us at (607) 770-8933 today.

Emily Morosi