If you answer a phone call and hear a recording claiming to be Google, the odds are good that you're being scammed. That's the message of a new Google Business post and a new lawsuit from the company, targeting a company that used robocalling to target businesses using Google Adwords.
According to the complaint, a company called Local Lighthouse Corp. made telemarketing calls to Adwords customers, using misappropriated logos and other methods to represent themselves as agents of Google. Once they gained a target's trust, they attempted to milk them for $100 fees in exchange for Search benefits like "front page domination." Based on those claims, the lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, false advertising, and unfair competition.
Google says such scams are routine, but the company is usually unable to prosecute because scammers are too successful in hiding their tracks. In this case, the accused party is a California search engine optimization company, making it significantly easier for Google to take action. Still, the company reminded users that it rarely contacts Adwords users over the phone, and never does so through pre-recorded calls. Anyone receiving such a call should contact both Google and the Federal Trade Commission to lodge a complaint.
5:12PM ET: Updated to include an embedded copy of the complaint.