gbp hijacking at Valentine's Day 2

Protect Your Google Business Profile Against Rising Valentine’s Day Fraud

In SEO by Ryan Freeman

As Valentine’s Day approaches, a wave of cyber fraud is targeting small businesses, especially florists. We at Strider have noticed an alarming increase in Google Business Profile (GBP) hijacking attempts. Scammers are trying to claim ownership of legitimate business listings, with the goal of redirecting potential customers to fraudulent sites. These sites either harvest credit card information or earn money through affiliate links at the expense of your business and customers.

Understanding the Threat

Fraudsters are capitalizing on the Valentine’s Day rush by targeting florists, a prime industry during this season. They attempt to claim ownership of your GBP, a critical asset for your online visibility. Once they gain control, they can redirect your listing to a fake website or an affiliate site. This not only leads to financial loss but also damages your reputation and customer trust.

The Danger of Inaction

Ignoring or delaying a response to an unexpected ownership request can be detrimental. If left unaddressed, attackers can escalate the request, potentially gaining control over your GBP. It’s crucial to act promptly.

Immediate Actions for Business Owners

  1. Be Vigilant: Regularly check your GBP for any unexpected changes or ownership requests.
  2. Reject Suspicious Requests Immediately: If you receive an ownership request that you did not initiate, reject it right away.
  3. Educate Your Team: Ensure that your employees are aware of this scam and understand the importance of safeguarding your GBP.
  4. Enhance Your Security: Consider adding extra layers of security to your Google account, such as two-factor authentication.

If You Suspect You’re a Victim

If you’re unsure about the status of your GBP or fear that you might have already been targeted, it’s crucial to act immediately. Contact Strider for expert advice and assistance. We specialize in safeguarding businesses against such digital threats. Schedule a consultation with us to assess and secure your business profile.

Final Thoughts

As small business owners, your Google Business Profile is a gateway for customers to find and trust your services. This Valentine’s Day, don’t let fraudsters exploit this valuable asset. Stay alert, act swiftly on any suspicious activity, and remember, we at Strider are here to help you navigate through these digital challenges.

Protect your business, protect your customers, and have a safe and prosperous Valentine’s Day season.