Supposed Google directory has no link to Google, investigated for fraud

A New Zealand company calling itself GoogleDirectory and charging people thousands of dollars to be listed is now being investigated for fraud because it has no actual link to Google.
The company launched in July of this year but has been signing up companies since May, promoting itself as a new way for companies to market themselves online.

Fraud police are investigating a New Zealand company calling itself GoogleDirectory – set up with no links to the internet giant but which has listed thousands of businesses and state agencies.

The company launched last month, but had been signing on companies since at least May, promoting itself as a new online marketing tool.

Detective Senior Sergeant Aaron Pascoe, of the Auckland central police financial crime unit, said police had received several fraud complaints from businesses.

“The financial crime unit has received information about GoogleDirectory and we’re aware of allegations which has prompted us to look into it. We have spoken with a representative of the company,” he said.

Google, the search engine giant, has also launched its own investigation.

GoogleDirectory offered New Zealand businesses special internet advertisement packages ranging from $200 to $15,000.

The packages – which cost between $200 and $15,000 – promise to get a business advertised on its site, several other international websites and links to social media pages.

Business people who had been duped by GoogleDirectory said the company told them it was associated with Google and that the services they were purchasing would lead to a bonanza of online activity, none of which turned out to be true.

GoogleDirectory director Simon McLeod could not be tracked down by the New Zealand Herald for comment.

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