It’s the wild, wild west. Why has Google Maps, “plagued by fake reviews, ghost listings, lead generation schemes and impersonators,” barely begun to fight back?
These online volunteers fight fake reviews, ghost listings and other scams on Google Maps — and say the problem’s getting worse
by Jillian D’Onfro
April 13, 2018
Tom Waddington was hanging out at a friend’s house when he got an unexpected notification from Google Maps.
Waddington is part of a group of Google Maps advocates who are trying to improve the service, so he lets Google track his location and frequently adds photos or edits to Maps listings.
So the notification itself was routine, but the message was strange: Maps wanted him to contribute information about the Urgent Care center nearby. He was in a residential neighborhood.
He opened the app and, sure enough, one of the houses next door was listed as a clinic. A telemedicine company that also made house calls had falsely claimed that physical address to try to increase business. The scammers hoped potential patients would search Maps for Urgent Care centers nearby, then call its number to schedule a house call or virtual appointment.
These growth-hacking scams can have consequences: Waddington found someone who claimed to have taken his child to one of these non-existent clinics. Read the rest here.