False shops abound on Google Maps, which is beginning to disrupt the relevance of the Mountain View firm’s mapping service and increase the risk of fraud.
Be careful if you are a regular user of Google Maps . The site must have a large number of fake businesses created by companies with questionable ethics. Their goal is to attract users to their products and services. This is an investigation by the Wall Street Journal that revealed the pot to the roses.
Google Maps “locate” fake shops and fake addresses
Google Maps is a service highly appreciated by Internet users, in particular because it makes it possible to locate companies and the services which they propose. But there is a concern: users who are fond of this specific service regularly come across profiles and businesses that are not what they claim to be.
A Wall Street Journal survey reveals that the majority of fake profiles come from companies that have “specialized” in designing fake ads. As for demand, it comes from small businesses.
And the way of acting is often the same: pretending to be a known company in order to divert their clientele. Note that in some cases, the location is not even real. This is the case where the fake businesses seek to be contacted to offer their services.
Google is trying to react
And the results revealed by the Wall Street Journal are compelling: for example, for plumbing services in New York, 13 of the top 20 results on Google Maps lead to false addresses ….
Only two out of seven companies comply with Google’s instructions that filled stores be places open to the public. According to the daily, thousands of fake addresses are created daily. In total, there would be 11 million fake businesses on Google Maps.
The Mountain View firm reacted to this investigation, saying it was aware of the problem. But for Google, the percentage of fake businesses is revised downward compared to the Wall Street Journal. Nevertheless, the company is acting and has removed in 2018 no less than 3 million fake company profiles.