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HomeGoogle NewsGoogle Files Lawsuit Against US Firm, Aims to Curb Fake Business Listings

Google Files Lawsuit Against US Firm, Aims to Curb Fake Business Listings

Alphabet’s Google on Friday sued a Los Angeles man and his companies in federal court in San Jose, California, claiming he created hundreds of fake business listings on the platform. platforms and sell them to real businesses to attract gullible customers.

Fake reviews have been a recurring problem on internet commerce sites. Google said in a statement that it filed a lawsuit against Ethan QiQi Hu to “help put an end to these types of malicious schemes.”

Hu did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Google lawsuit says Hu created fake businesses that appeared in the search engine and Google Maps, using a “complicated set of tools” to verify them during video calls with the giant’s agents. technology giant.

The lawsuit says Hu kept a tool bench as a prop to verify fraudulent listings for garage repairs, tree felling and plumbing repairs, and essential oils to verify therapy businesses. essential oils and fake reiki therapy.

Google says Hu bought thousands of fake positive reviews to make businesses appear legit. He was then accused of selling the profiles as “leads” to real businesses in the same industry who received contacts from potential customers who approached the fake businesses. pose.

Google says Hu created more than 350 fake profiles backed by more than 14,000 illegal reviews.

The lawsuit accuses Hu of false advertising, illegal business practices and violations of Google’s terms of service. Google has asked the court for damages of an unspecified amount and an order to stop Hu’s alleged misconduct.

Google LLC vs Hu, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 5:23-cv-02964.

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© Thomson Reuters 2023


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