Last year, Google removed over three million corporate fake profiles from the well-known component Maps. The search giver announces that after The Wall Street Journal published about fraud on Maps. Companies would set up fake profiles to pretend to be close to a client.
According to Google, more than 90 percent of fake profiles were removed before users of Maps could see them. The search warrant says 85 percent of the profiles have been removed using internal systems. Following reports from users, more than 250,000 company profiles have been removed. Google claims to have blocked over 150,000 accounts that took advantage of Maps. That is a 50% increase compared to a year earlier.
Google provides the numbers after The Wall Street Journal published an article about fraud on Maps. The newspaper describes in it that, for example, plumbing companies register multiple locations in order to emerge from searches on the web as a company that is close to the customer. There are also fraudulent companies that steal the name of an existing company and add their own telephone number there, to win customers from competitors.
According to research by The Wall Street Journal, a search for a plumber in a part of New York resulted in thirteen false addresses among the first twenty results. Moreover, only two of the twenty companies were willing to make an appointment at the relevant address. If companies put their location on the map, they are obliged to also receive customers at that address.
The problems with fraud on Google Maps are said to have increased recently because Google has started to make more use of advertisements on the platform. By purchasing advertisements, companies appear at the top of the list in searches. Fraudulent companies can come up for payment in this way.