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SEO Phone fraudsters target small business

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You’re sitting in your office tackling the latest emails when the phone rings and some bright voice promises you an SEO miracle for your business web site.

Be on guard. While Search Engine Optimization is a legitimate business and useful for a web site, there is a new phone SEO scam going around and it is targeting small business.

It seems to be a new twist on the your computer has a virus and we’ll fix it for you phone scam that started last year. Canadian and US authorities have been cracking down on those fraudsters and I suspect they have moved on to other activities like this SEO phone scam.

How it works: they call saying they are from such and such SEO company (such as socialadvertisingalliance.com) and they can take your web site to first page of Google, Bing and Yahoo. (The Yahoo reference is what really caught my attention when they called me as I haven’t used yahoo for a search engine in over a decade.) And they can do it all instantly for you once you give them your credit card details. Nothing in SEO happens instantly, it takes time to improve a web site’s position so this is the another clue that this some kind of scam.

Of course the minute you hesitate or question the caller, they put their slick supervisor on the phone. And keep asking for your credit card. And they really don’t like it when you ask for something in writing via email. I’m not sure what happens past that point as no one I know who got this call has let them proceed beyond this point. I suspect not only are they after your credit card details but also access to your web site which could lead to malware mayhem. Just a theory.

If you get such a call from these SEO fraudsters that claim instant SEO results once you hand over your credit card details, report the caller to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. Any legitimate SEO company does not claim instant results and won’t ask for your credit card details over the phone.

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