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

Google's lawsuit said Hu creates sham businesses that appear in its search engine and Google Maps.

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

Google said Hu buys thousands of fake positive reviews to make the businesses appear legitimate

Highlights
  • Fake reviews have been a recurring problem on internet commerce sites
  • The lawsuit accused Hu of false advertising, unlawful business practices
  • Google said Hu created more than 350 false profiles
Advertisement

Alphabet's Google on Friday sued a Los Angeles man and his companies in San Jose, California federal court, claiming he created hundreds of fake business listings on its platforms and sold them to real businesses to lure in unsuspecting customers.

Fake reviews have been a recurring problem on internet commerce sites. Google said in a statement that it filed the 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.

Google's lawsuit said Hu creates sham businesses that appear in its search engine and Google Maps, using an "elaborate set of props" to verify them on video calls with the tech giant's agents.

The lawsuit said Hu keeps a tool bench as a prop to verify fraudulent listings for garage repair, tree cutting and plumbing, and essential oils for verifying fake aromatherapy and reiki therapy businesses.

Google said Hu buys thousands of fake positive reviews to make the businesses appear legitimate. He then allegedly sells the profiles as "leads" to real businesses in the same fields, which receive contacts from potential customers who reach out to the fake businesses.

Google said Hu created more than 350 false profiles bolstered by over 14,000 illegitimate reviews.

The lawsuit accused Hu of false advertising, unlawful business practices and violating Google's terms of service. Google asked the court for an unspecified amount of money damages and an order to block Hu's alleged misconduct.

The case is Google LLC vs Hu, US District Court of the Northern District of California, No. 5:23-cv-02964.

© Thomson Reuters 2023


What are the most exciting titles that gamers can look forward to in 2023? We discuss some of our favourites on the latest episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.
Comments

For details of the latest launches and news from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo and other companies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2024 hub.

Further reading: Google, Alphabet, Fake reviews, Google Maps
Crypto Investors Grow Cautious After Sudden Collapse of Exchanges Last Year
Tesla Close to Achieving Fully Autonomous Vehicles, Says CEO Elon Musk
Share on Facebook Gadgets360 Twitter Share Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment google-newsGoogle News
 
 

Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Trending Products »
Latest Tech News »