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Google Maps Flooded with Over 11 mn False Listings

The company says it is working on new ways to report suspicious business profiles and directed people to report fraudulent activity on its Business Redressal Complaint Form

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With thousands of new fake accounts being added every month, Google Maps is flooded by about 11 million false listings and phone numbers that reroute to competing businesses.

The majority of businesses that are not at their listed locations and the ones most prone to these scams include contractors, repairmen and car towing services, The Verge reported citing a study by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Thursday.

They’re internally referred to as ‘duress verticals’ at Google, as they are companies people turn to in emergencies and typically without much time to verify the business’ credibility.

Though Google claims in a self-funded 2017 academic study that only 0.5 per cent of local searches are false listings, a separate investigation by the WSJ suggested otherwise.

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Google Maps. VOA

The study found 13 of the top 20 Google search results listed false addresses and only two were real businesses that actually adhered to Google guidelines.

Though Google typically verifies if a business is legitimate by mailing a postcard, calling or emailing a numerical code to enter into a Google website, the system is easy enough for scammers to bypass with fake addresses and phone numbers, affecting real businesses as well as customers, the report added.

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The report comes a day after the search engine giant announced that it is giving businesses more options to customize their company profiles on search and Maps through its My Business feature.

The company says it is working on new ways to report suspicious business profiles and directed people to report fraudulent activity on its Business Redressal Complaint Form. (IANS)

Next Story

Tech Giant Huawei Partners With TomTom To Launch an Alternative of Google Maps

The US added Huawei to the Commerce Department's trade blacklist in 2019, making it difficult for the company to do business with its American suppliers

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Huawei
Fortunately for Huawei, TomTom isn't just a new player in that field, having specialised in navigation services and devices for more than two decades now. Wikimedia Commons

Sending a messege to the US that it can do without Google Maps, Chinese telecom and handset giant Huawei has now struck a partnership with Dutch location technology provider TomTom, which will allow it to use the companys maps, traffic information and navigation software to develop its own mobile apps.

Fortunately for Huawei, TomTom isn’t just a new player in that field, having specialised in navigation services and devices for more than two decades now.

The arrangement had been struck a while back, according to TomTom’s Remco Meerstra, but hadn’t been revealed until now. The company declined to share more details, Engadget reported on Monday.

This partnership is almost providential just as the Dutch location technology firm decided to shift its focus away from hardware and into licensing software and selling services.

Huawei
Sending a messege to the US that it can do without Google Maps, Chinese telecom and handset giant Huawei has now struck a partnership with Dutch location technology provider TomTom, which will allow it to use the companys maps, traffic information and navigation software to develop its own mobile apps. Pixabay

And even better, it isn’t affected by the US Entity List ban on Huawei, according to Slash Gear.

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The US added Huawei to the Commerce Department’s trade blacklist in 2019, making it difficult for the company to do business with its American suppliers. (IANS)