Web Domain Scams Prey on Lack of Knowledge

If you run a business or have a personal website, you probably own at least one website domain. The Better Business Bureau is sounding the alarm on a con that fools domain owners into paying or sharing personal information in order to "register" with Google.

Here's how the scam works.

You own a domain name for your personal or business website. One day, you get a robocall claiming to represent Google's business listing or a similar service. The recording claims your domain listing is out-of-date and you need to update it in order to keep your spot in Google's search rankings.

The reality is, the caller has no affiliation with Google. If you agree to "update your listing," the caller may ask for information about your business -- including your Google password. Sharing the password puts you at risk for future scams or even identity theft. In other cases, scammers try to charge for their phony services.

Many businesses take a "buy it and forget it" approach to their website domain names, and scammers prey on that lack of knowledge. The Better Business Bureau offers a few tips for better managing this part of your business.

*• Be familiar with Google's services. Google does not charge for inclusion in Google My Business or Google Search. Google doesn't call businesses with an offer to improve your search ranking or manage your business's online profile.

•* Don't provide your password or verification code to any caller. You should never provide sensitive information about your account (like your password and verification code) to an unsolicited caller.

•* Know your top-level domains. Scammers use scare tactics to sell unpopular top-level domains at inflated prices. If your company doesn't do business in other countries, you probably don't need to buy a domain there.

•* Select a single business to register all of your...

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