Today and yesterday I have received two suspicious, scam / spam emails. I am unsure exactly how the scam works, but my Google My Business listing is being targeted. If you are also being targeted for the scam, let me know in the comments so we can share resources! 

I’m a wedding photographer who has had my GMB listing in place for at least three years. It currently has 35 5-ratings, including a bunch that had just been added by my clients. Duh, it’s fully claimed and optimized to a tee, by me.

Strangely, the fraudulent ownership requests had never happened before 9/21/20. On that date, I received an email saying: [fake name] has requested access to Zoe Larkin Photography on Google My Business

It then says: 

Someone has requested ownership of Zoe Larkin Photography on Google My Business.

It goes on to give the scammer bot’s name: 

mac williams, Business owner


This was closely followed a few hours later by another email with a different name. 

I believe these are legitimate emails from Google. It’s not a phishing scam in the traditional sense in which the scammer spoofs an email to trick you into clicking the link and giving away personal information. 

What does the suspicious email look like?

The email comes from and looks legitimate. It does not appear to be a spoof or fake ‘phishing’ email, in which you click ‘reject’ and it immediately withdraws $1,000,000 from your bank account. (Well, they would be sorely disappointed in my case, but that’s another story). Here is what the email looks like: 

suspicious email from google my business showing someone requesting access fraudulently

What should you do when you receive an email requesting ownership access of your GMB account?

There are two ways of responding to these fraudulent requests. You can either ignore the email or deny/reject the request. Let’s go through them both. 

Delete and ignore the email

The first option is the one suggested by Joy Hawkins who is a local SEO expert and owner of Sterling Sky. In this thread on the GMB help forum, she writes “simply delete the email.  Do not click on the link.”. 

incorrect answer from joy hawkins in the google my business forum on phishing emails from scammers

I am sure the thinking behind this is: don’t feed the trolls. Or in this case, the scammers. It is likely they want you to click ‘reject’ (because who in their right mind would click ‘allow access’?) So, don’t engage and just get on with your day. 

However, there is another school of thought that you can read more about on this GMB help thread. Apparently, according to the OP, “I have seen that after 3-7 days they can be automatically granted access”. This official Google page is where, I believe, the OP is getting that information from.

Under the section, ‘What to do after you’ve requested ownership’, it states:

If you don’t hear back: If you don’t get a response after 3-7 days, you might have the option to claim the profile yourself. Sign in to Google My Business, and look for a “Claim” or “Verify” button on your dashboard. 

This, to me at least, suggests that the scammers may be trying to exploit a loophole that if the legitimate owner is non-responsive, it may be possible to move forward without their assistance.

This puts us into a bit of quandary. Should we engage with the scammer and alert them that seen their request (which could invite more), or do we delete without hitting ‘approve’ or ‘reject’? 

Hit ‘Review Request’ and then reject the request

Google’s official help is in direct contrast to the ‘delete-and-move-on’ school of thought. Their email to me said the following: “We advise you to deny the request if you feel somebody who is not related to your business is trying to gain access to the business.

At the moment, I am actively denying the requests just in case if you do nothing, this gives the fake / scam account the ability to appeal or move forward without your verification. 

I would suggest you deny the requests so there is no ‘loophole’ that the bot accounts can take advantage of. This way you can always prove that you did your part. Make sure you take screenshots wherever possible and save all emails.

Another thing I did which I also suggest is turning on 2-step verification on the Google account that you log into your GMB with. This sends a code to your phone before you can access anything on that account. Protect yourself and your account in any way you can.

Never give account access to anyone you don’t know.

What is the intent behind attempting to claim ownership of a GMB listing?

It looks like there are bots out there that scrape legitimate Google My Business listings and click on the ‘Request Ownership’ button that appears on every claimed GMB listing. 

The scam is not entirely clear to me. I was told by the Google My Business help team that “without your consent no one would be able to access to your business listing.”. That is a direct quote from Google. However, when you hit ‘reject ownership request’, you will see the following information: 

“Even if you reject this request, the person above may still be granted access to the listing if they can complete the verification process”. 

screenshot showing ownership request from a scam artist attempting to gain access to a Google My Business listing

That is worrying to me. What if there is a way of getting around the ‘verification process’ that completely bypasses me? I have no idea what this means. 

Anyway, there is likely a market for Google My Business listings. I have a couple of theories here if you’ll indulge me. My guess is that once they have ownership of a listing, they can change the name and details of the business and sell it to someone else. 

Here is a GMB thread showing that this actually happened to a business owner. Frightening stuff.

Another less nefarious option is that when you click ‘reject request’, you are telling the scammer that you actively care about your GMB profile. This might theoretically qualify you for some kind of upsell or service. It tells them that the email address that is tied to the GMB account is monitored. 

ownership request for my business - the requester is notified that the request was denied

I just realized there’s another reason the scam bots could be doing this. It’s entirely possible (judging by the amount of spam emails I get every single day) that they may combine a friendly ‘hey I want to do some optimization work on your GMB listing, I’ll do it for free, just accept my request so I can help you!’

Then boom! You have given away your account and you will no longer be able to access it after they remove your ownership rights.

And more importantly, once they are into that account they can potentially access your Google Ads account (with linked credit card information and the ability to run ads until you notice), and maybe even email.

I have most of that garbage filtered out automatically but even the ones that slip through the cracks are numerous (and annoying) enough. So yeah, beware of this scam running alongside someone claiming to help you, either by calling or emailing you first so it seems less random.

More details about other GMB scams are on this post from BizIQ.

Be proactive about with the ownership of your GMB

Though there are mixed messages and confusion out there, my own common sense as a 3-year+ Google My Business user is to be proactive. Don’t just delete the email and hope that that solves the problem. You must actively guard against scam artists and fraudsters that would love to take your Google My Business away from you and sell it to the highest bidder (or even hold it ransom).

Be on guard by scrutinizing emails to check they are not phishing scams. Report those that are. Tell the Google My Business team if you get these ownership requests – without knowing there is a problem, they have no hope of fixing it.

Avoid engaging with the scammers, such as by calling the phone number or emailing them. Focus more on securing your account by signing out of all sessions and changing your password to a very strong one (a string of random numbers and letters is the best, then use a secure service like LastPass to store them).

Turn on 2-factor verification. Monitor the inbox linked to your GMB and reject all requests within 3 days. At least you know you’ve done your part to protect your account. The rest is up to Google to get their act together to put a stop to the fake accounts targeting our legitimate businesses.

Keep your registered business address up-to-date. This is the address where any verification postcard will be sent. With many service-businesses being home-based, this is particularly important as your address may not be displayed on the listing so you tend to forget about it.

What is Google doing about this problem?

As usual, f* all. It appears that anyone can hit ‘claim this business’, even when it has already been claimed. This is a loophole ripe for scammers. I suggested to Google’s GMB help team that they should patch up this loophole immediately. 

screenshot showing an example of a google my business listing that can have its ownership status changed by a scammer

There is no reason why anybody should be able to ‘claim’ a business that’s already active and claimed. An unclaimed business, sure. That makes sense. But if I as a business owner wanted to share ownership with a legitimate person, that should be something I do from within my GMB dashboard. Not someone that everyone and his dog can access and bug me with 24/7. 

I reported the issue to Google on 9/21/20 and they responded very quickly with the following email (text below the screenshot):

screenshot showing email response from google my business help team on the subject of attempted ownership request of my GMB property

Hello Zoe,

Greetings from Google My Business Support Team.

As per your email, I understand you are concerned that someone is trying to request ownership access to your business listing “Zoe Larkin Photography“.

We apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused you. We advise you to deny the request if you feel somebody who is not related to your business is trying to gain access to the business.

Please be informed that without your consent no one would be able to access to your business listing. 

If you have further questions related to this issue, simply reply to this email and we’ll be happy to help! For additional support on a different issue, you can always reach us via our Help Center  [].
You may receive an email survey regarding your interaction with GMB Support. We value your feedback.
Have a great day!

This is all well and good, but then it happened again just a few hours later. I had to tell Google while I had them on the line that this was just not acceptable.

“Another spammer has just ‘requested access to MY google my business’. See screenshot located here: Just as I feared, this is a new scam, not someone’s innocent mistake. 

I and millions of other business owners have better things to do with our time than deny spammers requests. PLEASE, as a suggestion, do not have the option on any listing to ‘claim ownership of this business’ when it has already been claimed. This should only appear as an option for unclaimed businesses.

For your information, I actually WRITE about Google my Business on my website, and will certainly be sharing this problem with my thousands of readers who will be interested to hear what Google is doing to help the millions of legitimate business owners who use the GMB platform, and what you are doing to combat the ever-present plague of spam (or not as the case may be….)”

Of course, and I hope this is clear, but I am not taking it out on some lowly email center employee. Sadly there is nowhere else we can go when we need Google to step up and do something. The answer in my opinion is simple. And I am going to repeat it again here.

Remove the option to ‘claim ownership’ of a business that is already claimed! Permission should be given privately on the legitimate owner’s back-end.

Local business owners are sick of getting jerked around constantly by shady practices allowed by GMB. Spam listings are a massive problem on GMB. I have tried to shut down the fraudulent listings set up by many of my competitors, for businesses that don’t exist.

I have shown entire case-studies with proof of one person using keyword-stuffed entries to gain real estate on the map pack. GMB has been a spammer’s playground from the beginning – it is now a scammer’s playground, too.

screenshot from Google My Business email showing a rejected request on Sep 22 2020

Naming and shaming the scammers!

If you have been targeted by these accounts, let’s name and shame. I will put the names here as they appear – add yours in the comments. Hopefully if it happens to other business owners, they will Google the names and land here. Then they will find out it’s a scam and no-one else will fall for it. 

mac williams, Business owner

Dhalia Minith, Business owner

Brittney H, Business owner

Sirisha Garikipati, Employee

Jean baptiste Monnier, Business owner

Sherzod Mahmudov, Business owner
(403) 200-2608

Valda Ransom, Business owner
(713) 482-8560

Virgil Yancy, Business Owner

Ronaldo Kirales, Business owner
(480) 443-3505

Frank Reardon, Business owner

Paul Ramachandran, Business owner

Edward Bowers, Business owner

Beyond Menu
+1 630-776-3590

Otto Ramachandran, Business owner

Ike Sellon, Business Owner

Collie Javier, Business owner

Tristen Chandler, Business owner
Tristen Chandler

Vately Jam
Business Owner

Victoria Jackson, Business owner
Victoria Jackson

Karen Morgan, Business owner

Tips for GMB beginners

This post is seriously off-topic for me as a wedding photography educator. Bit I couldn’t resist posting about this as there is so much misinformation and confusion flying around right now – and there seems to be a spike in these attempts at fraudulent GMB ownership requests.

I only have one post that’s even slightly related as of now, though I hope to bring out more content about optimizing your profile. It’s about setting up your GMB – linked below!

If you’re a wedding photographer that’s landed here, feel free to have a browse around my site. I have tons of resources to help you with the business side of things. Be sure to check out my YouTube channel, too!

written by zoe larkin photography - helping business owners figure out local SEO and optimize their web presence to get more customers
Heads up! If you're a small business owner you may be targeted my scammers for this latest scam. Twice in a few hours in September 2020, my Google My Business (GMB) account was targeted by an 'ownership request'. The scammer attempts to gain access to your GMB account by requesting ownership rights. In this informative guide, I dive into the anatomy of a scam + suggest the best course of action to protect your GMB profile from scammers. #googlemybusiness #gmb #scamalert | Zoe Larkin Photo
Why is my Google My Business listing being targeted my scammers & what should I do? |

Zoe Larkin

I’m Zoe, a wedding photographer based in San Francisco! My style is candid, capturing authentic moments for my couples all over the Bay Area and Northern California. Creating content is my passion! Follow along the blog and Insta!

Has your Google My Business listing been targeted by scammers attempting to gain access by requesting ownership permissions? Here's what to do

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What to do when scammers keep requesting access to your Google My Business account

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  1. Earl says:

    Zoe, I’m getting the same emails. I’ve been rejecting them as I get them. It’s very frustrating and troublesome. I was planning to contact Google in my spare time, but your post says it all. Why in the world would Google allow someone to ask for Ownership, I’ll never know, except the CCP owns the world and everything in it…so why not ask for ownership…right? 🙂

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Thanks so much Earl – haha! A couple of things – if you can, DO contact them. It only took me 5 minutes and I did it on my phone one night. It’s worth taking the time so they at least know – and if anything untoward happens, there’ll be a paper trail so you know you did your part (and we’ll all file a class action lawsuit haha).

      Secondly, I received a reply by the time I woke up the next day so at least someone is reading these messages!

      I was reassured that nobody can go over your head and gain ownership, but I still remember that sick pit in my stomach when I started seeing these requests.

      Luckily, I only ever got two – they stopped after that!

  2. Earl says:

    I will reach out to Google. I have received at least 4 of these requests over the past two months. Like you, I’m busy with my own business. If this continues or does not get resolved, I may consider deleting my Google account altogether. I do not have any other social media accounts, at this stage, due similar and weird emails over time. I was a very early adopter of SM 15 plus years ago – the idea of creating a SM foot print seemed worthwhile. In the end, my SM world was only a waste of time, let alone a serious distraction from my own creativity as an architect. People may think otherwise, but I have lived the SM life. I choose to enjoy people in real life and not in a virtual world. Age, together with the wisdom you gain, does this to you. 🙂

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      It’s funny you mention this because I feel like I’m nearing the same point. Currently I’m feverishly trying to grow a YouTube channel now that weddings have all but ceased. However, oftentimes that all seems like such a treadmill. I’ve pretty much ditched Instagram in the past few weeks, and Pinterest is now cutting my reach by two thirds and dropping daily. I don’t think I’m quite there yet but the way things are going I think that many of us, me included, will completely stop with all this BS and see it for what it is – a distraction from life and spirituality. Good for you deleting your Google account! I’ve often dreamed of such things….

  3. Earl says:

    I like your thinking. I did enjoy your introductory video on your website. You are a talented photographer! I can imagine the impact COVID has had your business. Ugh. For some reason, mine is through the roof. People are staying home and wanting to change their houses. Commercial architect is also crazy right now.

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Thank you!

      You definitely chose the right area to specialize in! The small business world has been split those that are folding /seriously struggling diversifying like crazy, and those that are booming during the pandemic it seems!

  4. Summi Kaipa says:

    Hi Zoe, Thanks so much for this post! It is the first thing I came across when trying to figure out why some random person/bot was trying to gain access to my business. Here is the scammer info:

    Brittney H, Business owner

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Thanks so much Summi! I added the scammer info to the main post – hopefully if they use the same details to target someone else, that person will Google it and find the info you kindly submitted 😉

  5. Shireesha says:

    Hi Zoe, Thank you so much and your post helps us a lot on GMB spam! I just came across when trying to figure out why some random person/bot was trying to gain access to my business. Below is the scammer info:

    Sirisha Garikipati, Employee

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Thanks, added to the post. So, this account that tried to gain access – they used practically the same/ very similar name to your own first name? I wonder if that is a coincidence?

  6. LeeP says:

    Just got one today, here’s the info:

    Jean baptiste Monnier, Business owner

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Awesome, thanks Lee for taking the time to share!

      Added to the main post.

      I’ve no idea if this is helping but in my mind at least, it will help when people Google the names/ emails of these spammers!

  7. John Walker says:

    Hi Zoe , your info on this problem is the best I have found. My main concern or worry is clicking on anything in these emails. They look official from Google. Any suggestions ? My first step is to try to get Google on the phone … Thanks John Walker

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Thanks John. As the scammers are just taking advantage of a loophole where anyone can ‘claim ownership’ instead of it being unavailable from the public side once the listing is claimed. Google’s help by messaging them however, is fast!

  8. John Walker says:

    Oh here is my scammer.
    Sherzod Mahmudov, Business owner
    (403) 200-2608

  9. John Walker says:

    Zoe, thank you again. I logged in to my gmail account I got these requests from and denied the request… Thank you again. Your post here is the BEST i have found on this issue. Best Wishes , John Walker

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Thanks! If you do want to cause a stink about it, raise it with Google. It’s easy to message them following the ‘help’ links when logged in to your account on your GMB. This way, they may actually do something about this obvious loophole which is currently being exploited by unscrupulous people! Thanks for reading!

  10. Michael Hane says:

    Thanks Zoe! Great article. I just received the scam email today and rejected it. You saved me! All the best! Michael T.

  11. Michael T. says:

    Another thought that may help, take a look at using virtual credit card numbers. Many of the large banks and credit card companies offer them. I rarely use my debit card number these days. The company I use allows me to mask my debit card and lock a CC number in to one merchant only and also set spending limits. This helps add another layer of security if someone does access your CC info on GMB. Hope this helps someone else!

    All the best!

  12. John F. says:

    Just got this one this morning:
    Valda Ransom, Business owner
    (713) 482-8560

  13. Angela Natalie says:


    Thank you for the insights on this requesting ownership HOT MESS!

    Virgil Yancy, Business Owner

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Thanks Angela, added. Interesting to see it’s happening to another photographer as well! I really wonder how the scammers are targeting GMB users. Have a good one.

  14. Frank Sheldon says:

    We got this same email today from:

    Lou Potter, Business owner

    At first, I thought it was because we had recently moved our studio and someone moving into the old location wanted to claim the address. Then I checked the phone number and found it associated with robocalls. After searching and seeing the response from Google you noted above, I eventually ended up here. Thank you so much for all the work you did on this. We will enable two-factor verification now and deny any future requests from scoundrels.

  15. Z Michelena says:

    Hello, we are another business that received a fraudulent request from:

    Ronaldo Kirales, Business owner
    (480) 443-3505

  16. Chef Kenny says:

    Hello same problem here, been dealing for 2 months – companies Qmenu and BeyondMenu are taking advantage of the good nature of local restaurants in Las Vegas and probably everywhere in the US. They send the request, then even after you reject it they have some kind of way to go around verification process – they take it away from you and mark the real GMB as duplicate – Google was 0 HELP

    Frank Reardon, Business owner
    Paul Ramachandran, Business owner
    Edward Bowers, Business owner
    Beyond Menu
    +1 630-776-3590
    Otto Ramachandran, Business owner

    Ike Sellon, Business Owner

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Hi Kenny, thanks for this. This is bizarre! And really worrying. Apart from continuing to reject the requests and contacting Google to see if you can catch the attention of someone that understands and cares enough to help, I don’t know what else to suggest. It’s even worse that actual companies that you mention are possibly involved. I’m curious to know how they go around the verification process, but then again, scammers may be using this blog post as information so I also wouldn’t want to say/ hear too much about it, in case it comes off as a suggestion!

  17. Jeff Layne says:

    Another scammer, the first I’ve been sent.
    Here’s hoping posting It’s name here will bring something to light.

    Collie Javier, Business owner

  18. Ashley says:

    I too have gotten these requests since 9/12/20, 12 of them! I was on maternity leave for my company too, so it very easily could have missed one but luckly I checked in on time. So frustrating, I’ll send Google an email as well.

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Yeah it’s been crazy! Hopefully they will stop soon, but until Google removes the loophole, there is little we can do except pray.

  19. Juan C. says:

    Vately Jam
    Business Owner

  20. Richard Jones says:

    Yes been getting same thing and denying the request. Now i got a request an hour ago go to click on it to deny it and the person now owns my listing. Freaking crazy. What to do?

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Oh no! You’ll have to contact Google directly through the GMB web page (there is help available) and appeal it. They should be able to see that you’re the original owner, by checking out your email address and seeing what’s been going on with the data they have. Unreal! Wish you the best trying to get it back. Google was very responsive when I reached out.

  21. Leanne + Corey says:

    Grrr. Like small biz owners have so much spare time to deal with this stuff… Thanks for the detailed info on how you’ve handled! Here is the name of our most recent scammer:
    Tristen Chandler, Business owner
    Tristen Chandler

  22. janice says:

    Thanks for the article – all great info. Here’s another one:
    Victoria Jackson, Business owner
    Victoria Jackson

  23. Carmela Bustamante says:

    This is the one I received today. It’s my first email like this.
    Karen Morgan, Business owner

    I appreciate the detailed article.

  24. Kristin Valdez says:

    Happened to me too…infuriating!

    DONNELL DENNY, Business owner

  25. Angelica Saenz says:

    I just got this email 2 hrs ago ! I have also been here for 3 years ! It’s is so frustrating to wake up to this!
    His name is
    Braylon Ramon
    Business owner

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Thanks for sharing. I know it’s super frustrating to get these scary notices that your GMB listing is about to be taken over by someone else, and you’re no idea what’s going on. Hopefully Google starts to do something about the loophole which gives many legitimate business owners heart attacks daily.

  26. Brian Fry says:

    Unfortunately, I just got this scammer email as well:

    Tony Smith, Business owner

  27. Jessica says:

    Just happened to me.

    Irina Katz, Business owner

  28. Scam Alert says:

    Irina Katz, Business owner
    March 12, 2021 at 4:08 am Central

  29. Tana Rogers says:

    I just received this thank you for your help!!
    Scammer trying to claim my business:

    Jovanni Samir, Business owner

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      You’re welcome, thanks for sharing so others can come across this if they get targeted by GMB scammers!

  30. Frank Crowe says:

    Glad I found your article. Just started getting these this week. Here is the scammers info:

    BROCK SANFORD, Business owner

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Thanks, Frank!

    • Stephanie Marsh says:

      We got an email from Google that Brock Sanford was requesting ownership of our page. We deleted the email and did not respond to the request because the email address did not display like Google’s usual no reply account so we assumed it was a phishing attempt. Now our page and all of our content is completely deleted and Google is not assisting. Does anyone have any experience locating and reclaiming their page back?

  31. donald says:

    Ben Lorek, Business owner

  32. cutterrich says:

    Here is another name for the scam list. Got one on 3/19/21 and a second on 3/24/21
    Vera Veraed, Business owner
    Vera Veraed
    Thanks for the help.

  33. Blanche Bond says:

    Thanks for the article! I received 2 of these scams this week. Add these to the scam list:

    Leslie Danielle, Business owner
    Leslie Danielle

    Gretchen Chaya, Business owner
    Gretchen Chaya

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Wow, two, that’s pretty bad! I received a couple of them myself, wrote this article, and then didn’t receive any more ownership requests. Weird! Pretty sure it’s just a bot going around and scraping everyone’s info. : (

  34. V Vacek says:

    Someone has requested ownership of…
    madison luna, Business owner

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Thanks! Dear oh dear, so obviously a spammy looking email, they haven’t even bothered to try to make it look legit lol =)

  35. Meke says:

    Really appreciate your article and thank you for your help! These shady scammers are too much…

    Ara Gates, Business owner

  36. Tracy Lee says:

    Thanks for sharing! Just received one today, scammer email and contact as below:
    Mell Yanto

  37. Wisnu says:

    Here is my scammer’s “name”, email, and phone number.
    Da Niel, Employee

  38. Jared Miller says:

    Just got the same thing, My scammer is: Meli Neli, Business owner Thanks for having this thread !

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      You are so welcome – thank you for contributing your scammer name to the pile so others can Google and find them!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Add another one to the list this morning:

    Enrique Donald, Business owner
    Enrique Donald

  40. Anup says:

    Aditya Singh, Business owner

  41. Nicolas Jacobi says:

    Theron Newsom, Business owner
    (212) 200-8541

    tried it at my listing.


  42. Nicolas Jacobi says:

    I actually believe it’s my competition trying to get rid of the listing, using a fake name.

  43. Marlo Saucedo says:

    Yep. Same thing. Visual artist in Houston TX. Thanks for this article.

    Scammer: Andrea Adam

  44. Sandra Zimmee says:

    I just received the same email. I am a public speaking and communication learning center in Houston, Texas, Self-Expression Center . Thanks for your efforts! It seems like they are hitting creatives!

    The scammers email address is MARIANO DANIAL, Business owner

  45. lobster says:

    Hello there — I’ve been getting these myself, but did not click the link in the email. Now I received the third email which warns this:

    Ninnetta Urtz, Business owner
    (972) 230-6541

    “Ninnetta Urtz will now be allowed to verify their affiliation with the business to gain access.”

    What I don’t understand, though, is, wouldn’t they still need to get that postcard in the mail? I already verified my address long ago, and I see in my account that a “Verification post card has been requested within the past 14 days” .. But I presume they’ll just send that card to my address? Or are they that stupid to allow someone to just enter a new address? Is there a way for me to see what address this card is reportedly requested to be sent to? As of right now I can still access my GMB but am a bit worried because I didn’t click the button on (what I thought was) a spammy-looking email. (Btw, thanks for your advocacy on this!)

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Oh boy, that’s really scary. It kind of looks like it could be spam – because there is no way they should be able to verify with a postcard if they haven’t even claimed ownership yet.

      It would be really messed up if there was a way a scammer could bypass the original address that was first verified, and have a postcard sent to a secondary address that the primary owner hasn’t added or approved themselves?

      But I wonder if this in fact is possible because, alas, businesses do move premises and there may not always be time or foresight to change the address on record before the move is complete. I would just ask the GMB team for help by going to the support page – they were extremely responsive to me (though this was many months ago). Try it.

  46. anon says:

    I am just starting to work freelance online. And there this guy from india offering me a simple quick job but he needed to check my business google account first. Being a newbie, I thought it was a something real, and the check was necessary. But, I think this is what he was doing. He’s tricking me to spam the owner of the business so idk what he intended, he was using my google account . he was so quick, im not sure if hes request access or not of the business but yeah that is what happening. So even if the person who requested it seems genuine, he or she might not intended to do it and someone else.

  47. Megan says:

    I got my first one today. Thank you for writing about it – I didn’t know what to do. I rejected it and hope I don’t get many more. What a waste of time!

    tayfun ışık, Business owner

  48. Lori Willis says:

    Hi Zoe, thanks for this info. I just had a message from GMB and denied access. I too was worried about the message that they could still get access even if I denied it. You’re right, small business owners are busy enough without having to deal with this. Here is the scammer:
    Temoe Rahardja, Business Owner 225-555-0177

  49. Jay says:

    Happens to me too. Hope you can stir up GMB to do something about it. Here is one.
    Heidi Jett
    Heidi Jett, Business owner
    Heidi Jett

  50. WhiteSites says:

    Here is the scammer for my listings. They requested access to 2 of my businesses. Denied them both
    Quentin Morgan, Business owner

  51. Marshall Watts says:

    The scammer that reached out to me was:
    Badmasi Saytani, Business owner

  52. Aminur RAHMAN says:

    This Guy is sending an email to get access to my GMB. Google Notified every email. Interesting fact:My first name matched with the scammer fName.


  53. Aminur RAHMAN says:

    The following guy tried to get access to my GMB. Google notified each attempt. I did not respond either. Hard Fact is scammer first name similar to Mine.


  54. Todd says:

    Thank you for this article. Here is the scammer who requested ownership of my law firm business (I rejected the request thanks to your article):
    Jude Wesley

    • Dan says:

      this scammer has requested an access to my business, i see he has done same thing to a law firm above
      Jude Wesley

  55. Chris M says:

    James Rico, Business owner

  56. Mariana Sabrina says:

    Thank you for the detailed explanation. I get 2-3 requests per month. Don’t know why GOOGLE is not doing anything about it…. This is the bot account that tried last time
    Mariana Sabrina, Business owner
    Mariana Sabrina

  57. Allison Varlan says:

    My company owns over 60 locations so I receive these daily. I’m so frustrated and tired of rejecting them. Wish google could make this go away. Here are three I received overnight – there are too many to post them all:

    Lainey Skylar, Business owner
    Lainey Skylar
    Sophia Sophiahn, Business owner
    Sophia Sophiahn
    Chase Steven Timothy, Business owner
    Chase Steven Timothy

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Oh wow, that’s insane. I’m disappointed to hear they’re still coming in thick and fast – I’ve received many comments from others even more recently.

      Perhaps Google will see this post and actually do something about it, but I have a feeling they can just do whatever they want and screw the little guy.

  58. missy says:

    Aspen Nash

  59. Shagun Gupta says:

    Hey Zoe,
    I have the similar problem popping up. However, in my case its the same person (scammer). I am not sure whether or not I should reject the request but I got great insights from your post here today.
    As of now I have decided to not at all entertain the email. I think I will keep my GMB updated and that way Google might for a change consider my account highly active and prevent anyone else invade it.

  60. Rebecca R says:

    This is the first I’ve received, but I rejected it.

    Emmalyn Nickolas, Business owner
    Emmalyn Nickolas

  61. John Ortiz says:

    Received on Oct 24 at 3AM:
    Emmalyn Nickolas, Business owner
    Emmalyn Nickolas

    Great page Zoe! Howdy from Houston!

  62. Marli White says:

    Thank you for the information. Google truly sucks now. They used to be so great- its too bad. Here is the scammer’s email. Let karma prevail and I hope you have many weddings to photograph. Big hugs!

    Recieved Oct. 26th 2021

    Aron Luciano, Business owner
    Aron Luciano

  63. Cameron Szok says:

    Hi Zoe. Thank you for this post! I’ve gotten requests from two people for my business name AND my name!

    First was Allison Jack, – Received on 10/24/21

    Second is Ryker Isla, – Received on 10/26/21

  64. William Trujillo says:

    Thank you for this content I received this same request at around 1 am, someone asking for ownership of my business. Needless to say I didn’t have to think about it and rejected it automatically, I have just finished dealing with someone trying to hack my merchant account so I am all about being proactive and fighting this head on, thank you once again and here is the scammers email
    Avalynn Houston, business owner

  65. Joyce Bertulfo says:

    Zoe thanks for putting this page up! I was starting to freak out – I received the first request yesterday and rejected it giving the “person” the benefit of the doubt. But then I received another one today from someone else. Grrrrrr…I lost sleep over this lol…Well now I know it’s a stupid rampant scam and will just keep rejecting them. I can’t be blamed for “doing nothing” to prevent theft of my business listing at least! Thanks again!

  66. Vera says:

    Great post! We’ve had these requests too for our Google page. Why don’t you send this info to a news channel? Maybe if we got this on a large network news channel that might get Google’s attention.

  67. Marie Queneau says:

    This is what happens when people have nothing better to do and don’t work, stay at home collecting mailbox money while others work at their business. I just started receiving these last week. Have only had two so far, but all of a sudden came out of nowhere. And Google is no help at all. Thank you for posting this blog. It has been a huge help!

  68. Laura says:

    Got a request from –
    leo david, Business owner

    for a client’s business. Looked up this name and phone number and it did not come back to anyone. It was not a spoof, it was really from Google, but when I looked in my GMB settings it did not indicate there was a real request under the Users section.

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      So odd! Thank you for sharing that info which could be useful for others – seems people are still having this issue

  69. John Ortiz says:

    November 18, 2021 2:12 AM
    Received another one and new name:
    Kyan Joshua, Business owner
    Kyan Joshua

  70. Peter says:

    Hi Zoe. I just got this request a few days ago and was wondering the same thing as everyone else was. You keep a list and maybe this list will somehow be useful? Maybe Google will use it? I don’t know but this is so BS that Google allows this to happen. Here is the email account trying to claim my business.

    Prince Deli, Business owner

  71. Vital says:

    Zoe, I’m getting the same emails. I’ve been rejecting them as I get them. It’s very frustrating and troublesome.
    I do SEO for a food delivery company. There is another reason I guess these scammers are claiming this business:
    I often received requests inbox to deliver food to clients (they pass through Google to contact us). So, if these scammers succeed in claiming these business they would be receiving money from clients pretending to be business owners and yet we don’t do so! We always advise our clients to download and use our app. We don’t receive cash!

  72. tedra ortega says:

    I have had 16 requests for ownership of my pages. I manager 10 locations and they are continuous. Fortunately I have been able to see them in time. They are getting smarter. Doing it at midnight right before a holiday weekend so the three days grace is up before coming back to work on Monday. I was NOT happy. I complained to GMB that they needed to give us at least 7 days if not 30 days to ACCEPT or DENY. What if someone is out sick or vacation? They said thanks for the suggestion. Policies need to change. I have had 2 today. These people have NOTHING better to do.

  73. tedra ortega says:

    I have had 16 requests for ownership of my pages. I manager 10 locations and they are continuous. Fortunately I have been able to see them in time. They are getting smarter. Doing it at midnight right before a holiday weekend so the three days grace is up before coming back to work on Monday. I was NOT happy. I complained to GMB that they needed to give us at least 7 days if not 30 days to ACCEPT or DENY. What if someone is out sick or vacation? Policies need to change. I have had 2 today. These people have NOTHING better to do.

  74. Sam j says:

    Got one this morning. It came from Timothy Steven with email address I rejected it and emailed him to see what was us. (I know, probably a mistake.). No answer from Google or the scammer 4 hours later. Jeez!

  75. Nicholas Inbody says:

    Thank you for the post, you can’t put a value on this level of first hand experience and detail.

    Brayden Dominic, Business owner
    Brayden Dominic

    Received this morning, and rejected.

  76. Jeremy Thompson says:

    This lady named Ann Paul she is asking for the password for my Google account saying she wants it so that my account and her account won’t get hacked I’m not going to give her the password to my Google account cuz then she can see all the personal emails I’ve been sending to people.

  77. Jacob says:

    So I have been getting the same email and it does look like it is legitimate and from Google but of course it is still a little scary clicking, even to reject.

    I think Google has the option to request ownership in case someone who shouldnt claim your business does before you get a chance to get started with Google business listing.
    When Google says they still might be able to get ownership if they can verify, I am sure it means they would need to get into your whole Google account, then they can do whatever they want. SO as long as you have a good password and 2 factor authentication, they “shouldnt” be able to take control?

    I wish Google business had an area where you can check the request yourself instead of going through the email but I have not found it if there is one.

    Thanks fot the info.

  78. Maged says:

    Hi there
    Same problems i have but i gave my business to them by mistake I thought it is google support. So I right for support 4 times but no response my business was taken and edit the location and inf but the photo and reviews still there. What should i do.
    Is it possible to recover it.

  79. William Perry says:

    March 22, 2022 at 7:43:02 AM EDT

    Name: Ferjani Sassi, Business Owner
    Phone number: Ferjani Sassi

  80. Mandy Kung says:

    I have also gotten so many requests over the last year. Very annoying. I will start writing google about this as well. Thank you for writing about this. Here is a list of scammers:
    Name: Grayson Leo, Business Owner
    Phone number: Grayson Leo

    Name: Sofia Andro, Business Owner
    Phone number: Sofia Andro

    Mark Camden, Business owner
    Mark Camden

    Aubrie Beckett, Business owner
    Aubrie Beckett

    Kianna Shaylee, Business owner
    Kianna Shaylee

    If it can help others, then the effort is worth it.

    • zoelarkinphoto says:

      Please do. I have no idea what it will take, but I keep getting people who’ve been targeted adding their scammers’ names to the mix here. Any time there is a loophole, scammers will exploit it.

  81. michelle says:

    Name: Jennifer Robert, Business Owner
    Phone number: Jennifer Robert

  82. CJ says:

    Name: Lucille Andre, Business Owner
    Phone number: Lucille Andre

  83. ST says:

    Name: Karuppaiya Srinivasan, Employee
    Phone number: 8675552383

  84. Candus Hinderer says:

    Great article. Thank you! Same issue for us.

    Name: Steven Kevin, Business Owner
    Phone number: Steven Kevin

  85. Flora West says:

    Name: Demarcus Estevan, Business Owner
    Phone number: Demarcus

  86. Wendy Shank says:

    UGGH – never realized until yesterday that this was a thing. Now have gotten two in a row (yesterday and today). For now, denying, but it won’t take long before I just start deleting them… but will take your advice and do an online google support contact, capture the paper trail of “thanks but really can’t help you,” and wait for the class-action suit to claim some remuneration for this time suck that I do not need!! My first encounters:

    Name: Exell Kain, Business Owner
    Phone number: (915) 996-9739

    Name: Annie Cooper, Business Owner
    Phone number: 915) 996-9739

    Thanks for the helpful post!

  87. Brent says:

    I agree with you that it’s ridiculous google even has this option.

    Name: Kaliyah Reese, Business Owner
    Phone number: Kaliyah Reese

  88. matt gang says:

    Hi Zoe. This just happened to me. I googled it and your helpful post showed up. Thank you! 2 years later and google hasn’t done anything about this.

  89. Jen says:

    Super annoyed that two years after your writing this—literally nothing has still been done about it. I have been filtering out and denying for years. Everything you wrote above is absolutely 💯💯💯.

    I do notice that the one right above me is also a “Reese” last name. Not sure what that means really, just interestingly coincidental. I am in the Houston area and got this one this morning. At any rate, thanks for writing this post.

    Timothy Reese

  90. Kevin palivec says:

    I just got the same for my drone photography business page. I denied it


    Name: Norah Amaya, Business Owner
    Phone number: Norah Amaya

  91. Elijah T says:

    I was just asked to grant access to a random name Sylas A Soren and email, Absolutely unacceptable.

  92. Scott Zrubek says:

    My scammer today is:

    Name: Leo Aiden, Business Owner
    Phone number: Leo Aiden

    My theory as to why GMB allows this is for the situation where the business owner has passed away. It seems like there would be a better way to deal with that situation, if my theory is correct.

  93. K K says:

    This is my first one and I hope it’s my last!

    Name: Kash Douglas, Business Owner
    Phone number: Kash Douglas

  94. Liz Kelly says:

    I have received four requests within the last week (one person requested on two separate occasions). The last three requests have been one each of the last three nights. Never was an issue before this last Saturday, it is now almost a nightly occurrence. What gives? Last four years had no problem!

    Name: Leila Bradley, Business Owner
    Phone number: Leila Bradley
    This person requested ownership on two different occasions:
    Name: Peter Forest, Business Owner
    Phone number: Peter Forest

    Name: Bianca Milan, Business Owner
    Phone number: Bianca Milan

  95. Tama says:

    My case sounds crazy, I was trying to add a business on Google map (my niece’s new business), then i accidentally promoted myself as a primary owner of a famous coffee shop in my city… Now I’m trying to find way to remove myself from that business profile. Hope you can help me, I can’t find any useful guidance on Google. I really don’t want my name and my email listed in any list of scammers 😂

  96. Thomas McCarty says:

    Received and denied a request to own my gmb for Tree of Life Acupuncture Nola. I ignored the first request email since it obviously was spuriousbut had to do something after I got the “respond in two days or they are owners by default “.
    I appreciate finding this page, Ms Larkin, reading which helped me to get an idea of the right action to carry out. For a minute, it seemed the request email itself could be a scam!
    The requester’s info:

    Name: Ellie Grayson, Business Owner
    Phone number: Ellie Grayson

  97. PSmith says:

    Thank you for your article. Dismayed that you wrote it in 2020 and nothing has changed.

    Name: vasin khanna, Employee
    Phone number: 7093417262
    Email address:

  98. Tucker says:

    I have been targeted by the ” your website is not following guidelines” scam ” you need to edit your website. My Google website has been disabled. It now leads to a 404 code. I have been in contact with Google to inform them of the issue as well as providing screen shots. The write me back saying everything is working fine. No it is not I have had friends from different areas and states click on my website and they all say the same 404 error code.

  99. Vivian says:

    Thank you for your article. Hopefully the request I have is the last one…

    Name: Yamashita Nukanobu, Business Owner
    Phone number: 5756435

  100. Webtoniq says:

    Thank you for addressing this important issue! Dealing with persistent scammers requesting access to our Google My Business account has been a headache. Your suggestions on tightening security measures, reporting suspicious activity, and educating team members are invaluable in safeguarding our online presence. Much appreciated!

    • Johnnie Jenkins says:

      Thank you for this post, it was the first hit on google when I searched the name “ Yamashita Nukanobu” who just requested ownership transfer of our GMB account. Looks like they change names based on the business, as we have a Japanese restaurant. Denied, will let you all know if it happens again! Is the email they used. Let’s keep this high on google search and hope other small business owners take a money to look the requesting names up on google.

  101. RKDA MEDIA says:

    I manage client Google Business Listings and we get a ton of spam/phishing scams as well, particularly from (! We reject their requests every single time, but it is still a nuisance, and is something that we have to communicate to the Clients often, on the off chance that someone else on their team hastily approves it by mistake. Unfortunately, as of today (05/30/2024) there is still no good option offered by Google to fight against these spam requests.

  102. David says:

    Yamashita Nukanobu

    That’s the contact info from someone who tried to claim ownership for two of my businesses on the same day. And the emails came in the middle of the night, maybe hoping to go unnoticed.
    Thanks for the resource you provided here. I denied both requests!

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