Protecting against fraudulent calls
As a business owner, you can receive many types of phone calls, including some from automated systems. They range from unsolicited recorded robocalls (which are often scams), to conversational systems that perform a task on behalf of a single user (like booking an appointment). This article will help you understand the difference between trusted automated systems and scams.
How to identify legitimate calls from Google
There are a few circumstances where you may receive a call from someone who claims to be from Google. Here’s how to identify whether it’s a real call from Google or from a possible scammer:
- Google doesn't make unsolicited sales calls from an automated system. However, we may place automated phone calls to your business, as a service to Google users, for non-sales tasks like making reservations or confirming your opening hours. These calls are only enabled for businesses that offer public phone numbers for the purpose of receiving calls from the general public, and use the automated voice-calling service Duplex.
- Google will make automated calls from a set of designated numbers. For example, in the US, calls from 650-203-0000 will be from Google. If businesses don’t want to accept these calls, they can opt out by simply saying so on the call. Businesses will also be able to opt out of reservations or bookings made using Google Duplex.
- You may receive calls from Google operators for the purposes of development, customer service or support related to your Google Ads, Google Play or other Google accounts. However, Google will never ask you for payment information over the phone or guarantee you favourable placement in our products.
What to do if you receive a suspicious call
Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous individuals and companies who make fraudulent and misleading calls. Sometimes, callers or pre-recorded robocalls falsely claim to be working 'with Google' or 'for Google' in an attempt to sell different schemes and online marketing services to unsuspecting individuals and companies.
Many of these types of calls aren't allowed under US law (unless you've given permission to receive them), and Google is never behind them.
Here’s what to do if you receive an unwanted automated robocall from a non-Google entity:
Report suspicious calls in the US
If you're in the US and continue to receive unwanted calls, you can submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). To file a formal complaint, go to www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222. You can also submit a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission.
If you receive an unwanted call from someone who claims to be Google or working with Google, feel free to hang up at any time. Don't press any key even if the voice recording prompts you to in order to speak with a live person or to be taken off the call list. Pressing a key may lead to more unwanted calls.
Help us track down scammers
Google understands that these types of calls can be bothersome. We're committed to doing our part to try to put a stop to these calls. However, this isn’t always within our control; for example, many of these callers use untraceable phone numbers and other cloaking tactics.
Help us track calls that falsely associate themselves with Google. Contact us directly via our webform and include the following information:
- The caller’s company and contact information.
- Any emails or documentation received from the caller as part of a follow-up.
- Any additional information about the call.
Prevent future unwanted calls
- Take a look at the FTC’s tips on how to handle unwanted calls, and robocalls resources with additional information about robocalls and steps that you can take if you receive one.
- Check with your phone company to see if they can block calls from any problematic numbers.
- If you're in the US, register your personal number with the National Do Not Call Registry at: www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx or call 1-888-382-1222.
Learn more about identifying scams in the Google Safety Centre.