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Google Maps Flooded With Over 11 Million False Listings: Report

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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 percent of local searches are false listings, a separate investigation by the WSJ suggested otherwise.

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.

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.

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Twitter fights misinformation with “like” warnings

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Twitter appears to be pulling out all the stops when it comes to fighting misinformation on its social media platform. This week the social network added warnings for users liking posts labeled for misinformation. This adds another mental block between incorrect and otherwise misleading information and the people that’d otherwise be mislead. Twitter is leading the way with meaningful actions … Continue reading

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This Netgear WiFi 6 router isn’t for us, but there’s a good reason to want it anyway

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Netgear’s newest WiFi 6 router may not be specifically intended for home use, but with working-from-home looking like it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future there’s a good reason why you might want it over similarly priced consumer access points. The WAX204 Dual Band WiFi 6 AX1800 Wireless Access Point is, Netgear says, intended for small businesses and home … Continue reading

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Xiaomi POCO M3 to take on OnePlus Nord N100 in Europe

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Once upon a time, Xiaomi spun off a new brand that tried to one-up OnePlus at its own game. To some extent, it succeeded in offering premium or mid-tier specs at a cheaper price but that came at the cost of less premium materials. POCO, previously also known as Pocophone, seems to have taken a backseat recently, especially after it … Continue reading

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