Be careful of “free audit” scams

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Offering a free one-time service is a common marketing tactic professional auditors or other companies might use to draw in new clients. But how can the target company be sure the offer is from a legitimate service or just a scammer that wants to get into vital computer files for a more insidious reason. Fortunately, there are ways you can filter out the false ads, according to Search Engine Land.

There are a few clues to look for when you get a “free audit” offer from a so-called professional auditor. First, does this “professional” provide legitimate contact information in the content of his/her email, such as telephone number, addresses, or links to a company website. If so, check them out to make sure all the given data is legitimate. Also, what is the name of his/her email service provider? Gmail? Yahoo? A professional company will usually have its own domain name in the Sender address.

Also, Google has features (such as Search Console) that will allow you to obtain audit information about your website without relying on an unknown solicitor. Google offers this service for free already, so that business users can find out how they rank in the search algorithms and find ways to improve.

Finally, remember it is essential that you keep your valuable business information safe from spammers and hackers who pose as legitimate professionals. Some of them will ask for your personal username and password (another clue that it’s a scam).  Search Console or WordPress can allow a third party consultant or SEO professional limited access through an individual password, safeguarding your own personal information. Better to miss out on a “free deal” than to expose your passwords, files, and business contacts to anyone that might misuse the information.

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