Here are a few scams so believable, our clients ALMOST fell for them!

  1. Phone Call from Google about your business listing

    The Scam:
    A professional-sounding person calls, identifies himself as Google and says that your business listing is in jeopardy and therefore, you’re losing business to your website. They then go on to say that you need to give them a credit card number to have your business listing fixed.

    The Truth:
    At this point in time, Google will never call and talk to you about your business listing or ask you for a credit card number. As a matter of fact, only 30 percent of businesses even have a verified business listing. Google Business listing is a very important part of online presence in today’s world. It’s what displays when someone googles your business name and according to research, 80% of consumers will search a business’s name before they make a purchase from them. Verifying your business listing is free from Google and anybody can do it but if you’re confused about the process, at 118 group, for a fixed price, we have a service that can help you.

  2. Your website is “broken” and you’re missing traffic from Google.

    The Scam
    You get an email from someone sounding professional but if you look closely it’s usually a Gmail free address. They tell you your website has some technical issue which is preventing search engines from indexing it or that it doesn’t have the right keywords. They may also tell you that your website is missing traffic and offer to fix it for you for a fee.

    The Truth
    Ask yourself how these “professionals” found your website. The answer is, they searched your business type and found you so the claim that your website doesn’t come up in search engines is usually a lie. Our two cents on this is, if you are not actively following Google’s guidelines, you are definitely missing traffic but that doesn’t necessarily mean your website is broken. In the world of search engine optimization and ranking, everyone has a different opinion and for the most part, there is no right or wrong answer. You are better off reaching out to a company you know and trust before spending any money fixing any “issues”.

  3. Your website is hacked.

    The Scam
    You receive an email or phone call from someone saying your website has been flagged as hacked and they are offering to fix it for you for a fee.

    The Truth
    Your website could very well be compromised if it is not being hosted or monitored properly by a professional service provider. However, never give your credit card information to someone calling your business or sending you a random email. Contact us if you are in doubt to see if there’s an issue with your website and we will know how to fix it.

  4. Expired Domain / The need to renew your domain.

    The Scam
    Your domain is going to expire and if you don’t send in a check or pay with a credit card over the phone, you’re going to lose it.

    The Truth
    The reality is your web domain might be expiring. At the same time, it might not. We’ve seen cases where a domain won’t expire for five years and people are just trying to scam our clients out of money. We’ve also seen companies preemptively send an email or a letter in the mail 2 to 3 months before the domain expires hoping that they will grab the money. The bottom line here is, you should only renew the domain with the company you originally registered it with. For example, if you originally registered your domain with GoDaddy, you should ONLY renew it with GoDaddy. In the event that you forget who you registered with, an experienced web designer can make a public records search and find out who the original registrar is.

Google’s mail client, Gmail, is launching a new option very soon that will change how you send and receive emails. Be on the lookout for the big update with a new design and features, including Confidential Mode. The new design was revealed in the spring of 2018, alongside other updates.


Confidnetial Mode Features Include:

  • Stop users from forwarding certain emails
  • Restricts the ability to copy, download, or print certain emails
  • Add an “expiration date” after which the email is no longer viewable
  • Messages may not be forwarded without a code
  • Special SMS code sent to the recipient’s phone allows access
  • An input of Gmail password to open confidential emails

Using confidential mode as a setting on sensitive company emails may help reduce problems in the workplace, as well as restrict the distribution of sensitive company information. In addition, Google will also let Gmail users require a passcode to open emails, perfect to ensure that only the intended user will open and read confidential information. These features will largely appeal to businesses that want more control over how emails are used by recipients, but they won’t stop people from taking a screenshot or a photo of an email.

There is an increased vulnerability with the confidential mode, however – despite the additional security the feature promises. When someone receives an email forward that’s been set in confidential mode, they’re prompted for their Google login username and password to determine whether or not they’re the intended recipient – a feature of “Confidential Mode.”

This may cause more problems than it’s intended to solve – the feature actually invites more phishing scam attempts, designed to trick people into revealing their log-in information. Once a victim has arrived on the linked page of a confidential email, a Google-like page will prompt them to enter their Gmail log-in and password. The phishers will then have access to the account. Unfortunately, with Gmail’s confidential mode, the sender doesn’t have full control of the email after it is sent; Google itself does. They will grant or revoke access to the email based on the sender’s choices.

In essence, the confidential mode will enable a little more control over the emails you send out. However, if your company uses it, make sure that your browser is always in secure mode, to prevent phishing attempts, and that you confirm with the sender that the email came from them, to reduce the likelihood of phishing.

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Every small business needs an online presence to grow in the digital age. Unfortunately, according to research from Forrester, 49% of businesses still have outdated websites that provide a poor user experience. If you own a local business, then you should host your website with a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Magenta.

You need to put some time and thought into choosing your CMS. One of the biggest mistakes that many business owners make is choosing a CMS because it has a nice looking theme or cool plugin. You can certainly take this into consideration, but there are a number of other variables that you need to focus on as well. You can always hire a developer to create a custom plugin or template, so make sure that you choose the CMS that is best for your business first.

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You’ve certainly seen promoted pages and posts more than ever on Facebook. With pay-per-click advertising becoming more and more competitive and expensive, many business owners and advertisers are turning more to Facebook. This is because Facebook gives advertisers the ability to closely target their intended audience more than any other kind of pay-per-click advertising.

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There have been plenty of articles written out there about why businesses fail. All of them list many different reasons. Some of them might sound like they are either common sense or may have reasons that are just not specific to your given industry. However, there are some common pitfalls that small businesses encounter that are in fact easily avoidable. With just a little help, you can avoid these 5 common reasons why many businesses fail.

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It’s that time of year where spring cleaning should be well underway. Here at 118group, we’d like to give you seven tips for spring cleaning for your own business. Read more

Small business owners and managers are always faced with the challenge of how to create a positive work environment that will improve efficiency and ROI. A joyous environment at the workplace invokes a sense of dedication and purpose to the employees, and everybody is geared to serve the organization to the best of their abilities. According to Forbes, companies with satisfied and happy employees were able to generate 22.4% more revenue for their respective companies or employers. So here are some important pointers that can help in creating such an environment. Read more

My name is Dale Shadbegian, and I have been an Internet and Marketing geek since 1994. I have worked for and helped grow many businesses. My team and I are offering a FREE consultation and advice on how to fix one (1) Web, Business, or Marketing challenge you face. There are no strings attached – we just want to help.

What we’re going to give you:

  1. 30-minute phone call to listen to your challenge.
  2. 1-2 hours of research and deliberation of your challenge
  3. A one-page summary of what we found, and our advice

Contact us today to take the first step of fixing your challenge.