We’re all using Google Maps, no doubt about it. The free service has taken over the phone book when it comes to looking for businesses that are close by a user’s location. Plumbers, restaurants, movie theaters, locksmiths… all available with a mouse click or with a swipe on mobile devices. But what many consumers don’t realize is that some of the businesses showing up in the search are fake.
A Washington D.C. locksmith has had enough. He is claiming that Google allows bogus listings to be displayed in search results, often higher than his own legitimate locksmith business listing. He says he’s lost a third of revenue over the last six years. The locksmith is suing Google because they refuse to remove fraudulent locksmith listings. This practice of creating false listings on Google maps is called “map-jacking.”
An Internet security expert reviewed the methods a scammer used to create hundreds of fraudulent listings and found that it is a flaw in how Google’s system is set up. The flaw could be fixed fairly quickly.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleges Google “proactively clutter search results with false listing” and “deliberately mislead consumers by publishing false information with prior knowledge that the information is deceptive.”
Google so far has not commented.
Jim is a CT licensed Locksmith with over 30 years experience. He repairs locks, rekeys locks or installs new locks at Connecticut homes or businesses. Email Jim Arsenault or call him at 860-678-9797.