How To Prevent Google Review Business Fraud and Scams

Only YOU Can Prevent It!
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You ever have something happen that completely derails a day? While that feels like a common business occurrence, one thing happened last week that’s been stuck in my head. A threat from an outside source to tank our Google Reviews ate up an entire day and has bore a ton of great discussion on the podcast between me and Jack.

 Now, let's talk fraud.

Key Takeaways

  • Fraud prevention and detection are essential for small businesses to protect themselves from internal and external threats.
  • Businesses need to be vigilant and proactive in implementing processes and safeguards to prevent fraud and theft.
  • Building a culture of integrity and accountability within the team is crucial to prevent internal fraud and misconduct.
  • Utilizing technology such as GPS tracking, cameras, and key cards can help in monitoring and controlling access and activities.
  • Communicate clearly with employees about expectations and consequences regarding fraudulent activities.
  • Stay informed about potential scams and fraud tactics in business to better protect the company.
  • Continuous monitoring, feedback, and adaptation are essential to prevent and address fraudulent behavior.

How to Detect Google Business Review Fraud

Fraud prevention and detection are crucial for small businesses to protect themselves from inside and outside threats. It’s also important to realize that scams and attacks come from a lot of different angles.

This Google Reviews thing is one of seemingly a number of endless ways that the thing you’re building can come under pressure.

Worse yet, you can often feel pretty helpless in that scenario. When you’ve got skin in the game it often leaves you feeling too close to feel like you can properly and appropriately respond, especially when it can feel so personal. Other attacks can even include employee side work, or permit shenanigans.

And spoilers: It’s all happened to me at one time or another. So, what do you do?

It’s in moments like these that protocol and processes are your best friend and greatest guard dog. Things that can feel overly nitpicky or too “by the book” quickly reveal to exist for a reason: Protecting assets and your reputation.

After all, in the customer service game the most important thing is that relationship of trust. Don’t let it be hurt so easily.

Tools of the Trade

Where other industries may think it a nanny state, the reality is that the fraud call can often come from inside the house. It’s here that you want to utilize both simple and more advanced tactics for self-protection. This can include something as simple as receipt collection and paper trails.

I’ve said it on Twitter this week, but documentation IS. YOUR. FRIEND. It not only keeps you from feeling like you’re stuck in a “he said/she said” situation but can also be your winning shot in a court of law.

But maybe you need to go deeper. Industry tools such as GPS tracking data on service vehicles are there just as much to protect employees as they are for protecting the business. This also helps reinforce that culture of integrity and accountability that we want to see from our hires.

We trust employees, but trust isn’t just a stagnant thing. It’s a constantly changing notion that we have to help nurture. We can do this through access control such as key cards, cameras, and proper IT protocol.

This feedback loop of monitoring and adaptation will help prevent a lot of things before they ever happen.

And that’s the goal.

Your online presence is vital, even in the local markets. Don’t fall behind competitors who are scooping easy leads through effective SEO and advertising strategies.

You work hard for your business, don’t let this important part of it fall by the wayside.

Speaking of things falling by the wayside, we’ll close our fraud talk with a word on communication.

Great Expectations

In many ways, hiring can feel like a crapshoot. We only have so many interviews and CVs to learn about a prospective employee. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t me saying that behind every new hire lurks a fraud risk.

But at the end of the day we’re all human. This is when communicating expectations and consequences becomes an important first step.

This is why I’m thankful for an absolutely killer HR department, honestly. New hires may feel like they are melting into their seat during the three day new hire onboarding, but it’s vital in setting the tone.

You just can’t assume with hires that they’ll know and play by the rules through some kind of osmosis.

Lay down the ground rules—prevent fraud from within and you’ve already won one of the biggest battles.

J'Accuse!

You need to stay up on what new frauds and scams are out there. This is where communication with a community of peers is vital. It’s also important to know that fraudsters are always getting more clever, with better grifts.

It feels like only a decade ago that we would joke about Nigerian Prince scams—so easily sussed out as being fake.

But now? Deepfakes, AI, and more mainstream methods of social engineering are making fraud harder and harder to detect. At the end of the day your best protection is staying informed and learning about new methods of black-hattery.

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