Latest reports showed that Google Maps is filled with millions of scam operations that are mimicking as real businesses. Google Maps is infested with fake business listings and phone numbers that reroute to rival businesses. Every month, hundreds of thousands of fake listings appear on Google Maps and it has been estimated that the service presently has about 11 million falsely listed businesses.
Google asserts in a self-funded 2017 academic study that only 0.5% of local searches are false listings, as per a separate probe. In searching for plumbers in New York City, the leading daily found 13 of the top 20 Google search results listed false addresses, and only two were real businesses, which actually stuck to Google guidelines, which specify that pushpin listings must be locations open to customers.
The majority of businesses that aren’t at their listed locations, and the ones most susceptible to these scams, consist of contractors, repairmen, and car towing services. They’re internally addressed as “duress verticals” at Google, as they are companies people turn to in emergencies and typically without much time to verify the business’ credibility. The study was also weakened by the inclusion of restaurants and hotels, which are almost always at their listed locations.
The company has taken down the false listings found by the leading journal, and a Google spokesperson stated that company has added new defenses for high-risk business categories.