Google says Columbus company defrauded small businesses

Google has accused a Columbus company of impersonating it to target and defraud businesses.

Google has sued a Columbus business in federal court, alleging the company has been impersonating Google to target and defraud small businesses.

Google alleges that the company, known as G Verifier in filings in federal court in Columbus, has been trying to charge business owners a fee to verify and set up their business profiles, a service that Google provides for free.

Google is seeking a court order to stop G Verifier from continuing what Google says is fraud.

Google claims it has suffered at least $50,000 in damages and that G Verifier’s actions continue to harm Google and consumers.

“Today, we are filing charges against scammers who attempted to defraud hundreds of small businesses with telemarketing calls impersonating Google,” two Google executives said in a blog post published Tuesday. “They have also created sites promoting the purchase of fake reviews, both positive and negative, to manipulate reviews on business profiles on Google Search and Maps. This practice exploits entrepreneurs and small businesses — it violates our principles of deceptive Content Policy.

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