Google My Business Hijacking has been an issue for many years, follow the steps below to either stop a hijack or reclaim your GMB (Google My Business) profile after it has been stolen.
Many business owners have received an email from Google where someone else requested ownership of their Maps listing, also known as Google My Business listing. If the owner of the business doesn't reply quickly and reject the attempt to gain control, then the owner risks losing access to their business on Google Maps, their Google reviews and facing their website and phone numbers being changed.
Sometimes the hijackers then change the phone number, website and contact information to a phishing site, intercepting customers and selling services or products the customer will never see. Other times, hijackers threaten and blackmail the owner to pay or never again get their listing back.
Neither route is a path a business owner wants to be in.
How do you know if you are experiencing an attempted Google My Business hijacking?
You will receive an email from Google that looks similar to this:
Are you like many people and wake up to 200+ emails a day? Have you possibly missed these notices to overtake your business on Google? Don't wait until it's too late. Unless it changes by the time you read this post, Google automatically grants access to the requester within 3 days of the request. Search your inbox for this address and if you see an ownership request for access to your business profile, act now:
How to STOP a (GMB) Google My Business Hijacking
1.Promptly decline the Request for ownership of your Google My Business account. Check first that the link goes to Google and is not phishing.
2.Report the attempt to Google's third-party complaint form, choose, "Other" and enter, "Hijacking attempt."
These hijacks are happening daily to businesses on Google and have been for years.
To initially claim your business, you must be verified but to claim ownership of an already established profile, it only takes a click and waiting a few days for the owner to miss the email.
Notice how the form below allowed the hijacker to enter any data into the phone field and not an actual phone number. A name, fake number and throw away burner email is not enough and should never be enough to verify and take over ownership of a business profile.
You can upvote the thread at this link to encourage Google to change the way a GMB ownership is claimed.
I've been programming, designing, writing and publishing professionally online since 1995. I've worn many hats throughout my life, but the common core of my career has always been media. Besides theportfolio you see on TNW Creations, my internet presence has been substantial for over 2 decades. In 1995, while still in college, I founded TNW Creations and became part of the grassroots development for teaching the Lakhota language online. By 2004, my bilingual work was listed on many sites, including National Geographic , Encarta and Touchstone Pictures Hidalgo. When I'm not developing and writing, you'll find me managing MagicStoryLand.Com, creating kid-friendly game & video content, investigating and initating hostile website takedowns, posting salty articles about cyber threats, moderating UnifyLife.Org and enjoying my community, church & family.