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Google Is On A Clean-Up Mission To Remove One-Star Scam Reviews That Tarnish Small Brands’ Reputation

When you’re a small-scale business entity or a new startup, nothing matters more than your reputation. And that’s exactly why reviews from customers can literally make or break your business.

But what happens when your online brand is plagued by a series of scam one-star reviews whose goal is to do nothing but tarnish your image? Well, thankfully, Google is on a mission to act against such incidents.

The company has reported a new campaign begun by scammers who target products on Google maliciously. And in return, they want to be treated with gift cards from sellers to have such reviews removed.

Therefore, those of you out there who may be owning any affected business need not worry as much because you’re bound to have Google on the case before it’s too late.

During the start of this month, a new report by The New York Times was seen mentioning one-star reviews and their related scams that have targeted small brands, including cafes and restaurants.

Their motive is to leave the most negative review out there, making sure people fail to visit or experience such places. And as you can imagine, in a time like today where global inflation and economic uncertainty are plenty, the effects are disastrous to surviving in the competitive market.

The reviews can be found easily across the brand’s Google Map page or even on Google Search. This is closely followed by brands paying out such scammers because they are beyond desperate to have a review removed.

For those who may not be aware, Google is seen collecting reviews from customers as a regular practice. These online reviews have an incredible impact on any viewer’s mind. And that just makes sense how scammers are playing with people’s minds and business reputations.

Shockingly, The New York Times has delineated how the reviews commonly arise from users in India. This is where such scammers begin stating their demands for removal at a staggering $75 in the form of Google Gift Cards.

But the scammers don’t stop there. They go about messaging new threats in the form of blackmailing that more such reviews would soon be added, in case their demands aren’t entertained.

Most threats that have been reported by brands come in the form of email. They begin by mentioning how sorry they are for doing the act and then add how they’ve been left with no choice.

They also mention that they’re living in India and this makes way for earning for them during these difficult times of survival. In addition to that, they try to gain sympathy by stating how the money gained through gift cards would provide them with income that would last three weeks.

In case you’re wondering why scammers are resorting to gift cards, well, the answer is pretty simple. It’s a simple way to gain benefits without being traced, unlike the usual cash.

Interestingly, the report by the NYT says that such scammers are hard to remove, block, and hide and that just adds more misery to the matter.

But law enforcement agencies are pairing up with Google to bring an end to this crime that has been going on for too long, damaging so many brands along the way.

Google has further mentioned how such endeavors go completely against all of its stated policies. Hence, they will surely be getting those removed while requesting small businesses to not be shy in flagging such reviews.

As you can probably imagine, this is a huge struggle and a very damaging situation to be in for a brand. We hope Google can figure out a solution as quickly as possible before it gets too late.


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