Categories: General Mapping :

New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers

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New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 11/27/13 1:09 PM
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=213072655162989772919

Is this a joke?  Instant publishing of spam POIs?  

There really isn't any point in accumulating trust through high quality, high edit and review counts.  Trust, like reviews, means nothing.  

If you want to make any kind of edits without going through moderation, just create a new account.  You can auto-publish anything.  

GMM rules are essentially only for the people who follow them.  If you don't follow them, no one at GMM is going to notice or care.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers n9oum.pp 11/28/13 12:29 AM
Weird that they are creating parking lots and the Google Automated Internal Syncer 3 aka Anonymous5771 is changing them to locksmiths. I thought they were getting rid of the GAIS.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 11/28/13 12:48 AM
Looks like this one bought the kit as well...except he's marginally brighter...or he got the upgrade. 'PARK' is the tip off..
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers n9oum.pp 11/28/13 12:49 AM
This one they placed the parking lot in the middle of a lake. http://goo.gl/979bWX  Looks like they need to remove the Key Duplication Service as an additional category since it is causing problems with the syncer. I did report this as spam so, hopefully they will get the issue fixed.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 11/28/13 1:26 AM
They have not got rid of the Sync bots, they have just tried to hide them, and I really do not know why.

Previously when spam was added like this, the sync bot would add the change to locksmith from places, and we could undo it. Now though, they do not list the changes, and they have removed the undo button from the Sync edits, meaning it is now even harder to fight spam.

RIDICULOUS...
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 11/28/13 1:31 AM
Those are changes coming from the Dashboard.  GAIS3/Anonymous5771 is a placeholder for the account owner (the spammer).  

What's amazing to me is:
  • A spammer can auto-publish anything, instantly, and then add the Locksmith category from the Dashboard (and no red flags).  
  • A spammer can claim a POI on Google+Local that has no street address through phone verification.  
  • If you attempt to delete it manually, the Locksmith cat is locked, so you have to resort to other means (reports, spam spreadsheet) to remove it.  There is an appreciable delay in that process.  I have seen months to never, although they've closed that gap considerably.  
  • If you attempt to delete it, invariably, a GLE (Google Listing Editor) will find a reason to deny it, because the GLE calls the spam business in question and asks, "Are you spam?"  How do you think the spammer is going to answer?  Proof.  
Some questions to ask:
  • What's the point of a high trust rating if you have less trust in the system than a spammer?  
  • What's the point of accumulating points/badges/trust/edits/reviews if the POIs you want to delete can only be reported (no points given), if your edits are reverted by GLEs, if your reviews don't count, if your spam deletions languish in pending, etc.  GMM seems oblivious to the whole idea behind gamification, namely, accumulating points that actually mean something, and are a means to gain higher levels (other than just sitting there, doing nothing).  Otherwise it's just another cynical ploy to encourage volunteer mappers to contribute, who think that it matters.  
  • If Google is reliant on algorithms, how come they're so bad/don't work (both the moderation and spam algorithms come to mind)? 
  • If Google is dependent on automation to reduce their manual labor, how come they're continuing to maintain processes that ensure a steady stream of manual labor on all sides reporting, removing, reviewing spam, independent of any active contributions by the algorithms?
  • If Google is constantly tweaking and iterating their products, how come that's never applied to their spam processes?  
  • Why follow the rules if Google's own employees don't follow the rules, and the spammers are allowed free reign?  
I can think of multiple ways to approach this problem.  It would never occur to me to make the process of removing spam needlessly complex, as Google seems to be focused on.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 11/28/13 9:43 AM
Just coming in this morning and auto-approved: particularly stupid Locksmith edit
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 11/28/13 10:19 AM
Looks like the word is out that Columbia, South Carolina is a Google spammer heaven: spamspamspamspam,spamspamspamspamspam.   There are more.  The phone numbers were all the same but he has, at least, bought some new phones .  

And, also looks like this guy finally bought the upgrade to the "How to Spam Google Locksmith" kit
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 11/28/13 10:23 AM
Day at the races:  He's off!  

He's probably being paid by the spammers to do this.  Overseas SEO.  

I also got my first round of batches denying my deletions from the ever attentive GLEs:  

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=TEPSHDB9P3lm0_lZvS&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=TEPSHDBBTr09d8SqKB&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=TEPSHDBnfeh02YzpCM&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=TEPSHDBNhliBeyYbDu&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=TEPSHDBLsSHbv-UQ9K&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=TEPSHDBjsG42_MA6-S&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=TEPSHDBNon5G7Q2Ysk&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=TEPSHDB4Vc8LX8GyRg&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=TEPSHDB9P3lm0_lZvS&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history

First round of instructions for newly hired GLEs:  keep as much data as possible, be as dumb as possible.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 11/28/13 10:23 AM
Interestingly enough, one of those POIs came from Places, not MM.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 11/28/13 12:23 PM
Your POI's were all reverted but I can still go through and rate the raters.  Indeed, you've been GLE'd
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 11/28/13 4:53 PM
Since I've already eaten my microwave turkey dinner I checked further on just one of my spam listings, Cayce Locksmith, Svc. I found their G+ page and I checked its Reviews from Around the WEB on superpages.cominsiderpages.com, and citysearch.com.  

How can this be?  How could our crack researchers and reviewers at Google have missed that all the URLs on this G+ page for 904 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC are about the &2.49 Dry Cleaners (also visible in Street View)

My faith in Google spam fighting is shaken.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Jet_ 11/28/13 9:00 PM
Admittedly, this is confusing. It appears the changes they've made over the "maintenance period" are downgrades. "xxx changes by Google" is very unhelpful and the lack of transparency very frustrating. The fact that obvious spam is so difficult to remove and apparently so easy to add is shameful. 

I begin to wonder if the only option is to allow the spammers to take over - and then Google would actually take care of the problem (after there is a locksmith on every block :D ).

Has *anyone* had success in quickly removing spam?? I often find features locked or denials from Google staff? May be better to let them invade instead of waste our time to encourage Google Map Staff to act (there appear to be many options, from granting more authority or powers to reviewers to better detection of spam like features).

Jet
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 11/28/13 10:43 PM
Yup.  GLEs are just a nuisance.  I would almost prefer dealing with spammers and crazies to dealing with GLEs.  

I was GLEd.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 11/28/13 11:09 PM
Why could we see the changes before, and now we can't?  If it's not something that is 'translatable' to GMM, that's one thing, but I know that the changes are often for things like the addition of categories.  Why can't we see and revert those changes?  

I'm beginning to weigh in on that option.  Many spam fighters have 'quit' because it's become too hard.  Can't say I blame them.  

Yeah, when I first started a couple of years ago, it was easy.  I was able to wipe out a huge swath of locksmith, escort, tow, carpet cleaning, and garage door supplier spam, nationwide.  
  • GLEs, such as they were, operated almost exclusively from Google Maps Report a problem.  
  • GRs handled all moderation for all MM edits
  • Everything was moderated (manual review), including the introduction of new POIs
  • SABs were not segregated from MM
  • Everything could be deleted, including locksmiths
  • Few features were locked, and they could be easily unlocked
  • GMM provided much more institutional and community support for spam mitigation
  • Key personnel on the GMM side were eager and willing to tackle the spam problem
  • Reviews by mappers actually counted
  • Accounts were not arbitrarily frozen by algorithms
  • PIN card verification for Places only happened by mail
This is not to say it was some sort of magical mapper paradise.  Reviews could take months to complete, tying up other edits (and you often had to beg for a review).  Denials could readily destroy your trust level.  Spammers used other loopholes to slow down or deny deletions.  Sync bugs prevented Maps POIs from being taken down after the MM POI was removed.  Etc.  

That being said, most of the existing problems with local spam are caused by Google, and not the spammers.  Spammers are just taking advantage of the loopholes and processes that Google doesn't want to fix.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 11/29/13 12:03 AM
Google doesn't "Google" anything.  

Google basically calls them up and asks them if they're at the location in question.  

They don't check to see if the business name is keyword spammy (almost always), has a license (almost never), or if it makes sense to have a parking lot locksmith in the middle of the ocean (that has happened).  

GLEs aren't allowed (or don't stay long enough) to develop enough pattern recognition to pick out the spam signatures, which are quite easy to discern.  Most of the GLEs energy seems to be devoted to preserving data, as opposed to taking it down. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 11/29/13 12:03 AM
Thanks.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 11/29/13 1:13 AM
The problem in my opinion seems to be that Places don't want/like/care about MapMaker. They see us as a nuisance/irrelevance. They can't understand how their data can be wrong, and they are closed to ways of fixing it.
But presumably as Places presumably is a revenue driver, and MapMaker is a cost centre, it allows them to shout much louder than anyone else.
It would not surprise me at all to see spam get even more increasingly difficult to remove. Either because they just don't care enough, or their systems are so broken that in order to allow as many legitimate businesses as possible, they have to allow as much of everything as possible.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 11/29/13 1:17 AM
To play devils advocate a little more... They like spam.

If a town has one licensed locksmith, and someone searches for locksmith in abctown, they will find that locksmith.

If that town gets 50 spam locksmith locations, and a user makes the same search, they will likely not get the licensed locksmith.

SEO for the legitimate business then gets business to pay for ranking, and business can be found again.

Without the spammers, Google does not get that revenue, but to fight the spammers would cost them even more than what they miss out on = lose/lose for Google...
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 11/29/13 11:42 AM
I keep wondering when Google is going to sunset MM.  What a chore!  Getting all that free labor, and then having to bother with people questioning their 'free' product.  It's almost like mappers expect it to work, or be easy to use, or something.  As if!  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 11/29/13 11:43 AM
I don't think they like spam.  

I just don't think they care enough to fix it.  

It's not that hard, even with the data they're working with.  

If I can use their existing tools to detect and remove spam, it's certainly within their grasp to figure out a way to automate what I'm doing.  

If they're unable to do, then it just comes down to incompetence.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 11/30/13 11:50 PM
I just don't think that MM (or spam) is a priority anymore.  With the recent merging of databases, it's obvious that GMM has elected to simplify the MM experience by reducing the functionality of the product.  Changes are no longer visible in history if they're made from the Places Dashboard, even though you can see some of them are visible when you look at either Details or if you open the POI up for editing.  I think Google just decided that making them visible wasn't a priority, and it may be because the changes are one whole package (there are changes occurring in the Dashboard that are going to be invisible in MM regardless), parsing out the changes that are relevant to MM wasn't worth the engineering resources.  

I strongly suspect that the Goog's increasing obsession with getting everyone and everything to Google+ has diminished the importance of products and problems that compete for its attention.  One thing that business owners' always whined about on the Places for Business Forums is someone coming in and changing their claimed listing, or it simply disappearing altogether.  If your bonuses are dependent on increasing the use of Google+ pages, and getting business owners to claim their Local pages through Google+, you're going to want to appeal to them as broadly as possible, and that means keeping the pesky mappers on MM out of their listings.  That also explains the clumsiness of GLEs in denying virtually all changes to listings, closing rather than deleting listings, etc.  GLEs are CS reps who are following a script they're not allowed to deviate from, they need to get through as many reports as possible, and the Goog wants them to retain the data no matter what.  

It's going to mean a huge increase in spam, but overall, in the big data schema of things, it's going to be a drop in the bucket (until it isn't).  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/1/13 3:42 PM
Almost 3000 spam locksmith POIs added in two weeks.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/2/13 3:59 AM
Just managed to find one that was undo-able.

If they make any change at all in MM after initial publication, you can still use the undo all upto this and it will include the places changes - and then I can delete the locksmith :)


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Jason in PGH 12/2/13 1:58 PM
A way to discredit their reviews is to rate the edit, I usually say the edit should have been denied, because it is spammy, and say something like "This place does not exist, does not have a storefront, and is spam-like, all violations of Google Places, cause for removal."

It's tedious, but it will over time discredit their ratings.

Also, I've tried reporting the user as a spammer, waiting to see if anything happens.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/2/13 11:10 PM
Well, this is brilliant.  GMM closed the account, but didn't remove all the POIs associated with it.  Umm, if they're all spammy, why haven't the spam POIs been removed?  GMM has just created an incentive to SPAM:

Example POI:

Another spam account, same problem:  

This is too much work.  Tedious is right.  This should be really, really simple:    
  • Unlock the Locksmith category.  
  • Manually moderate all edits by all new accounts.  
  • Flag the addition of spammy categories (Locksmith, Key Duplication Service, etc.) to any POIs in the Places Dashboard.  
  • Fire and/or retrain all the GLEs.  
  • Speed up the reports on POIs and profiles.  72 hours is barely acceptable.  Two weeks--Is GMM kidding?  
  • Revert all the POIs associated with the spam account.  Use the Spam Revert Bot generously.  
Why are we flagging their edits--why isn't it super easy instead to remove spam?  Why are they allowed to make those edits in the first place?  

Spammers have a higher trust rating than longtime mappers.  Why?  
Spam is a higher priority that good edits.  Why?  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/4/13 6:32 AM
Managed to catch one of them in the act and got in there with a deletion before the category change, now just need approval...



Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/4/13 7:00 AM

This guy got tired before I did, and by the end his edits were going to review :)
The following (I think most of his spam) had my deletions in there before locksmith addition, and are in need of review please :)
The other thing I noticed was that normally as soon as one went to review, they undid it.

http://goo.gl/gDyvMl

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/4/13 7:05 AM
http://goo.gl/AasMzH

My fingers are tired, but thought I'd get this in there as well :)
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/4/13 7:09 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/4/13 7:19 AM
Two more:
http://goo.gl/PeCnZu
http://goo.gl/fW3E0l

And I have been thinking about prevention methods, so here's a few more suggestions:

Any place added via mapmaker cannot be claimed for 24 hours, and then can only be claimed by the user who added it for a further week (to stop hijacking)
Any place added cannot have categories or names changed for 24 hours, not even with approval, and for a following week without approval
Any contact information added/changed cannot be used for verification for 24 hours
If they cannot stop new users requiring moderation, there should be a strict limit of one unapproved POI addition per 24 hours - how many legitimate users actually need to add more than 1 without review??

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/4/13 7:43 AM
http://goo.gl/IP3NYQ


Too much now to keep posting, just keep an eye on the profile listed above, he is still going and so am I, so lots to review :)
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Michael W. Jones 12/4/13 8:08 AM
I just plugged through and approved all of them - of course with the current trust levels, my approval means little to Google. Hopefully its enough to convince the automated moderator to pay them a visit.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/4/13 8:20 AM
Yeah I am in one of my all too frequent moderation months currently, or a lot of these would have gone straight through... The GAM does seem to be fairly helpful to me at the moment though.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/4/13 11:15 AM
Just got an email from a legit locksmith with (visible) storefront locations.  Some of his listings were 'pulled' by Google.  Now they're saying that they can't presently 'fix' them, and that they don't know when they can put them back up because of 'technical issues'.  (Incidentally, none of the locations had any Places violations, not that it matters since Google doesn't actually enforce any of the guidelines).  

I know you can put them back up in about 10 minutes.  You can do it by spamming Google Maps.  

When it's easier for the bad guys than the good guys, you know something is wrong.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/4/13 11:16 AM
Everything that I'm doing is going into moderation, including roads and trails.  Roads!  Trails!  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 12/4/13 12:46 PM
Keith,

I went through the list but a few are still pending.  You may need another US RER.  The garage doors seem to be gone but not the locksmiths
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 12/4/13 1:03 PM
Yep, do a lot. they'll get tired before you will
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers jim.jaggers 12/4/13 1:12 PM
Amen brother.  I'm hammering poor Jade pretty hard over in the Places private forum.  I've been pushing this since mid-summer and button hole every Googler I can to ask them about locksmith spam.  The situation has continued to deteriorate with no answer from Google other than they don't like spam either.

I know Google wants to keep their algorithms pretty close to their vest; but I feel that this deserves an answer that addresses the problem, rather than one that just acknowledges it.

This has been a great thread by the way.  I've referred to it a couple of times in my Jade hammering thread.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/4/13 2:03 PM
All the spammers have caught on, and are adding the Locksmith category to any spammy listing, regardless of whether it's a locksmith or not.  This effectively locks the listing and makes it even more difficult to remove.  The easiest solution is to unlock the Locksmith category, so it's easier to remove spam (any kind of spam).  Any claimed listing is going to undergo moderation by GLEs regardless, who arbitrarily reject any changes, so it won't affect good locksmiths in any way if there's a fear of hijacking.  And my observation of the moderation process seemingly indicates that even unclaimed existing listings must still undergo manual moderation by GRs, so, again, unlocking the Locksmith category will, at best, have no impact on legitimate listings.  

Also, a good reference for legit locksmiths comes from one website:

This is for entire US!  It also includes locksmiths from ALOA, and any legit locksmith can get on it quickly (and for free).  No need to call anyone.  No need to check 'other resources' unless you're so inclined.  It's free to use.  It's comprehensive.  

I should also point out that the existing spam algorithms don't work very well (if at all), and haven't worked effectively for a long time.  Of course, the problem isn't just the algorithms, it's that Google opened the floodgates by allowing phone verification for false addresses on Google+Local (the spammers use VOIP numbers for their call centers), as well as the moderation loopholes in GMM that allow auto-publishing for first time accounts.  What was a manageable trickle has become a flood, and the GLEs poor moderation techniques has become the icing on the sh*t cake.  

If nothing else, unlocking the Locksmith category would be a start.  I was here when they originally 'locked' the Locksmith category over a year ago--it wasn't always this way.  It was undertaken by Geo as a means to stop the flow of locksmith spam being added on Maps and MM, but honestly, it was an overreaction, because everything that was added through Maps and MM was manually moderated anyway (almost all of them by GRs) and the edits or new additions could be quickly killed.  At the time, GMM provided comprehensive support for an internal spreadsheet that allowed mappers to bypass the normal reporting process by adding locksmith spam directly to a sheet that a team of two to three GRs reviewed nightly.  It became a worse (and much harder) after SABs were segregated from MM, as the GRs couldn't 'touch' them.  

Now the sheet is worked on once a week, at best, after a months long hiatus (the two GRs in charge of the sheet either left or were transferred over the last year, and interest in the sheet immediately fizzled out) and the other existing reporting mechanisms usually take a week at best.  Who can keep up with the flow of current spam?  Before, five people managed to remove a sizable chunk of the locksmith spam from the entire US.  Now it would take an army of volunteer mappers, working day and night, and many of them have dropped out because of the moderation problems with GLEs, locked listings, the inability to undo all edits (as you could before the DB integration), and the spammers employing sub-contractors to add massive amounts of spam through GMM.  The obstacles have become virtually insurmountable, and yet adding spam has becoming progressively easier and faster.  All the spammers have to do is set up one account, make one set of edits on GMM, claim it via phone verification, add the Locksmith category in the Dashboard, and they're done.  Even if they're 'stopped' on GMM by flagging their listings, the spam still stays up.  If a spammer can put up over 3000 spam listings in two weeks, something is wrong, here.  

Incidentally, I'm still getting daily reports from GLEs denying spam removals to Anonymous2919, even though their account is frozen.  Many of their spam locations are still up:  Miles Rekey & Locks installation, even though all their edits are spam.  

And another story about a locksmith spammer propositioning someone in lieu of normal payment:  http://www.reddit.com/r/ProtectAndServe/comments/1s08rx/was_propositioned_by_the_locksmith_in_broad/

She used Google to find the locksmith in Minnesota, like the one added by Anonymous2919.  

This is not uncommon, BTW.  I spoke with another legit locksmith who has direct contact with the spammers, and they would not infrequently brag about making these kind of "exchanges" and "conquests".  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/4/13 3:16 PM
OK so I had a bit of a break for a few hours, came back, and carried on, and have made a few observations:

My eyes hurt
I want Google to pay for my mice and RSI treatment...
This guy is getting bored. I hope he realises just how little of his crap is still left on the map. When I started today I started 5 seconds after his first edit, and was keeping pace with him just about. In the last hour I have eliminated everything I missed in the previous 4 hours. Although I put that down partly to improved processes on my end, trying to aim for 10 deletions/minute :)
It seems that the longer a POI has been on the map from this guy, the easier it is to remove. Everything over half an hour old I had auto publish on. Anything newer went into moderation
They are not very good, or nearly as quick, with the places edits - even when they do it they are missing the locksmith change 95%+ of the time (hoping this is a trend and not just this guy missing it... not holding much hope though.)
If I add a deletion before it hits places, does it prevent them adding locksmith to it, or, does it prevent approval?

I still have a bunch in moderation, if people could go through that would be awesome. https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=211473461704476506766 I just really don't want to get GLE'd... So if anyone sees anything they can't approve, like a duplicate deletion (there may be some) etc, just drop me a note on it to undo please :)


Thanks to Mara, gzub, M.Jones and anyone I missed who reviewed so far.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 12/4/13 4:45 PM
That was creepily quick for some edits including in the UK.  I didn't have much effect on others in the US...went through page 4.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 12/4/13 4:49 PM
Thanks, Dan

I'll try using this URL for marking fakes
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Michael W. Jones 12/4/13 6:46 PM
I just caught a new "trick" they're doing as well.

If they submit an edit and it does go into moderation, they'll try an Undo it before a vigilant editor catches it to deny it. They'll then try submitting another edit, if it auto-publishes they continue unabated. If the second edit goes into moderation, they abandon the account (or so far that's what it appears happened)

Dan -

The unlocking of the Locksmith category might open it up to a flood of new spam coming in at a faster rate since it eliminates the two-step process they're now employing. Ideally, any edit adding a Key Duplication Service, Locksmith, Alarm Installer, or any of the other commonly used categories should automatically go into review, even if it originates in Places (unless Places wants to start policing their own realm for this garbage instead of GLE's harassing us for cleaning up their mess). Likewise, a edit with sufficient trust should be able to, at minimum, remove any edit with the same amount review as it took to put the edit on the map. So these Parking Lot seed records should be deletable without further review (locked or not), since they were added without review.

I've deleted over 175 spam records today by catching them before they were locked (In addition to all the reviews on Keith's, Eastwest's and other editors that are also chasing these people). I also review the initial add record, and mark it as spam, but the ongoing Trust/Moderation issues is likely not raising the bar high enough (I also report the profile as a spammer) to ever get the system to force these users into moderation for all records (or trigger the automatic denier) - which is sad. I haven't had any time to do any other mapping work the past few days as I'm wasting all my time trying to stop people from trashing the map.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/4/13 10:42 PM
Locking the Locksmith category has had no effect on decreasing the amount of locksmith spam.  Spammers have always found a way by exploiting loopholes in either the moderation process on GMM or the Places verification process, just as they're doing now.  If anything, locking that category has created a perverse incentive to add the locksmith category to unrelated spam POIs, because it locks up the POIs and makes it increasingly difficult to remove, so in effect, it's increased the amount of locksmith spam.  

The only thing that has worked is deleting the spam directly, and detecting it as it's being added.  The detection is currently very easy, but the deletion is not.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/4/13 10:54 PM
If you want to slow down the rate of Locksmith categorized spam, then flag the category for manual review, rather than locking it.  Much simpler.  I wonder how many minutes that would take to add into the moderation algorithms for MM?  I'm guessing about a minute to unlock the Locksmith category, and another minute to type it in to the moderation algo.  (This is a joke, of course, since Googlers can, on average, type much faster than that.)
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Michael W. Jones 12/5/13 6:33 AM
Given the current (dysfunctional) state of Moderation that we've discussed in other threads, I doubt they could get it to work right for months. Just getting the existing Moderation/Review algorithms working would choke a good portion of it in the bud, since newbie accounts would have most of their early edits moderated - allowing the spambusters to eliminate them before they even show on the map (and if their trust levels drop like they're supposed to, the spam accounts will self-destruct on their own, meeting the "Automated Denier" sooner rather than later).

Likewise, if post edit reviews (for auto-published edits) worked against their trust level like it is supposed to, even if they did get to the point of un-moderated additions, by rating the edits properly it should - by the 9th or 10th negative review - put them back in moderation and on the road to the "Automated Denier"

Of course this is all armchair theorizing, since we're not Google Insiders and don't have the influence to convince them to make the fixes that are necessary.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/5/13 7:42 AM
And that's the joke within the joke--they've already had months.  GMM can't even get its moderation algorithms to work right.  They are bad at the thing they're supposed to be good at.  Ridiculous.  That's a lot of extra work on our part, just to get something to work that doesn't work.  Why should anyone go through a lot of extra steps to remove spam data?  It should be easy, simple, straightforward.  We're working for free, remember?  The least they could do is make sure that the work environment they're using to solicit free labor works.  

Moderation seems to be one of those key problems that you would want to get right, because if done right, it actually encourages people to map.  If done wrong, it encourage people to spam.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers n9oum.pp 12/6/13 12:55 AM
Now we have Comcast as a locksmith. http://goo.gl/Zdkbt3  This is a joke Google really needs to get there act together. How does a Parking lot for Dunton end up being Comcast. And then a locksmith.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/7/13 9:53 AM
And another:


1100 POIs!  

I get hassled by Google's algorithm almost every time I add a new name to a POI ("We think this name doesn't belong to this feature.  Want to come up with a better name that we think fits this feature, according to our crazy algorithms?"):


I'm sure the spammer has no such problem.  


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Michael W. Jones 12/7/13 10:24 AM
Was there a change made by Google in the last 24 hours?

I had one of these spammers drop a Parking Lot in my area, that was "pending". I pulled it up and sure enough it was waiting approval for addition. I, of course denied it, then pulled up their profile, which had only 3 additions - all "pending". I denied the remaining 2, and marked the editor as a Spammer. Of course my low trust levels on reviews means I alone won't stop these (and the spammers will probably figure out how to game the review system next), so the more negative reviews the merrier to deliver the message.

Here's this guy's profile: https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=202451689969358560102

Lets hope that Google's finally getting to the point of choking off the flow of this garbage.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/7/13 10:27 AM
The previous profile I mentioned would seem to negate that theory:


They just published this minutes ago.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 12/7/13 10:30 AM
If the change was just in the past 24 hours, then it probably woudn't affect an account that had hundreds of approved edits before then, even if it was just it the few days before then.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Michael W. Jones 12/7/13 10:31 AM
Maybe not for profiles that were initialized before the change, but now applies to profiles created since the change?

To change "defaults" for a new profile would be easy and done at a single point in script. To touch the existing profiles would be a major query/update operation in a database (which needs to be done to fix the ongoing Trust/Moderation issues)
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/7/13 10:51 AM
It's probably more likely a newbie who hasn't quite figured out how to do it yet.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 12/7/13 11:07 AM
Unlikely, all these edits are published today (last hour)  https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&ptab=0&uid=215591349745858756250&start=0&sort= and a spammer still doing it.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 12/7/13 12:28 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 12/7/13 12:55 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 12/7/13 1:12 PM
A different strategy? There are way too many new locksmiths in Columbia, Charleston and Greenville all newly added by Google.  Kolarick Family Chiropractic  does seem a surprising place for a locksmith.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 12/8/13 8:54 AM
These days spammers are getting very emotional and they think they do a legit business

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=ZqGLDg55PfLh0FxKOo&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=overview
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c812f3c58849e9:0x6340ccc4822500fc

same on all his fake listings.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers W12 engine 12/8/13 9:06 AM
Yes, they seem to have a heart and brine. Yes, brine. Let's do some brine-storming on this issue. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/8/13 9:52 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/8/13 10:32 AM
If anyone is please using this account to delete spam, can they please claim it and set it to use a proper nickname: https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&ptab=0&uid=211208167219805279610

Having an anon account, created today that only does locksmith edits does look suspicious, even if it is to remove POI's - it could well be construed as an attempt to gain trust, or to remove a rivals spam. On the other hand, if it is a regular editor who has created a specific account just to fight spam, that is really not advisable.

That said, the following profiles are all to add to the list to be reported:
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 12/9/13 11:19 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 12/9/13 11:37 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Michael W. Jones 12/9/13 11:39 AM
Danny -

I looked at the 4 listings, two of which were marked closed in Places (since the spammer started down that road on all 4 of claiming them for the insertion of real spam, but stopped when he/she realized we were beating them to the punch on deletions), the other two remain intact and open - I have submitted a separate request for deletion on each, which is pending approval.

I too this morning had a Listings Editor deny the edit, but in my case the Spammer finished the process, and got their Spam record created (and of course locked to us). That one really chaps my hide, but all we can do is "report" it for removal:
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=FgQSsTKW864Pgc8vH5&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history

I don't worry much about how its marked, just that the listing is not visible on maps should be the objective.

(PS I saw the one you just submitted in a separate message while I was typing this, and it too was removed, so nothing to worry about on it).
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/9/13 8:03 PM
It's Google Places policy to mark any claimed POI as closed.  GLEs don't know what spam is.  They closely adhere to a script, and the script apparently doesn't have either spam or removed in it.  

I would file a separate issue on Issue Tracker, or add to the existing issue regarding the GLEs:  4309
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Manish.S 12/10/13 12:59 AM
Hello,

How to edit or remove spam listing that have a lock icon on it? If you look at these listings anyone can notice high level of spam but still these are performing well on search results. Those listings are given below:



I have also tried reporting via "report a problem" link many days ago. But I think a spam once published and locked is no more considered as spam


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/10/13 12:18 PM
Email GMM.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 12/10/13 7:09 PM
Did they stop locksmith spam attack or it is just my wish? http://screencast.com/t/kF4keneGgNi A spammer used to create one parking lot per second. Last one I see was 1 hour ago.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Manish.S 12/11/13 1:39 AM
Hi consciounessbliss,

Is that email id specifically for reporting about spam listing? And can anyone report about spam?

Do you have any idea about response action time, if mailed to this email id?

Thanks in advance.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/11/13 3:07 PM
Anyone can use it.  It's for reporting any kind of spam/abuse issues.  I try to use the Report this within the body of the POI, but sometimes that doesn't work, like with locked listings that can't be reported at all.    

It's about as timely as directly reporting a spam POI using Report this.  So one week to never.  Almost any other issue using Report this is taken care of within about 48 hours, but apparently, not spam.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 12/11/13 6:24 PM
Google Listing Editors APPROVED today spam POIs:

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c8040e6676526f:0xa788c41ac0e9831
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c80355ae9a42b9:0x594511597e9faaa2
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c8037f081dc739:0x53332cd732434919
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c80381dfdacbe5:0x3982e5d5f6693ab
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c8036eafc98127:0x181bf4a0f0ec71ca
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c81b35e910548f:0xa5c2b02a4f9c8e94
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c80f5590174b3d:0xfbaca2f30aa6f155
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c802fa6ea99c75:0x66cea45441b9d9cd

Google Listing Editors DENIED today spam POIs:

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=14RxrIyeYPOmLXrd-p&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history

This one is absolutely ridicules and unacceptable. GLE reverted changes back to a fake locksmith company from a parking lot.
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=14RxrIyRDHIkyvMRLA&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers geopgeop (Map Maker RER) 12/11/13 6:25 PM
It's also used for appeal if blocked from using Google Map Maker: see http://www.google.com/mapmaker/intl/en_ALL/mapfiles/s/guidelines.html at bottom.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/13/13 9:44 AM
Have to agree with you here now. The last couple of days I have been able to go back to fighting black hat SEO's rather than locksmith spammers. Still the odd locksmith getting through, but most of  the accounts I was watching are getting an awful lot going into moderation (and then being reverted, obviously)

There's now a new (to me) spam trend in the UK whereby 1 edit anons will add a phone number to an unclaimed listing, in the hope using it to claim it. However, the re-purposed GAIS3 bot is actually doing something good, as the numbers are immediately removed again.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 12/13/13 4:51 PM
Please keep posting spam profiles with high approval. Let's together report spam activity.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 12/13/13 5:02 PM
There is a spammer who always use the same comment "Reason for editing Adding detail". He has so many profiles.  A few are blocked. Here is his another profile:

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=209242451077425937077
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Manish.S 12/13/13 11:07 PM
Please check another kind of spam:


All these listings belongs to same person. The urls used in these place pages are different but have same designs and same content. The trick is that, they are using a new contact number every time for validating their listing with different urls and at different fake addresses. None of these listings have correct business names, they are all search keywords, and these listings are doing well in search results.

Can anyone do something about these spams?

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/14/13 9:07 PM
A related issue, the problem with GLEs and SABs, was reported in April, with nothing done, and certainly, nothing announced, even though it impacts mappers' edits:  http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/map-maker/general-mapping/_7Kqy4V6Vv8

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 12/15/13 11:21 PM
Really irksome Locksmith spam
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/16/13 1:36 PM
Why not just unlock the Locksmith category?  

Spammers are able to add it in the Dashboard, without any moderation, so the lock only applies to MM.  It just slows down the entire process of removing spam, which is why the spammers do it.  Any POIs with Locksmith in the cats that have been edited will go into manual moderation.  There's little incentive for spammers to hijack, as all their changes will be denied or left in pending (GLEs deny everything anyway).  So long as the GLEs are cut out of the loop for spam removals, the GRs will quickly approve the spam deletions.  

Remember, the reason why locksmiths were locked was to prevent hijackings and to prevent spammers from adding new spam with Locksmith as a cat.  Since spammers can't hijack without moderation by GRs or GLEs (your review, incidentally, counts for nothing, so there's no point in reviewing anything unless you're an RER, in which case, your vote counts slightly more), and since they're free to add whatever garbage they want to Google Maps, it's only an inconvenience for them but a major obstacle for spam fighters.  

Also, whatever Google is doing behind the scenes to mitigate spam is not working.  Chop, chop.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/16/13 3:04 PM
*Caesar Locksmith auto-published in Map Maker.  
*Changes made to it in the Dashboard via Places, including the addition of the Locksmith category (see history).  



*How were they able to auto-publish it?  
*How were they able to claim it so quickly?  
*If they used PIN card verification to their address, why is their listing live on Maps?  
*Why is Google incapable of flagging the Locksmith category for manual review (and yank the listing as soon as you add the category)?  It's one keyword category.  
*Why hasn't Google unlocked the Locksmith category on MM?  
*Why are GLEs still reviewing spam deletions on MM?  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Michael W. Jones 12/16/13 5:14 PM
I know you and I can sit here all day and armchair quarterback this, but I tend to disagree on the unlocking of the Locksmith category.

We've already seen what happens when a listing is hijacked in Google Places for Business, and a legitimate locksmith gets his listing flagged as spam. Unlocking this category means that, despite him being legitimately listed correctly in Google Places for Business, hidden on maps (unless a bug makes him visible) and properly following the guidelines - he could see his listing vaporize, either by a diligent spam-fighter, or by a fraudster trying to drive more people to his fraudulent business.

Likewise, fraudsters could add their spam at a multitude faster rate than they currently are, knowing that while the records aren't locked, the spam busters will never be able to keep up.

What needs to be done is leave the Locksmith category locked from being added on new/existing POI's, and general edits on existing POI's with the category in MapMaker. Removals of POI's with the category should be unlocked - with one restriction - all deletions go to GR's or the dedicated Spam Team for review/approval - no GLE's.

Likewise, Places needs to lock any newly claimed listings from edits for 24-48 hours, much like it was with Postcard verification (since that obviously has given way to an automated phone based verification). In addition, any radical category change (i.e. Parking Lot to Cable Company, Parking Lot to Locksmith, etc.) should face a review (again, preferably not by a GLE) before pushing the change back to Maps/MapMaker. Likewise anytime the Locksmith category is added or deleted should face the same review.

I recently did a database search on the Texas Department of Public Safety's website for Licensed Locksmiths in 3 cities in my immediate area. There were 5 licensed locksmiths across the 7 ZIP codes in the area I covered. I reported the remaining 20+ entries (not all of them locksmiths, but had the locksmith category) for the Spam Team to review, which was 6 days ago (12/10). The fact that it takes that long for these spammers to get flushed is a problem - the reported accounts have been abandoned and the spammer has long moved on to other spam accounts. The fact that the "Report" option is not available on every locked record in MapMaker is a problem.

There are many means of using automated methods to help clear this backlog, using simple logic and review of the history, a bot could flush most of the recent garbage in a few days. It could watch trends and patterns and suspend accounts that are suspicious. It could follow spam-buster trends (ie a spam-buster flags 5-10 of the recently added "parking lots" as a spam edit, should have been denied) and retroactively hide/lock all other POI's associated with that profile regardless if it was claimed in Places or not.

Alas, I don't see anything happening quickly, as Google has shown little interest in trying to fix what's broken (look at the ongoing issues with GLE's).

That's my $.02 on the subject.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 12/16/13 5:40 PM
incipient spammer: http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=212371768028580042264.  Incorrect phone numbers added for Irmo, SC (not a toll call) and Myrtle Beach, SC (call center for Hotel Indigo chain said that did not own Indigo Inn).  This is not clever.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/16/13 9:00 PM
What I'm proposing is fairly simple, and harnesses the crowdsourcing power of volunteer spam fighters.  What you're suggesting as a counterpoint is fairly complicated, given Google's incompetence at dealing with the local spam problem, much less adequately training GLEs to do their job.  

One person can quickly go through and wipe out thousands of spam listings.  I've done it before for multiple spammed categories, but right now, it's just too hard for locksmiths.  Since everything related to Locksmiths should go into manual moderation anyway, I don't see much risk in hijacking, or even the addition of new spam in MM (they'll just switch from MM to Places to get their spam on Maps, if GMM succeeds in closing the moderation loophole).  Edits that are in pending don't appear on Maps until they've been approved, and it's easy to clear out a backlog of spam edits.  

I'm also speaking from experience, prior to the locking of Locksmith categorized POIs.  I was able to remove thousands of spam (unlocked) locksmith listings within months.  

Google will never put much energy into policing their own listings.  They just don't care.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/16/13 9:11 PM
Report this should be available on all POIs, regardless of whether they're locked or not.  Just open the POI in another tab, and the Report this button should appear.  

What I find remarkable is how adept Google is at ignoring this issue.  Years, and they've managed to do everything in their power to do nothing about spam.  If it wasn't for the efforts of volunteer spam fighters, and local locksmiths complaining loudly on their forums, one wonders if they would've done anything at all.  

Here's the Local Spam Team's mascot, a sloth.  Cute, helpless, slow.  Once you get them on the ground, they're completely out of their element.  

Poor helpless Google.  Look how easily spammers can run you over.  


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/17/13 1:30 PM
You're on the right track, Google, but bugs in the process still persist:


Let's get this fixed yesterday.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/18/13 9:53 AM
Has anyone noticed recently the wave of buildings being added by the spam accounts? Not sure if it is to boost edit count or percentage, to give a veneer of respectability, or a vain attempt to stop Google just undoing every edit they ever made. Either that or just trying to mask their other edits...
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 12/18/13 10:01 AM
If you meant this user https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=202961182331638297371 This user just pretends to be clean by his last edits. The user must be thinking nobody will look deeper to his edits to see if he/she is a spammer.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 12/18/13 10:18 AM
Go to page 30 on above user profile. That's where false parking lots start. So 30 pages multiply by 5 = 150 buildings.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 12/18/13 11:43 AM
It's a common technique, for example there is GM Ed, or is his name Theia?  GM Ed's latest edit is to fix something that someone complained about in the Map Maker G+ Community, and both accounts are doing a bunch of building edits lately; but it doesn't hide their past of working together one producing spam.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/18/13 1:02 PM
Theia is the sort of account I was mainly referring to. It appears to be linked to at least 20 other accounts that I have been investigating over the past week. Nasty little network of spammers. Probably have 10-15k edits in the last month between them.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 12/18/13 1:06 PM
I found Theia via Ed's account, so they're both part of it.  Ed did the classic "I'll follow an RER's edits around and approve them, they should all be good edits and so approving good edits should earn me trust."  When the same guy approves your edits in Canada, the UK, Mexico and the US; you look a little closer.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/18/13 2:17 PM
I found Theia via Ragnarok http://goo.gl/QCceFx
I found Ragnarok via Tiamat http://goo.gl/2bcigF
I found Tiamat via Ben211013 http://goo.gl/98tQH4
I found Ben211013 via Sam http://goo.gl/OiX7Zu
And so on and so on etc etc

I am still in the process of reviewing the historical edits on all accounts to find all the linked accounts. When I have it all together, what's the best way to proceed to report this to Google other than just reporting each account?

I also do approve some of your edits I see, but only if they are obvious ;)
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/18/13 3:44 PM
Okay, that was hopelessly optimistic.  How about next year?  


I like this one.  Not even an RER can deny the addition of a spam POI:  
Google Automated Placeholder for Deactivated Accounts (and even after the account was disabled, the POIs attached to it remain up!)

So spammers have a higher trust level than RERs.  

In summary, moderation algorithms are still broken.  Spam algorithms are still broken.  Spam is still pouring in.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/18/13 3:46 PM
Spreadsheet.  

If spam accounts are being deactivated, why aren't all the edits associated with them being reverted?    
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers A fish called Wanda 12/18/13 7:09 PM
Bad....

Perhaps it is because of his / her high density of edits? 3500 edits in 31 days?
The trouble with algorithms and machines....!

(unknown) 12/19/13 12:14 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers RagnarokMM 12/19/13 12:28 AM
Hi,
I saw my account here. I will explain you a little part of my story as a Mapper and why I'm not the spammer you vitiated me.  The only reason I'm editing in MapMaker is to make better map which is the purpose, that's why there is the MapMaker. The only edits I'm doing is adding buildings that are not visible in MapMaker and businesses that I'm finding in internet, social media and so on. After that I'm adding the business and that's all. Since the last changes in MapMaker every business no matter of the type, SAB or not is visible:
https://www.google.com/search?q=Plumber+Las+Vegas+nv&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb
the results C & D are with hidden address, because the business is SAB, but:
here is the C's link in MM: http://goo.gl/YV5ker
and here is the D's link in MM: http://goo.gl/bV66En
So why I'm not allowed to add sab businesses in MM?
Now I'm connected with some other accounts that I really don't know! You are blaming them as spam account therefore mine is too?
I think all of my edits are by Google guidelines.
If my edits are spam, explain to me the following edits:
csuke - http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&ptab=0&uid=211473461704476506766&start=0&sort=
This user is deleting business without checking them if they are real or not. The edits are made by 20-30 secs. After removing many businesses he/she is adding a lot of buildings too. Isn't he/she a spammer too if I am?
Also there is not any restriction for edits per day. If I have free time why I can't add some buildings or business that I find on the web?
And now you are saying my account is a spam. That's not right!
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/19/13 12:44 AM
Hi RagnarokMM, welcome to the forums.

Please show us one of your additions to the map that has a hidden address and we can let you know if it is valid or not.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 12/19/13 12:45 AM
SABs without storefronts are not permitted on the map.  Please see the attached guideline that explains that service area businesses listing addresses that are closed to the public are not permitted.  This has been the guideline for years.  That is because this is a map, not a business directory.  A map is a record of places to which I can go.  f I cannot visit the business, it has no place on a map.

The definition of spam in Map Maker as per the terms of service is adding items in violation of the guidelines.  Since it is not an occasional mistake, but rather every business you add is one not permitted on the map, you fit the definition of a spammer.

Your state that you are just helping out businesses that you found weren't listed.  But every one of these businesses is a SAB without a storefront, and also is the type of business a lead generator would add.  Your story thus does not hold water.

To add to it, there are a bunch of linked accounts doing the same thing and working on each other's additions, and then drawing buildings between to increase their edit count.  All of them do just spam and buildings.  Your story now holds even less water.

CSLuke is following the guidelines.

You are free to continue to adding buildings and anything else allowed under the guidelines.  Adding SABs without storefronts is not permitted.  In fact, the guidelines call for you to only add things where you have personal knowledge of them or can verify them in the aerials, which means adding places across the country based on finding them on social media is not allowed.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 12/19/13 12:46 AM
On Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:44:22 UTC-8, keith.a wrote:
Hi RagnarokMM, welcome to the forums.

Please show us one of your additions to the map that has a hidden address and we can let you know if it is valid or not.

Keith, he is referring to listings that he didn't add, but rather the owners properly added via Places; and saying that because they could do that he then should be able to add SABs.  This, of course, is not allowed; they can only be added via Places by the owner. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/19/13 1:18 AM
Hijacking:

False business:

It isn't just an issue of removing SABs, it's an issue of promoting spam POIs.  If the POIs are spam, regardless of whether they're SABs or not, they're going to get removed.  

Who do you work for?  From your edits, you look like you're a grey-quickly-growing-black hat SEO spammer, probably a sub for another SEO outfit.  Did a little bit of MM (this is probably not your only account, or even your main one) and decided to make some money doing it.  You know it's unethical to promote spam, amiright?  Of course you do.  

You made a lot of elementary mistakes for a spammer that makes it exceedingly easy to unravel your edits.  Like [text redacted] and [text redacted].  I'm surprised that you didn't know that [text redacted] would lead to you being found out.  If only you had [text redacted] you would have possibly gotten away with it.  Oh, well, now you know.  

I hope GMM has better tools than I do, and can just cherry pick the POIs out of your profile's history and either remove them or clean them up.  I am, however, glad that you contributed something worthwhile to MM.  Your building polygons are, for the most part, excellent.  Since you're a better builder than a spammer, I think you've found your niche, and I encourage you to continue your mapping endeavors with a more newish account.  It would be a shame to see all that work with building polys undone.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers RagnarokMM 12/19/13 1:20 AM


On Thursday, December 19, 2013 10:44:22 AM UTC+2, keith.a wrote:
Hi RagnarokMM, welcome to the forums.

Please show us one of your additions to the map that has a hidden address and we can let you know if it is valid or not.

Hi, keith.a
for now I'm not able to show example, because csuke deleted everything that was added by me. I'm sure there were businesses with hidden addresses. If I find something I will link the links here.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 12/19/13 1:23 AM
It is not possible to hide the address from Map Maker, so if you added them there then none had hidden addresses.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers RagnarokMM 12/19/13 1:45 AM
Okey,
explain to me this:
Search: https://www.google.com/search?q=plumber+traycy+ca&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb#channel=fflb&q=roofer+tracy+ca&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official
Business: https://plus.google.com/102439221933112009467/about?hl=en
MapMaker link: http://goo.gl/rQukKi
A business not verified, visible address, visible in MM and obviously it's old business. Why this one is allowed to be shown and exists in MapMaker, but not that one that I'm researching for and after adding?
As I can see this is a business that has information visible on the web and because of this info it's added by Google bot and this business is not verified. So Google by it self is not following his rules?
The other problem that I'm seeking is when you remove a business from MapMaker it is removing it from everywhere, no matter if it is verified or not. Both MapMaker and Places are connected since last changes.
So is it correct to remove real business and literally ruining it?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/19/13 1:57 AM
Just because you can find examples of businesses listed incorrectly, it does not allow you to ignore the rules.

You added this business this morning: http://goo.gl/h0LNYZ Does it have a hidden address?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 12/19/13 2:02 AM
For the last time, you are not allowed to add SABs without storefronts via Map Maker.

I am not going to give lessons to you so that you understand better how to spam.  There is a guideline that says you cannot do it, and every business you add that way is eligible and will be removed.

Businesses that add themselves via Places and comply with their guidelines do not appear on the map, and thus are not in violation.

That one did not do so.  It's address is visible on the map.  We will delete it.  It is correct to remove it, it is spam.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers RagnarokMM 12/19/13 2:11 AM


On Thursday, December 19, 2013 10:28:51 AM UTC+2, RagnarokMM wrote:
https://www.google.com/search?q=Plumber+Las+Vegas+nv&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb
the results C & D are with hidden address, because the business is SAB, but:
here is the C's link in MM: http://goo.gl/YV5ker
and here is the D's link in MM: http://goo.gl/bV66En



On Thursday, December 19, 2013 12:02:12 PM UTC+2, Flash (RER) wrote:
Businesses that add themselves via Places and comply with their guidelines do not appear on the map, and thus are not in violation.


They do appear in map maker. After last changes every business appears in MapMaker.
 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 12/19/13 2:28 AM
And they appeared in Map Maker for years before that.  I'm still experimenting, but it appears we have gone back to the way things were 6 months ago, which would mean the hiding of SABs in Map Maker was just a temporary experiment.  It makes no difference; the appeared in Map Maker for years before then and the rules were still the same then and remain the same now.  You cannot add them via Map Maker.  If they don't have hidden addresses in Maps, they are to be deleted.  They are not allowed to appear in Maps, that is the point of all the rules and what you were violating.

Why do you keep arguing when the guidelines were shown to you?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers RagnarokMM 12/19/13 2:38 AM
What I mean is that even if the business is activated and it is with hidden address it is still visible in MapMaker and every Mapper can remove it, because in MapMaker the business is with visible address. This user csuke is doing exactly this. Businesses with hidden addresses are removed from mapmaker, because he/she can remove them and the address is visible only in mapmaker. I can't give an example, because the businesses are already removed.
I'm not arguing, do not get me wrong, I'm just trying to find out the truth!

6 month ago google bot was removing SABs from map maker, but without deleting the business. Now when you delete the business from Map Maker you are deleting the whole business. It is not appearing anymore in google. Is that correct, I don't think so! When mappers are removing the business they remove whole business. When Google Bot was removing the SABs from Map Maker the business still was alive. Now, can you see the difference?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/19/13 2:53 AM
Google Maps is NOT a free advertising service. If businesses want to be listed, they must follow the rules. Your clients were not on the map before you added them, and they are not there now, ergo they have not lost anything.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/19/13 3:26 AM
You can't add SABs to MM--you have to use Places.  

Here's the rule.  

As soon as you add SABs via MM, your address is visible, which is a violation of Google Places Quality Guidelines.  Your listings are all SABs, you acknowledged as much, and therefore you're breaking Places rules.  

There's no option in MM to hide addresses, or claim listings, or send PIN cards.  

One reason for this is Google probably doesn't want SABs 'borrowing' someone else's address.  

Besides, everything you added is spam, for obvious reasons.  Hijacked listings, fake business models, etc.  More rules violations.   

I doubt, or at least hope not many mappers will bother trying to takedown SABs for not 'hiding their addresses'.  The GLEs will deny them anyway.  However, if the listings are spam, they'll get taken down by the GRs. 

Anyway, it's a moot point.  All your listings are spam, for one reason or another, and you're a spammer.  

Now, can you understand the difference?  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/19/13 3:30 AM
Okay, I'm bored with that spammer.  

Let's look at these spammers.  I see a pattern here...


Bt Parking Lot



Not the pattern of Google not being able to figure out how to stop spammers from auto-publishing spam.  The pattern of spammers deleting or having their profiles deleted after they spam Maps.  Interesting.  It doesn't prevent their POIs from being removed, so I'm not sure why they're taking this extra step.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Debra Nickols 12/19/13 8:45 AM
Hello everybody,
very interesting topic.
I just want to ask one question...

I agree that it is against guidelines to add SAB businesses in MM but when you remove a place in MM it disappears from Maps also, no matter verified or not, no matter how is verified...it just disappears.

Here is example of how business with hidden address in Places shows in MM (I just searched random kw for random city, don't know this business at all)

Places: https://plus.google.com/115430879275444461544/about?gl=us&hl=en - properly hidden address
MM: https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x8644cc672d8094a1:0xe6dbb1847905cc0d - address is visible

So..the question:
Is it going to be legitimate to remove this place from MM? It is SAB business...(please don't remove it it is just an example). And if I'm a business owner and claim and verify via places my page by phone (this is one of the 2 options I think) which has been added by someone, Am I violating the guidelines and will I be punished with removing my listing from everywhere?...Sorry more than one question...oh and one more thing, can I as a business owner  edit my SAB business kws in MM or this will be violation too?

All this guidelines stuff is a little bit complicated, please enlighten me, from everything above I understood that you are experts. Thank you.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers treebles 12/19/13 9:20 AM
Debra,
The SABs with hidden addresses listings been displayed again in Map Maker is a mistake by Google that surfaced after the update of Map Maker, Google is supposed to fix this issue but so far nothing has been done.


And if I'm a business owner and claim and verify via places my page by phone (this is one of the 2 options I think) which has been added by someone, Am I violating the guidelines and will I be punished with removing my listing from everywhere?
No, there is no violation of guidelines by claiming a public Local listing created by somebody else through Map Maker in Places. Unfortunately, Google is given phone verification to business listings created through Map Maker and has resulted in spam abuse as the one described in this thread and other threads.


 can I as a business owner  edit my SAB business kws in MM or this will be violation too? 
There are no keywords in Map Maker or Places, you are referring to the business categories I think.
Although it is possible to edit the business details through Map maker, if you have a Places verified business you should be better off by doing all your edits through the Places Dashboard, specially if you available the new Places Dashboard.

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Debra Nickols 12/19/13 9:47 AM
Thank you treebles for the answers. Things are more clear for me now.
So ...if I'm a business owner of a SAB my only option not to violate guidelines is to send myself postcard and verify my page via Places. Even if I find my business live on maps it is not a good idea to verify by phone because there is no way to know how my business got there. In my Business Dashboard I must hide my address and hopefully my business won't be removed from MM (cause it will be there because of this bug or mistake you mentioned in your answer). And also I should not edit or try to add custom categories or keywords or anything else in MM even if it is not possible to do it through the places dashboard.(SAB I mean again)
Did I understand correctly? Please tell me if I'm wrong and thank you again for your time.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 12/19/13 11:15 AM
Debra, just to be clear because RagnarokMM touched on it too, there is nothing to worry about the fact that a claimed, hidden address listing can be deleted in Map Maker, as those edits need to go to a trusted reviewer for approval.

Google collects data from many sources, in addition to Map Maker and Places there are database imports, web crawling, etc.  Once a listing is created by any source, it is visible in Map Maker.  There is no reason not to claim that existing listing if you are the business owner; as if you create a new one then the existing one will end up getting merged with it.  In fact, the best thing to do is to fix up the existing listing in Map Maker with fully spelled out address that is in all the right blanks, and then claim that.  In that way you know that Maps properly understands your address, which can make a big difference.

Now if you situation is that your business should have a hidden address to remain within guidelines, I'd recommend fixing it up, but with a note that says "I am the business owner, fixing the address so that I can then PIN verify immediately after through Places and get the address hidden.  Please leave a comment when approving so that I know it is ready for me to request the postcard."  A note like that would probably make the reviewer skip the step of deleting it, and instead just mark it to check again in a few weeks to make sure it is now hidden on Maps.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Debra Nickols 12/19/13 11:49 AM
More helpful info, thanks again. Sorry for the many questions I just want to understand things right ;) It became clear that a postcard verification is the best thing to do no matter claiming page or creating new one(for SAB). Can you only clarify the question about the custom categories, please. Will it be violation to add one or two in MM (not suggested in the dashboard )?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 12/19/13 12:39 PM
Custom categories have always been discouraged on the map.  Places used to allow them, and then we would fix them via Map Maker due to the spam it created.  That is likely why Places no longer offers them.

The ability to put in a custom category remains in Map Maker for when a very obvious category is accidentally missing.  Trusted reviewers like myself will not approve many custom categories, and those that do make it through often later get removed.  Categories is not a place to keyword stuff, it is meant to group you with like businesses, the same way categories within the Yellow Pages used to work.

Another factor to consider, one is not supposed to use a general category if a more precise one exists.  For example, don't use Restaurant if Mexican Restaurant exists and that applies to you.  So even if you choose from existing categories, someone might trim it down for having too many categories that mean the same thing, are already implied by another category, should be replaced by an existing category, etc.

Just going with the odds, the chances are that your custom categories would not be appropriate; but perhaps they might.  If you can post the ones you are considering here we can better advise you as to your chances.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Debra Nickols 12/19/13 1:07 PM
I think your answer is clear enough. Sorry if my questions are a little bit out of the topic, but I was worrying that along with the places created by spammers a real one would be removed because someone like me don't understand what exactly is doing :D Thank you again, good luck with those Locksmith spammers and please don't be very harsh with inexperienced business owners. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/19/13 1:36 PM
Today I got forwarded an email.  (I have the permission of the recipient to share it.  Names have been redacted.)  This is what legit locksmiths are up against, since neither the feds nor the states want to enforce the law.  

Dear Mr. Name Redacted:

 

Thank you for your e-mail.    At the outset, I am compelled to point out that you mischaracterize certain aspects of our telephone conversation from several weeks ago.   At no point did I promise to contact Yellowbook or Supermedia, nor did I promise that I would initiate any investigation into the various publishers about which you are complaining.    At several points during our telephone conversation, I made clear our position with respect to the various telephone directories and other publishers.   Namely, to establish a violation on the part of the publishers, we need to have evidence that they actually have knowledge that specific listings violate the Virginia Consumer Protection Act ("VCPA").    To do this, the licensing agency (in this case DCJS) would have to transmit specific problematic listings to the directories, request the removal of the listings, and track, over a period of time, which listings are not being removed.    As I mentioned before, this is a very high standard - one that we unsuccessfully attempted to have changed during a recent General Assembly legislative session.   Because the standard is so high, anything short of the burdensome steps I outlined above (including your repeated suggestion that we simply provide the directories with a list of licensed locksmiths and demand that they sort it out) will not establish a violation of the VCPA.   DCJS, for various reasons, e.g., statutory authority or resource limitations, may not have the ability to transmit the listings on a rolling basis and track which listings are being removed.    If that is the case, then that is your answer;  we cannot direct DCJS to take a particular action, nor can DCJS direct our Office to take a particular action.  

 

At this point, you have taken up an inordinate amount of my time, and, as I understand it, the time of staff at DCJS and a Maryland Assistant Attorney General.   The time I am spending responding to your telephone calls, e-mails, etc. is taking away from time that could be spent more productively on other tasks, including review of the materials you provided to our Office in relation to the unlicensed locksmith matter.   Moreover, I will not allow you to commandeer, direct, or otherwise influence any potential investigation or enforcement action.   Likewise, as is the case with any member of the public, I will not provide you with a play-by-play report of what action, if any, we presently are taking, or plan to take, with respect to a particular matter.   We do appreciate your providing us information on the problematic locksmith listings.   We remain interested in the issue and invite you to continue to provide such information to our office.   Please understand, however, that any future communications from you where you attempt to direct action from our Office, or request updates on the status of particular matters, will be ignored.

 

Sincerely,

 

Name Redacted

Assistant Attorney General

Office of the Attorney General of Virginia


Here's the problem.  In the state of Virginia, locksmiths are licensed.  There's a regulatory authority, the DCJS, which is supposed to enforce the regulations.  Legitimate locksmiths pay a fee, required by law, to be licensed and regulated.  And yet neither the DCJS nor the State of Virginia's AG Office want to enforce the law.  The burdensome legal standard that the State AG is talking about it not burdensome at all, since there's so few legitimate locksmiths, and the remainder is spam, and it would take all of an hour to assemble the data.  Mostly, the State AG is annoyed that they're being bothered at all.  It would probably require them to write an equally comprehensive email to the various local directories, and that just won't do.  

It also brings up another issue, which is, what is the point in having laws if they're not regularly enforced?  What is the point of regulating locksmiths if the regulating authority refuses to take action against the unlicensed locksmiths?  Why should legitimate locksmiths pay to be regulated?  Are laws--rules--regulations--only for the people who follow them?  

It used to be that State AGs enforced consumer protection laws, and in light of the millions of dollars being lost through fraud in the state of Virginia alone, you would think this issue would be of some concern.  Since this falls squarely into RICO territory, the State AG is well within their legal authority to pursue this case, but for reasons that aren't clear, much prefers to play a game of kick the ball down the road, or across the street to the do-nothings at the DCJS.  

This pattern has been repeated over and over again, much like the media reports you see on TV and YouTube about locksmiths scammers.  The authorities are well-rehearsed in the art of the brush-off.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 12/19/13 4:39 PM
Today below GLEs approved false pending listings which were rated before them as "Doesn't exist at this address". They ignore your rate. They don't look at google street view. They don't verify address. They don't suspect if a listing has a spammy name. They don't go to spammer profile to see if there is a pattern. GLEs JUST BLINDLY APPROVE SPAM POI. This is absolutely unacceptable.

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c804979ce37589:0x13270bdbe0686bb8
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c804bd72bce2ab:0x111cd487e7e234d
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c8038bc9d4aa29:0xabfe16b9d19c2a54
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c81b4af4732f19:0x183cdba8127bc21c

Approved and about to be converted to spam:

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c804e251a169e5:0x654d60a7bca445d8

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=9928190748616911333:7299596844578129368


These profiles are waiting to be approved and later to be converted to spam:

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=203516803218265330998
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=212193487957203493104


Here was done the same rate:


"Doesn't exist at this address" on pending listings and Google Automated Moderator denied (correct decision)

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=rYdWe6w590w0xqGsAH&iwloc=0_0
&t=h&dtab=history
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=rYdWe6w-vTR2safy93&iwloc=0_0
&t=h&dtab=history
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=rYdWe6wkO5WCM9o8Xa&iwloc=0_0
&t=h&dtab=history
and etc

Here GLEs reverted back to spam:


https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=14RxrIyKuAKYPYz0Vq&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=14RxrIyxTyTsmAN2eV&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history

Here GLE at least closed spam
:

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=14RxrIyzI3BktXKA8u&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/20/13 12:50 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/20/13 12:44 PM
More.  

Profiles are possibly being acted on faster (this one is 404ed), but spam is still trickling in:    

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/21/13 1:17 AM
Perhaps Google doesn't get this, but 404'ed profiles actually hinder us, unless all associated spam POI's are removed first!
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/21/13 12:54 PM
GLEd again, today:    



Only 23 reviews to their name. Reported him as a spammer.  

Not really clear why the GLE is involved with MM edits, since this isn't a claimed listing.  There's a trailhead visible in satellite view that leads to a trail to get to Spence Hot Springs.  I though I would put that all together into one nice package.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/21/13 12:55 PM
Isn't it amazing how hard GMM makes it to remove spam, and how easy they make it to spam?  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/21/13 1:30 PM
Still going:


Parking Lot, Internet Service Provider.  

Parking Lots don't have telephone numbers.  

Other:
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/21/13 1:36 PM
As soon as accounts are deactivated, why aren't the spam POIs associated with them removed?


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/21/13 3:13 PM
So decided to do some digging today, and with a little help, think this is one of the best ones so far, a profile connected to the above gave us:


Website homepage has no links to any of it's subpages for locations. Links are broken, and no evidence at all of any valid POI existence. They offer no explanation of what NWCET stands for, and they even spell their company name differently on different places. No Google search produces any references to this "business" apart from it's own website. Not bad for a website registered 14.5 years ago...

I then did a whois on the website & a Google search on the registered email address, which shows this guy (Richart Ruddie) who is not exactly very nice: http://800notes.com/news/A5mkuWWSVAQ/we-are-under-a-ddos-attack but doesn't exactly go out of his way to hide himself http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2012/08/20/growing-industry-tries-to-repair-businesses-online-reputations.html http://www.richartruddie.com/projects.php

Removed and re-removed so many of these so far. One of his contractors, who is on the list from earlier keeps changing names and logos, they went by "Google Mapper Beth" for awhile. From her current profile: ChixyChai a reverse image search produced: http://goo.gl/7vrW8v

This gave:

Which led to this:

"Black hat spammer to the core!"
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/21/13 3:16 PM
Fascinating how this is all connected together, and how quickly it unravels.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/22/13 12:04 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/23/13 12:39 PM
This is funny:


Parking lots named after me, in my hometown.  You've done me proud.  Can you put one on top of the Space Needle?  I've always wanted to go there.  Never been.  

Well, if I disappear, you can always call the numbers on the listings and ask them where they put the body...

Still spam getting in, same profile is active from yesterday:  

This one got approved by the mod bot:  

Deactivated account doesn't deactivate spam POIs:   


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 12/24/13 12:46 AM


On Monday, 23 December 2013 20:39:35 UTC, consciousnessbliss wrote:
This is funny:

Parking lots named after me, in my hometown.  You've done me proud.  Can you put one on top of the Space Needle?  I've always wanted to go there.  Never been.  

Well, if I disappear, you can always call the numbers on the listings and ask them where they put the body...

And we already have intent shown in the previous posts :) 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/24/13 11:40 AM
Spammer using building polygon loophole:


Also, they claimed it in Places via phone verification.  Why is there still phone verification?  If it's a false address, they can't receive a PIN card via mail.  

Finally, I noticed that Locksmiths are still locked.  I'm having a hard time understanding why, since it only incentivizes the spammers to lock what can't now be deleted.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/24/13 11:44 AM
GLE lost their mind.  Can you help him find it?  It's probably in the same imaginary place as this business, floating among the clouds.  



Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/24/13 12:01 PM
And we're on a roll:


You can either keep patching the algorithms (and spammers will always find a loophole) or you can patch the procedures.  Patching the procedures is actually much easier.  

1.  No phone verification.  Phone verification is too easy to game.  
2.  Unlock the Locksmith cat.  Easier to delete spam.  All edits to the POI with the cat should be flagged and/or go into manual moderation.  
3.  Train the GLEs to recognize spam when they see it.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 12/27/13 11:15 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/29/13 1:29 AM
Back again!  (Me and the spammers...)



Profile was deleted:

13 edits, 100% approved.  

Same pattern:  
Parking Lot, Internet Service Provider, auto-published new account.    
Phone verification via Places, allowed to add Locksmith cat.   

My feeds are picking this up.  Apparently the spam algos are not, even though this pattern was previously reported.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/29/13 2:02 PM
Locksmith spammers are using Car Alarm Supplier as a category (example, not a one-off):


I can't tell if this data is starting to surface because a backlog of spam was removed, as these date from Nov.  Some of them were even approved by GRs.  Naughty, naughty!  Also, some of the POIs have been marked as Closed, when they should be Removed.  Hopefully the reversions to re-open and mark them for removal won't be denied by GLEs.  

It brings up an interesting point, namely the ability of spammers to evade detection by employing special characters in the name.  Hopefully, the spam algos have been updated to include special characters outside the 26 we're generally used to in the English language.  It seems that Google's search algo "understands" that Locksṁith is the equivalent of Locksmith, but does it understand that one is deliberately misspelled, and the other is correctly spelled?  If we run it through the spell checker, it does, but does that translate down to the spam detection algos?  If it does, shouldn't these POIs have been flagged?  

Spammers seem to have no trouble adding parking lots, again:

Same patterns as reported before (Building polygon, ISP), slightly more work for spammers.  Their enthusiasm has waned, slightly.  

How's Report a problem on the new and improved Maps working out for the spam fighters?  It's not immediately obvious on how to do it (Report a problem on the bottom, add a note?  Not sure).  Which is an...improvement?   I guess.  Much better to try your luck on Google+Local, which seems to provide a better catalogue of spam, and a means to report them.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 12/29/13 4:08 PM
I've noticed businesses not even involved in locksmith scamming using the locksmith category to lock their listing.  The secret is out in the spam world I think.  I am interested to know what you mean about deleting closed spam POI's.  It seems like when they are closed, job is finished right?
I have taken a new tact lately in fighting spam.  The spammers seem to be having trouble adding things to the locksmith category, and are once more limited to other categories that can be edited.  I was deleting these listings after which a GLE would deny my edit and do the edit themselves.  I was worried that eventually I would lose editing privileges due to a low ratio of positive edits/negative edits so I started removing any evidence of locksmith from the listing, and so far it has gone well.  There is still nothing to be done about locksmith category listings except report them.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 12/29/13 4:16 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 12/29/13 5:05 PM

On Sunday, 29 December 2013 16:16:24 UTC-8, LocksmithVigilante wrote:

I will repeat what I told you 2 days ago in the other forum.  Your edit is considered spam, and thus no one with trusted reviewer status is going to approve it.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/29/13 5:15 PM
Closed listings stay in the Maps search results, albeit at the bottom.  The account is still active on their end, as far as I know, which means they can re-open the spam POIs at a later date.  Essentially, closed listings can function as sleeper spam agents.  If the listing is deleted, it's gone.  There's a possibility that a GLE will mistakenly revive it from the dead, but it's harder to do.  

Also, you can't really "close" a business that never existed in the first place.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/29/13 5:20 PM
Why did a GR approve a POI that is false?


From SV, this is an autobody shop.  Did the GR validate the listing at all?  I can't get a POI through, even with my 10,000's of edits, without some semblance of evidence:  satellite view, SV, Google...How did they decide a health insurance agency was here?  Maybe it's in the back by the dumpsters?  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/29/13 5:21 PM
In the old MM UI, you used to be able to mark POIs as both closed and removed.  Now, you have to revert (or report) the closure, and mark it for removal again.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/30/13 11:06 AM
Continuing issue:


POIs that are spammy, and associated with spammy accounts, continue to stay up even after the account has been terminated.  

Issue:  4808
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/30/13 7:23 PM
Hahahaha.   I got GLEd:  



3 reviews, 28 days.  Must be an 'expert'.  (Also, 30 days?  GLEs must have huge turnover.  Maybe hire a better subcontractor?  Better training?  Better supervision?)  Good thing MM is really working on fixing the GLE problem.  GLE overrode 6 approvals, including one an experienced RER.  My spammy sense tells me that the GLEs haven't been trained in the most minimal of validation procedures (check SV, check satellite view, reverse search address/telephone on Google, review history, etc.), even though Key Duplication Service appears in the Spam Trends, and even though the original POI is...wait for it...spam.  Calling a business to ask if they're spam is not an acceptable validation procedure.  


I also reverse searched the address to find any assumed names, as sometimes auto body shops/auto wreckers like to add other services.  If they're here, they're not operating legally.  

Number doesn't match any of the signs or numbers visible on SV either, so it's not likely the auto body/auto wrecker shop is masquerading as a locksmith...
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/30/13 8:20 PM
Other issues:  

Deleted in MM:  

Spam network Locksmith Solutions, despite being reported several weeks ago:

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/31/13 11:44 AM
Still an on-going issue with building polys hiding spam POIs:

That's the general problem with SABs.  Many of them are spam, and now Google has one less tool in their spam fighting arsenal to crowdsource the identification and removal of spam, since Google's own workforce (at least on the Places side) is ineffective at mitigating it.  You have to be trusting of Google's own internal processes, which, time and again, how been proven largely ineffective and subject to periodic and prolonged breakdowns.  

And ISP coupled with Parking Lots:

Many previously approved spammy POIs are going into moderation, rather than being auto-approved (which is good):

Will they be approved by the mod bot or GLEs?  


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 12/31/13 12:35 PM
Mod bot approved spam POI by spammer:


Only took five hours for approval.  Spammers can 'chance it' and hope that the mod bot approves it before a GR can deny it.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/1/14 10:28 AM
Spammer later attempts to convert the telephone over, either hijacking competition or "fixing" them (probably former).  

Traces to three POIs:  

Weather station and wealth management all-in-one:  
GLE Azhar (127 days , 35 reviews)

POI created on Maps, presumably PIN verification:  
(No GLE, just an internal process)

"Asian fusion" also does key cutting while you wait for takeout at their non-existent location.  Very fusiony:  
GLE Listings Editor Krutika M (470 days , 70 total edits, 70 approved, 521 reviews)

Training issue with GLEs.  They don't know how to identify spam.  Most new POIs don't just appear out of thin air.  Googling them usually brings a host of websites associated with them if they're legit (for example, Yelp or Facebook, as increasingly businesses turn to those websites to advertise their business before they go to Google+Local or Maps).  


Handy tips for verification:

Can't provide feedback on individual reviews by GLEs.  Should I report the two GLEs as spammers?  Done!  

I also "immunized" myself against getting GLEd by reporting the POIs, since they're all spam, and I halfway expect to have the deletions denied.  Fingers crossed.  

Presumably, Google knows that Key Duplication Service shows up in searches for locksmiths, correct?  It should be easy to add flags to "quarantined" keywords and categories so that manual review can take place when those cats or keywords are added:    

Locksmith
Key Duplication Service
Safe & Vault Shop
Safe & Vault Service Provider
Lock Service

If you skip all the verification (and GLEs skip all that), the spam algorithms should've flagged the category and keyword conversion in the Dashboard, if Google is actually relying wholly on algos to figure this spam thing out.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 1/1/14 12:04 PM
No GLE, pending or parking lot edits. All I know is they showed at the same day. A pin code verification? Pin codes came to four different addresses at the same day? They use "Key Duplication Service" as category but not locksmith.

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=9928190427758634581:15469334435472229906
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=9928189048698594573:14801525864539836395
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=9928189277127366939:15991218785034064376
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=9928215387281330975:5139934314910441032
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 1/1/14 3:35 PM
Above method was busted. Let's investigate https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=9928189048698594573:14801525864539836395 The initial edit looks super clean. Right?

Now let's take a look here http://screencast.com/t/ySnOKxBH1

A spammer made edits inside Google+ instead of MM. You won't see these changes in MM unless you monitor Google Maps 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/2/14 11:40 AM
Well, this is interesting.  I got GLEd twice today:

I guess the spam "parking lot" must be on the 4th floor, next to Accounting.  The trick is you have to bring up your car one piece at a time:  

GLE didn't even bother Googling it.  Not sure why they're reviewing a MM edit.  You can't claim a mountain, right?  Anyway, I corrected the spelling and location, cause, you known, we strive for accuracy around here at MM.  Unfortunately, I was taken to task, because this GLE would prefer to keep things just as they are.  Mt. Constituition has a new home (and a new spelling!).  Can you guess who's right, and who's wrong here?  

I can see that the GMM team is striving hard to correct the review process one edit at a time, instead of, you know, systematically retraining the affected team.  That seems a little, uh, inefficient.  

Also, you might want to retrain some of your MM Reviewers.  One GR apparently thinks it's impossible for two building in the US to have the same name.  I kid you not:  



 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Michael W. Jones 1/2/14 11:52 AM
I've been getting a ton of GLEd edits this week - all cleaning up spam. Instead of deleting the spam (as the edit was intended) they're reverting the listings back to the original seed.

I object each denial (which I still think is broken since the November outage), and then reporting every one of them as Spam to let the Spam team do the cleanup.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/2/14 12:04 PM
It would seem more efficient to train the GLEs once on spam mitigation, and then they can approve the deletions, without having to do all the extra work of going back over their denials.  I estimate I could do it it with one YouTube video in 30 min.  That's the average for training my researchers.  I know that they're not training the new GRs, either, as they've approved some pretty blatantly spammy parking lots within the last week, which were later converted to spam locksmiths.  Does no one at Geo ever get trained on identifying spam?  

The original seed is also spam, so I'm not sure what they're accomplishing here.  

Correcting the GLEs behavior is harder than coding one of their errant bots, apparently.  

Also, after the denials, I'm not seeing the Try Again button anymore.  That means putting in the data for a second time, and I can imagine for complex edits (like polygons) that were wrongly denied, that could be the point whereby the original mapper just says 'Puck it!'.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 1/2/14 3:14 PM
Spam is getting beyond ridiculous to the bizarre.  This edit is the hijack of a dead (died May 18, 2012) insurance agent's listing.  I reviewed but that didn't do any good.  Since it's still pending what do i do nest?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 1/2/14 3:17 PM
Your denial appears to have stuck :)

I had a spate of these in my area for awhile. In almost all cases though, the change would be removed by sync almost immediately, so all that was left for me to do was report the user.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 1/2/14 3:28 PM
Thanks keith!  Turns out that he's been doing this all over the US I saw when i reported him as a spammer.  Looks like I was the just last one to report him. 

 I'm pretty sure that i reported him at least once before.  Maybe this time it will stick...
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/2/14 5:48 PM
Well, this is interesting:

I think they forgot something:  


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/2/14 5:52 PM
Johnny Cash had the right idea:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIuo0KIqD_E  GLE must've been musically inspired.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 1/2/14 9:25 PM
Yeah this new crop of MM editors hasn't got a clue.  Divya and this guy both denied and reverted my attempts to delete a spam listing located in an apartment building.  Not sure what they are using to decide whether or not to approve or deny, but I suspect a magic 8 ball or a dartboard with "yes" and "no" interspersed plays heavily in their approve/deny flowchart. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Wthrwyz (RER) 1/2/14 9:34 PM
Dan, I was able to publish your second attempts. The mountain is back where it belongs and has graduated first grade spelling, and the house once again shares a name with a much-maligned operating system.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/2/14 9:37 PM
Fantastic!  Thanks.  

I'll add a Vista sticker to the building.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/2/14 10:38 PM
Spam network, suitable for bulk takedown.  

"Health Insurance Plans" locksmith:  

Sample POI:

Originally a spam bookstore, then converted over in the Places Dashboard to a scam health insurance company (just in time for Obamacare!) complete with the Locksmith cat to 'lock' the listing.  Yet another reason why the locksmith cat shouldn't be locked, because the lock itself is being misused to prevent action on listings that have it.  



Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/3/14 12:06 PM
GLEs busy approving spam POIs that get converted to spam locksmith:
Grounds / Boundary (GLE approved addition of spam POI as of Dec. 23:  Listing Editor Rekha Pandre)

Another spam network, suitable for bulk takedown, using "Bookstores" and other not-POI as the starting POI:

Examples:
San Antonio Lock Poppers (GLE approved addition of spam POI as of Jan. 2:  Varsha T)

Another spam fighter is attempting to pull them down, but according to him, the GLEs are denying the spam removals.  Why?  

How do GLEs verify businesses?  Do they just squint and eyeball it?  If they just eyeball it, why are other mappers not accorded the same latitude?  Mappers work for free, strive to add accurate data, and yet Google's own sub-subcontractors are continually adding spam data to Google Maps.  Does Google want people to go to non-existent bookstores to get their keys cut?  

It seems a wee bit counterproductive.  Maybe you should do like the NSA, and have a GR shadow every GLE.  It's basically what you're doing anyway.  Better than "trust not verify".  

Also, how many months/years does it take to train GLEs to validate businesses?  I would like to add something to my calendar in anticipation of that goal being met.  If they were trained to follow Google Places Quality Guidelines, maybe I wouldn't have to file so spam reports for Google's own contractors.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/3/14 12:48 PM
Another spam network using Locksmith as a cat, suitable for bulk takedown:

Search:  
Auto Transport locksmith

General spammy name:
Auto Transport [Insert City Here]

Exactly one valid location, which isn't even necessarily valid (no moving trucks or storage facility, and the customers will never come to this office):

Almost all moving companies (this being no exception) are scammers on par with the locksmith spammers.  The US Senate investigated them and asked Google, Yahoo, and Bing to take action against them:  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Wthrwyz (RER) 1/3/14 2:03 PM
I feel your pain, Dan. I got GLEd today: http://goo.gl/pg7zjR
(unknown) 1/3/14 2:20 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Wthrwyz (RER) 1/3/14 2:29 PM
You probably can't review it because it has the Hotel category, which I believe is locked.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/3/14 2:35 PM
Google Hotel Finder.  

Motto:  
"Find a hotel using our product.  We just don't care if you can never actually get there."  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Gary D. 1/3/14 2:58 PM
Spam Fighter? Or Spammer?


Looks like a spam fighter, Till he did this:

Take a look at the history.

The original listing of
"Cash Consultant" turned into this:

100% Spammer.

Sad.
I reported him as a "Spammer"
He hopefully will be blocked in the next few days.


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/3/14 3:36 PM
The ineffectiveness of SABs, spam algorithms, and locking the locksmith category illustrated in one listing:

24/7 Richmond Locksṁith:  
MM:  

  • This should be a SAB, should it not?  If Google is aggressively enforcing restrictions on SABs, why isn't the address hidden?  If it was hidden, how would you be able to verify the false address, which got past both Google's algos and reviewers?  
  • Food store hidden under the train tracks.  Seems plausible.  Telephone, name, and address for the original business POI leads nowhere.  No verification was conducted on any level (i.e. "According to our resources").  
  • Name has special characters, but still shows up in searches for Locksmiths.  No need to add the restricted locksmith category, and Google's spam filters appear incapable of distinguishing special characters from a simple spelling (anything that Google considers "Locksmith" and is spelled anything other than "Lock" or "Locksmith" is probably spam).  This is a years old trick.  Google apparently has never caught on.  
  • If the Locksmith cat were added, it would lock the listing, complicating it's removal.  
  • Name part of spam network:  http://goo.gl/99cvyl
  • I also found the special character in the name for multiple listings:  http://goo.gl/pRNMj6
  • Multiple listings were closed instead of removed:  Locksṁith Services Washington
  • If you attempt to delete the listing, a GLE will deny it (because it's claimed).  
This is only one heavily spammed business category.  I could search for dozens of similarly situated categories and find the same patterns.  

It's good I have all this free time today to 'help' Google.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 1/3/14 6:08 PM
More about Allstate spam (I haven't had the heart to look at the other agencies yet).  The same edit apparently was not denied yesterday because it appeared again today and i denied it again but that doesn't mean that it will leave.  This woman died on May 18, 2012.  What more can MM want?

I did find a batch coming through yesterday as Keith warned me.  Today i began checking all the approved Allstate .agents and found the first three out of four had been spammed including Ms Weaver whose  edit had been marked as closed and not removed.  The response of the other two was "Erk, What am i supposed to do?"  

May I re-edit for them and remove the phone numbers as i did on this pending edit or will this be considered as more negative input on my part?

On the positive side, one of the phony numbers that i called assured me that i had already won a two week vacation to The Islands
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/3/14 8:54 PM
Edited to remove the tel, and close the POI.  Can you get me on this vacation package?  If they need a debit card, just pick one at random.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/4/14 8:32 PM
Spammers committing mail (and wire) fraud (this is staring to become a widespread phenomena):


I suspect what they're doing is having PIN cards sent to unoccupied homes for sale, by browsing realtor websites, and then they later pick the cards up.  That is mail fraud.  

Just a reminder to my spammer fiends who are reading my posts (and I know that you're reading this!):  

Mail (and wire) fraud comes with a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison as well as your eventual deportation and substantial fines.  This will severely mess up your chances of becoming a US citizen, as you won't be able to return.  It's a great way to get on the radar of the feds!  And there's no chance of parole.  Maybe they'll just deport you instead--that's something to hope for.  

If you're a victim of the spammers, or an interested party (such as a locksmith who's business has been impacted by spammers), I would recommend filing consumer and criminal complaints with the state AG's office, as well as the US Postal Inspection Service, since the spammers are now wrapped up in mail fraud.  Any spam POI that is using either the telephone lines (for example, calling for service, or PIN verification) or the postal service (to receive the PIN card), or is running their business through the spam POI is now involved with mail or wire fraud.  (Interesting article on investigations of mail fraud by the USPIS.)  

Google is obviously not verifying locksmith spam POIs, despite having the resources to do so (in order of each and authoritativeness):


I recently updated the verification databases for the US, which is available to verify any business, not just locksmiths:    

Given the haphazard training procedures at Google, this is not at all surprising.  BTW, this is a Locksmith categorized POI, which should have automatically gotten a higher level of scrutiny.    The PR BS that Google has been passing down to business owners who complain about the spam is that they're hand verifying locksmiths (I have this on direct authority from an affected locksmith who has been in contact with a Google rep, after he opened a complaint with Google).  If they had hand-verified this business at all they would have discovered in about a minute that it's a spam POI.  This is only if you're cross-checking multiple sources.  Quick and dirty is to go to Fair Trade.  I used a timer, and it took 30 seconds for me to manually type in the zip, wait for a response, and manually scan through the search results to verify that this POI wasn't in this area.  With automation, this could be even faster.  

Incidentally, according to the state of Maryland records, there's only 100 licensed locksmiths in the entire state.  Compare that with Google search results for locksmith in Maryland, which is something like 4,535.  Even discounting that it's encompassing areas outside Maryland like DC and Virginia, and the usual mess of shoe stores who also cut keys, the search results don't necessarily end at page 20 (if you see MD on listing 200 of page 20, that means there's more), which means that there's hundreds if not thousands of spammy locksmiths in Maryland.  




Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 1/4/14 8:36 PM
Something very unusual appeared today. This scheme was well planned. There must be a spam center. All of sudden today 100+ spam listings showed up and all are PIN code verified in MD/VA/DC. Examples:

http://goo.gl/ce8ElN
http://goo.gl/OJaohR
http://goo.gl/CgLSro

and more...

Ask yourself how did they get access to so many physical addresses?

Pattern: No addresses with apartments or suite involved;
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/4/14 8:46 PM
Not much point in having a local spam team that can't build algorithms to detect a surge of locksmith spam.  

This is the one team at Google who's numbers are supposed to go down, not up.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/4/14 10:03 PM
New issue with spam POIs being reinstated, even after being removed from MM:


Spam POIs removed in MM are being reinstated on Places.  



Deleted on Jan. 2, approved by a GR, reinstated automatically on Places.  POIs are claimed listings (and spam).  

The process of removing spam via MM has been further complicated, again.  Clap.  Clap.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/4/14 10:14 PM
As an aside to the previous post, a GLE approved the addition of a spam POI for one of the two POIs above, which was converted to locksmith spam:
Spam POI:  Margate Locksmith
GLE:  Praveen P  

What is strange is the GLE denied everything but the telephone number and the category of Deli.  A deli without a name or location.  I kid you not.  Well, why not make the job of the spammer that much easier?  



Can you change the name of all the GLEs to Google Spam Facilitators?  


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 1/5/14 6:53 AM
Love the way they are still trying to validate these:


Apparently you have to pay their lawyers before you are allowed to meet them?

Also would love to meet anyone willing to hire a lawyer who can't spell:

"NWCET's lawyers are always glad to meet you face to face out their offices to go over your case once you have retained their services"
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/5/14 12:09 PM
ChixyChai is a hired SEO gun that puts up spam all over the place.  I wouldn't be surprised to find more spam POIs buried in her profile.  

Also, spammers, please don't follow my edits.  Thanks!  (That's a might big carpet cleaning building.  I guess you can bring the carpet and unroll it there rather than bringing equipment to the customer's location.)
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Jason in PGH 1/5/14 4:19 PM
Haven't seen this in a while, but I've got a spammer.

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/5/14 4:44 PM
More auto-publishing blues.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/6/14 4:04 PM
Well, this is fun.  I tried to wipe out a spam network with the spammy name Locksṁith (because obvious spam is obvious), and all of them were denied by GLEs, or rather, all of them will be denied. 

Denials so far:


That's 65 denials by GLEs so far (it was a big network).  There's more coming.  I knew this was going to happen.  I took the precaution of copy/pasting all the POIs into the spreadsheet to limit the damage.  It looks like I'll have to do a little more copy/pasting in the other section of the spreadsheet in order to get Google to look more closely at this issue.  I'm also failing to see where I didn't follow MM guidelines, even though I can see where the GLEs failed to follow their own guidelines.  It should be noted in every instance I appended a note (a deviation from my usual strategy, because obviously obvious spam is not always obvious to the untrained eye), "Locksmith spam".  It should be noted in every instance, the POIs I marked for removal was, in fact, spam.  It's ironic that volunteer mappers are held to a higher invisible, undocumented, and probably non-existent standard than Google's own contractors, who can pretty much do whatever they want so long as they do it quickly and without care or thought.  

I'll highlight two in particular from this list:

Inna V. Litrovnik, LCSW (originally Great Locksṁith Pro, Emerson).  Google 'corrected' it in a subsequent edit without really correcting it.  
Anonymous4184 hijacked and claimed the listing in Places on Dec. 9th (not just one, but two).    
Listings Editor Yashwanth P denied my deletion and then reverted the original name back without changing any of the categories like Car Alarm Supplier.  I googled LCSW, and according to the first search result, that's a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, which I'm pretty sure doesn't install car alarms (they do handle a different kind of alarm, the people in distress kind).  The hours and telephone number for a spammer remain the same, and presumably, the Place page is still claimed by the spammer, who can change it back.  Weirdly enough, the telephone belongs to another business who appear to be closed for maintenance, whatever that means.  
Also, it's a SAB with a visible address on Places, at best, and at worst, it's a bad scrape from a health website, in which both cases, it should have been removed even if it wasn't a hijack.    

ALL Day Locksṁith (still spam).  Google corrected it by removing the Key Duplication Service cat and upgrading it to Locksmith, effectively locking the listing.  
Anonymous0034 created this POI as a spam parking lot, which is visible in history.  Spam parking lots were the favored to-go POI for creating spam locksmith POI.  
Google Automated Spammer Reverter succeeded in reverting all the spam edits by the spammer making incremental changes to his own spam POI, gradually converting it into a spam locksmith POI, but the bot didn't remove the original spam POI.  
(Unlabled) GLE Sruthi B was the denier and the fixer.  

The list goes on and on, each baffling in their own way, but the point is, the spam listings were preserved in almost their entirety, without being removed or corrected.  Really, there should have just been one clue that would trigger correct action on the part of the GLE, and that's to realize that special characters in the name locksmith equals one thing, spam, and that spam should be removed.  This should have been part of their training and hopefully-daily-and-not-just-when-we-feel-like-it Spam Trends.  The special character in the name spam thing preceded my time on MM and has been around for years.  Surely a Googler can type that into a email and press send all, amiright?  What's insane is that the lead PM spam guy [name redacted] has known about this for over a year, now, and was told, in emails, google docs, forums, and verbally in phone calls and hangouts (I told them, and they were told by others that I was a party to), that there was a problem with the review process, and they choose to do nothing about it.  They even claimed that they were going to review this process many moons ago, and then, of course, nothing changed.  That's some amazing not-work, right there, folks.  

Incidentally, this isn't an issue limited to my pet cause, spam, but also affects lots of other mappers who are trying to push their edits through the review process, which Google announced that they were prioritizing for a fix in the monthly bug fix & prioritization report, which hasn't been updated since November, 20th (which means no bug report for December).  The particular issue, 4309, dates from July 23, 2013.  The preceding related issue 3896 dates from March 28, 2013.  The first officially documented instance of problems with GLEs was mentioned on June 6, 2013 in the same issue.  GMM never announced that GLEs were now reviewing changes to claimed listings, and ever since April, 2013, the review process in MM has been borked, in addition to all the other issues related to moderation.  

That's a long time and a lot of effort to not to fix a HR issue.  

Perhaps--and I know I'm going out on a limb here--GMM should try training GLEs in identifying and taking corrective action on spam, as well as making correct reviews in accord with MM and Places Quality Guidelines?  Just a thought.  

In the meantime, I'll stick to the spreadsheet, even though a Googler in charge of managing spam at GMM India expressed the desire for spam fighters to not use that sheet and instead use the many broken processes on MM (or worse yet, Places Report a problem, which, when it comes to spam, has been broken for years), even though they remain broken.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 1/6/14 7:30 PM
How depressing... On another note:  guess what dead insurance agent tried to re-open her edit today  I reported it and asked for removal and then listed the edit for delete as Other =sacrilege since she would have to become one of the undead to continue as an agent.  Oddly, that disappeared
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/6/14 9:26 PM
"We don't just sell life insurance...We sell death insurance!  Come speak to one of our undead representatives to explore your afterlife options."

Anyway, this is Google.  Really nice, but ineffective people.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/6/14 9:46 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/7/14 1:17 AM

Still going strong:

Anonymous1041 (profile already deleted)

Dt Parking Lot

Dt Parking Lot

The Locksmith Experts

Cape Locksmith Service


Anonymous8915

A+ Locksmith

Polaroid Locksmith

Magnum Locksmith

Locksmith of Denver

King's Locksmith

Always Locksmith

Amazon Locksmith

Mega Locksmith

Denver Locksmith's

Mike's Locksmith

Coral Locksmith

Classic Locksmith

Maxim Locksmith

ABC Locksmith

Bill's Locksmith Co

Westminster Locksmith

Tony's Locksmith

A&B Locksmith Co

Co Locksmith Mobile

ALL City Locksmith

A&A Locksmith Co

Park's Locksmith Co

Pro Locksmith Door Co


To take one apart:


Amazon Locksmith

*Parking Lot.  

*With a telephone number.  

*Auto-approved.  

*Added Locksmith category on Places Dashboard.  


Questions:  

*Why are new accounts (4 days old) allowed to auto-publish edits?  

*How are parking lots being claimed in Places without address verification?  

*How are spammers able to add the Locksmith cat without being flagged?  

*Why aren't the spam/moderation algos capable of detecting a pattern that has been previously determined to be spammy, and recently resulted in the removal of thousands of previously added parking lots?  


POIs and profiles added to spam sheets.  More work for GMM.  The automated processes are creating more work, which ensures endless job security.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/7/14 1:34 PM
Always good to wake up to a fresh batch of denials by GLEs in the morning.  It's like coffee--the anger is stimulating in the same way that caffeine is, and really wakes you up.  

Anyway, I'll skip over the actual list, and pull out a few choice samples.  

POI that was previously deleted, then reverted, now locked:  

Prime Lockouts & Car Key


Spam POI, GR approved tel hijacking, as early as Dec. 16th:

Sonic Locksṁith & Doors


GR approves spam hijacking of tel of good POI, GLE leaves spam data intact, even though tel is visible from SV:

Dr. Amritbhai Patel, DDS


GR approves spam hijacking of tel, GLE denies spam deletion, categories are not applicable to even a spam locksmith POI (pharm?  car alarms?):

All City Locksṁith & Doors


Private residence, no office here, SAB with street address, bot scrape from Health Grades, tel was hijacked and approved by GR:

Dr. Rashonda R. Flowers, MD


Spam locksmith POI with special characters in the name.  You can't close spam POIs that don't exist, because they don't exist:

United Locksṁith & Doors


Out of the whole bunch, this was the one I got "wrong" (but not really, see the next paragraph), and the GLE got right.  In point of fact, this is the only POI that a GLE corrected from the original spam hijacking (it was A Star Locksṁith Bronx, Bronx), fixing the name, tel, and categories:

Averescu Marie J MD


However, this is the problem with the new hidden history in MM (consolidated databases).  I can't see all the changes (even if I click on See All Changes), including that it was originally something else (and was subsequently hijacked) as the only data I had was that it was locksmith spam.  Issue 4717  If I can't see the data, how am I supposed to correct it?  


I give GLEs a hard time, but Listings Editor Archana P knew what they were doing, and they have the stats to prove it (819 days , 10496 total edits, 10486 approved, 2722 reviews, Business listings 1, Feature edits 10568).  


Google's problems aren't just limited to training (although that's largely the issue).  It's that a lot of features are hidden from MM now, from SABs to the history of the POI, as well as which listings are claimed.  


I hope GMM appreciates the I object reports they received today.  I lost count after 100.  Many of them had dual objections, because Googlers approved the original hijackings.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 1/7/14 1:54 PM
Agreed, look at this Listings Editor Archana P - Stats: 819 days , 10496 total edits, 10486 approved, 2722 reviews denied https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=0x89c804bd0d1d35ed:0x2a82e26a025eec51

My question is are GLEs google bots? Because humans learn something over time. A few GLE at least close spam POI, but many just blindly approve a fake place and completely ignore mapmaker's decision.

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=14RxrIy0ym99V4w47O&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=14RxrIy-VogUNQ5Ypf&iwloc=0_0&t=h&dtab=history
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/7/14 2:30 PM
Sigh, I guess I was wrong about Archana.  One step forward, 100 steps back.  Made one right review for me, made one wrong review for you.  I was afraid of that, so I didn't look too closely at their review history, to preserve the illusion that there is one bright shining diamond among the many rhinestones.   

Anyway, huge turnover, no time for the bots to learn.  They need a few correctly preprogrammed models, or probably, better training and more pay.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/7/14 3:15 PM
This one's good.  


Restaurant is probably closed.  However, I didn't have the Wing Soon data available when I made my original deletion. It appeared to me as a spam locksmith.  GLE 'fixed' that and made that data visible.  I step in on a subsequent edit, remove redundant categories, corrected name tags, removed crazy hours, and make note POI is probably closed, and Google needs to check in on that.  Entire edit denied by GLE Listing editor swati P  Nice.  

So another report goes to GMM to 'fix' the f***** of that GLE.  

Incidentally, that's another GLE with high stats (699 days , 6552 total edits, 6539 approved, 1032 reviews, Business listings 1, Feature edits 6632), so there's no correlation between experience and review capacity.  The previous good review by Archana was probably a mistake on their part.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 1/7/14 8:32 PM
I don't know about you guys but my ratio of approved:disapproved edits is getting worse every day, with these bozo GLE's denying spam removal so that the spammers can then revert the spam listing back to spam.  Not sure how many more I can do before my MM profile is locked from editing.  Might have to start concentrating only on the area within 1 mile of my shop to conserve my editing abilities.  It's hard not to get angry at the GLE's.  All you have to do is look at the listing name, and then look at the categories for that listing.  What locksmith is also a surgeon who installs car alarms professionally?  It takes me two seconds on a bad day to know that such a listing is spam.  Why are they denying removal of such baloney? 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/7/14 9:01 PM
Head to the spreadsheet!  

Of course, that doesn't help the people who are making regular edits (rather than spam removals) who run into the Opposition.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 1/7/14 9:24 PM
Am I to understand, then, that the spreadsheet is no longer a secret?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/7/14 9:31 PM
Never really was.  It was just an alternate method to do mass takedowns of spam, rather than the usual one POI at a time.  

It was just limited to a few people when it was first started by a GR.  Now it's the only way, in a lot of circumstances, to remove locksmith spam.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 1/8/14 7:46 AM
GR jumps on the spam approval train: http://goo.gl/NSt4Wh
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/8/14 10:53 AM
This one's really good.  

Okay, so we've established that I can't see the history of a POI that's been altered from the Dashboard, amiright?  (Good job on hiding the history!)


Here's what I saw:

Only 1 Locksṁith & Doors, Bronx, New York
Address is somewhere in NYC, telephone number is VOIP forwarding no.
It was a hijack, of sorts.  

Well, the GLE removes the tel, then closes the POI.  What was the original tel?  I can't see that.  What was the original marker location?  I can't see that...but I can surmise, based on the address reversion, that the POI was on the West Coast, not the East Coast:
Kingdom Hall
6300 Variel Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 91367, United States
This is an apartment complex.  

Kingdom Hall is a place of worship for Jehovah's Witnesses.  I don't expect a GLE to know that, or even be interested in finding that out.  However, I would think about this.  What does a car alarm supplier have to do with the Jehovahs?  Why is there a business at an apartment complex on the wrong coast?  Why would you mark it closed, since it literally doesn't exist?  

Here's my guess:
Spammer lives in apartment complex (it's a global business, so this is pretty common, having 'offices' in apartment complexes).  Either hijacks an actual kingdom hall (the wrath of God upon thee for doing that, BTW), as there's two sets of edits in the history that I can't see, or they created this out of whole cloth, and then relocated the POI across the country.  

Either way, how am I supposed to know that if history isn't available to me?  Why wouldn't the GLE remove the POI or correct the original details?  What happened to the accounts associated with the POI (especially in the Dashboard), and what's to prevent them from re-opening the POI?  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/8/14 11:21 AM
Oh, my.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Wthrwyz (RER) 1/8/14 11:28 AM
What a doozy, Dan. Your guess as to the actual case is very plausible.

------ Everything I write below this line is intended to be sarcastic. --------


On Wednesday, January 8, 2014 1:53:21 PM UTC-5, consciousnessbliss wrote:

Either way, how am I supposed to know that if history isn't available to me?  

Develop the same set of ESP skills the GLEs seem to have.

Why wouldn't the GLE remove the POI or correct the original details?  

A combination of apathy, red tape, and minimum-wage laws.

What happened to the accounts associated with the POI (especially in the Dashboard), and what's to prevent them from re-opening the POI? 

F-ing magic. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/8/14 11:30 AM
So far, what conclusions can we draw?

Multiple bugs have been uncovered, namely 
  • The inability to see the complete history of a POI, which prevents mappers from taking the right action, especially if the POI has been hijacked and then claimed in the Dashboard
  • Healthgrades.com is adding a ton of bad data to Maps
  • GLEs are taking incorrect action, either by approving spam hijacks, or by marking spam POIs closed, or by not removing or reverting the spam data from POIs, or not recognizing spam POIs, or not following Places or MM guidelines, or...
  • GRs are taking incorrect action, by approving tel hijackings of legit POIs
  • SABs are not being properly policed on the Places side, thus ensuring that many SABs are visible on MM, defeating the purpose of having the SABs hide their address (and just as importantly, hiding the SABs from MM)
The increased complexity of allowing GLEs to review claimed Places POIs, which we can't see on our side, and the necessity of GRs having to go back over their work to ensure that they took the right action, has created quite a mess.  In addition, the consolidation of databases has added to the MM woes.  Hiding any kind of data that should be available to mappers (SABs, history, the claimed status of a POI) ensures the continued frustration of mappers trying to do the right thing.  This is a bit beyond just spam...
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/8/14 11:36 AM
It may have been intended to be sarcastic, but I had a good laugh.  Thanks for that!  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Michael W. Jones 1/8/14 11:41 AM
Dan et al -

I opened an issue tracker on the hidden history back before the "official" announcement by Google they did it. Currently only 3 people have starred it, so that's where we need to raise the attention on the issue there:


Likewise, since I object to every bad review by GLE's, and the fact that since the multi-day outage ZERO of the objected edits have been revisited by GR's that tells me that the "I Object" function is broken for edits in a "reverted" state (much like the edits that are in a "reverted" state don't show in my list of edits, denied or otherwise). That issue is also reported, and also only had 3 people starring it:


Getting Google to fix these issues will definitely help with the war on spam - but to date, despite both being opened on December 2nd, neither have even been reviewed internally by Google.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/8/14 11:45 AM
Sorry, I should've added the issues to my post, but I got lazy.  All that "I object" this morning wore me out.  I did see the first issue, and mentioned that in a prior post, but not the 2nd.  I starred both.  

I wonder what will come first, the heat death of the universe or the resolution of these issues.  Bets, anyone?  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/8/14 11:47 AM
Issue 4852

Healthcare data feed problem, from this post.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Michael W. Jones 1/8/14 12:11 PM
Oh and I forgot one other issue - POI's and other objects that are supposed to be hidden are visible (which I think is part of the problem with the volume of Service Area Businesses that are being denied by GLE's).


This only also has only 3 stars right now, and has not been reviewed by the powers that be.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 1/8/14 5:22 PM
Speaking of edits that should be removed instead of closed, the DEAD Allstate insurance agent was back again today.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/9/14 11:47 AM
More evidence that Google Places is not verifying "new" locksmiths.  Apparently, it's too hard to detect the addition of the Locksmith category in the Dashboard, as that kind of keyword search is outside the scope of Google's engineering abilities.  










"They use a random number for the suite, go the post office and file a change of address form, then receive their forwarded PIN card at a new location.  These are also all business center addresses, which are safer than using apartment complexes."  

...from another spam fighter...(paraphrased from the original email).  

I have to ask, is there anything that Places does right?  From the constant makeovers at whatever-they're-calling-it-this-month, to the bugs that appear with every makeover, to the bugs that weren't fixed from the last makeover, to the bungling of the GLEs, to the hiding of SABs from MM, when it comes to anything to do with anything, but most especially MM, the Places people do nothing but screw things up.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/9/14 7:00 PM
Another day, another brilliantly wrong review by a GLE:


This cafe is CLOSED.  I live in this town.  I used to go to this place every day.  It's been closed since Sunday, and shows no signs of resuscitation.  Who do you trust more?  Someone with thousands upon thousands of good edits and reviews who lives in the location, or the judgement of an anonymous, soon-to-fired-and-or-quit GLE thousands of miles away with 24 reviews?  What 'wrong information' can I possibly have?  Even if I got a video and photos and a signed affidavit from the owners, ex-employees, management, or previous customers, the GLEs still wouldn't believe me.  They have 'other resources' which DO NOT include street view, calling the business, checking the web or otherwise verifying the data.  Let's just call it personal feeling.  They feel it should be open, and therefore, it must be open.   

****!  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers W12 engine 1/10/14 11:14 AM
Thinking out loud, if this article on wiping out spam needs a revisit? Overtime, hyperlinks are broken and I found one on this page. Your thoughts.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/10/14 12:45 PM
Sure.  Go ahead.  Not sure how much time I personally want to invest cleaning it up.  I did a little cleanup on some of licensing website links, but it should be gone through with a fine tooth comb, for example, clicking the links (some of which, as you mentioned, are broken), mentioning the issues with GLEs and SABs, new spam techniques, etc.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/10/14 6:18 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/12/14 4:27 AM
Still adding Park Parking Lots.  


Still same lazy pattern, which fortunately for the spammer, Google is studiously ignoring:
*Park Parking Lot
*ISP as a secondary cat.  
*Tel no. attached to a parking lot.  

Googlers must still be hung over from the New Year.  That would explain it.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/13/14 4:24 AM
I just did a survey of a kind of local spam that is unrelated to locksmiths (or even their turf, such as garage door suppliers or carpet cleaners), in a heavily populated region of the US.  It's a competitive market, to be sure, so this may not be illustrative of the US as a whole.  However, I did make a few observations:

1)  Out of 100 listings, 68% were spam.  That's a lot!  They were using a combination of keyword spam in the names, virtual offices, and fake reviews, even though in many cases you could clearly see on their website that they weren't at those locations (they had a...wait for it...different address), and curiously, they used the same photo across all their Google+ listings, making them easy to spot.  Guess they're not scared of the local spam team, the spam algos, or the occasional spam fighter.  If these listings are being reported (and they should, it's bad), then the GLEs and Places GRs are not taking them down, even though they're clearly spammy.  Another failure in the "new" Report a problem process, which after all this time, still hasn't been fixed.  Anyway, that kind of dilutes the meaning of "relevant" search results if most of the search results on Google's own product are spam.  

2)  The quality of the listings left a lot to be desired, with a lot of missing information such as street addresses (these are not SABs), suite no.'s, telephone no's, etc.  I used an authoritative, accurate, complete, up-to-date and free online source for verification, and it's apparent that Google can't even scrape the listings right.  Using Places to find a business in this particular category would be a fairly hazardous proposition, and the outcome could be tricky, since a consumer could end up losing a lot of money if they made the wrong choice.  I fail to see why Google is inordinately proud of their Geo products, which not only look terrible in comparison to the paper counterparts they're striving to replace, but are also less accurate than the digital sources that they supposedly draw upon.  What's sad is that in general search, the source I mentioned disappears under a mountain of SEO crap, with one site scraping another scraping another.  It's just a mess of paid links, each hostile to the idea of conveying any useful information (but they do want to borrow your eyeballs to shovel ads down them).  This data source has no ads.  Is comprehensive.  Is accurate.  Is both local and statewide.  And yet it's nowhere to be found.  

Is this what that Googler was talking about when they said the problems with Geo had reached the highest level?  They weren't kidding!  The quantity is there, but the quality.  Not even close.  

I don't want to give away what I was looking at or where I was looking at.  They'll be surprised soon enough.  But there's no surprise that when it comes to spam, Google just doesn't give a crap.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 1/13/14 10:34 AM
Don't forget that Google can't simply scrape the site you were using; that would be copyright violation.

When they scrape sites for Search, they don't then present that information on their own pages, but they provide you a link to go the the scraped page and get the info there.  That's then completely different, instead of taking information from sites they are acting as a directory and directing traffic to those sites, so there's not copyright violation.

I know that some of the "experts" keep saying that Google scrapes websites, but we've been told by the Map Maker product manager that they import databases that they've been provided.  The way he phrased it, most would be purchases; as if we report issues they can actually demand that the provider improve/reformat the information.

Any database is of course going to have mistakes, and so a report here or there is not going to ring alarm bells; but if a particular database constantly provides bad data, then they are going to go back to the source and demand changes.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/13/14 1:57 PM
I should've indicated that 'scraped' in this instance is a catch-all pejorative for the way Google handles data after they receive it, and not how they actually acquired it.  I understand that Google either buys or asks for the data.  Nonetheless, this is a publicly sourced database, useful for not only reference purposes (i.e. to verify listings) but also as an up-to-date means of keeping Google's listings up-to-date, and the database is available in every state (in one form or another).  

That being said, your points are good.  

As per usual, I'm expressing my irritation that, with the exception of experienced GRs on GMM, Google has no system-wide procedures to validate listings (not even automatically), as evidenced by the work of GLEs at approving and/or denying spam POIs.  That's pretty sloppy, even for Google, despite being reminded (repeatedly) that the spam listings are substantively diluting the quality of good listings, to the point that in many categories, the results are either useless or outright fraudulent.  

As a result, the ineptitude of multiple teams in one division of Google has created a lot of work for another.  In the US alone, the GMM GRs have probably pulled down somewhere close to 200k in spam locksmith listings in the US alone in two years.  That's a lot of spam for just (one heavily spammed) category, and doesn't touch upon other heavily spammed categories that haven't been worked on at all.  My guess (and I say this with some authority and experience) is that if I reported these through the normal channels, the claimed spam POIs would be denied by GLEs, even with considerable evidence that they're spam, necessitating yet more work to remove them.  The Myth of Sisyphus indeed.  

Obvious spam is obvious.  But not to Google.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 1/13/14 2:12 PM
It's not my place to tell them; but I think what would have an impact is if GMM started presenting a bill to Places for the hours spent working on fixing the data Places added.  Of course, they couldn't do that until the plug the flaw that allows brand new mappers to add them; otherwise if Places increased their criteria to filter out bad results then Places could bill GMM for having to verify all these listings that were added by people with no trust.

It comes down again to two departments with differing goals.  Though you are right, they both should be really concerned if bad data increases significantly.  Google is the winner is so many areas simply because people go to them because they know they'll get the best results.  If that becomes an uncertainty, then there are serious concerns.  Data quality is/should be the number one factor for Google.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/13/14 2:56 PM
I was reading on another forum that this is like putting a humidifier on one side of the room, and dehumidifier on the other.  Hilarity ensues.  

I think so long as Google positions their search results (and ads) at the top of the search results, then there will never be any uncertainty, simply because the sheer number of people using it will counteract any perception that the product itself is flawed.  After all, the locksmith spammers rely on a steady stream of new victims to victimize, and they never seem to run out of people to scam.  (And people actually click on ads at the top of the search results, which I do not understand at all.)  I also think Google is selling itself on the idea of endless improvement, so they create the perception that if it's not good now, it will get better in the future, even if each successive iteration brings new bugs, and the old flaws aren't addressed.  

I think GMM is concerned with data quality.  Painful poking aside, they do make an effort to get the data right, with the limited resources they have.  I also think they're pretty sincere no matter how misguided in their mission of mapping the world for the benefit of everyone.  Places doesn't.  All Places is concerned with is shifting the center of gravity away from Facebook and Yelp to them, which means encouraging the addition of claimed business listings and encroaching on MM's traditional turf to sustain their efforts.  The cynic in mean would suggest that this is a power grab on the part of some mad Places PM, but I don't think whoever is involved is politically astute or sophisticated enough to grasp the implications of what they're doing.  Self-reflection--any kind of thoughtful pause--is not Places strong suite.  It's just go go go.  Which is why you're going to see a lot of spam, no matter what source it comes from, because data quality has taken a back door to just about everything else.  

Nonetheless, the dreamy-eyed idealist in me has to ask, when are they going to fix the review mechanisms?  Not just MM, but Maps Report a problem, Google+Local Edit details, etc.  I've been waiting waiting waiting for almost three years now.  Seems the time is about right!  This is not something that you can immediately fix with a batch of code, this is straight up debugging people and the processes they use to arrive at a conclusion.  I would suggest that Google fire all the GLEs and just use a magic 8 ball-type algorithm to make review decisions instead, because it's just about as random as the GLEs reviews.  

Is this spam?  Without a doubt.  
Is this address change correct?  It is certain.  
Is the marker change correct?  My sources say no.  
Is the telephone change correct?  Reply hazy try again.  
Is the name tags I appended correct?  Better not tell you now.  

On second thought, maybe the GLEs do employ magic 8 balls in their decision making process.  Now it's making sense!  


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/13/14 2:59 PM
Did I mention that the spammers are engaged in wire and mail fraud?  All that business with PIN cards and false addresses--that's mail fraud!  

Here's the postal complaint form for mail fraud:


May as well keep the US Postal Inspection Service busy, as they've investigated locksmith spammers before.  

That's a 20 year sentence in the federal pen, followed by immediate deportation.  Hope it was worth it!  


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/13/14 4:37 PM
Well, this, is, ah, interesting:

gilet s
 
How do you 'close' a spam POI that doesn't exist in any sense of the word?  What happens to the account associated with it?  How do you setup a spam POI in Places with gibberish in the name?  How is a spam fighter supposed to know that the original POI was not only hijacked, but the original POI was also spam, until the GLE 'fixed' it?  

POI was originally King Locksṁith Houston, Houston (I can't believe how much keyword spam you can cram into one name, and remain undetected, but there you go).  After it was created in the Dashboard, it was 'moved' from it's original location in Cali to Houston, and additional spammy content that was added was undetected.  Google can 'find' the POI and surface it in the barely relevant local search results, but it can't find the spam content added via the Dashboard in the first place?  Seriously?  
 
This is ten kinds of stupid on a GLE's part.  Why are they unable to see the spam right in front of their eyes?  Who is responsible for their training, and why haven't they been fired?  

What's even worse is the Local Spam Team.  So much failure there I don't even know where to begin.  Let's go 'study' this and add the data to improve the spam algorithms that have already proven not to work.  

We CAN'T see that the original POI was hijacked, because all we see is "Google made X changes".  That is not an improvement over the previous process, which at least gave us some ideas of what those changes are.  Now that is invisible to us.  So how, again, did this improve the experience for mappers (the core and, well, only user of the MM product)?  More to the point, why are GLEs still working for Google, if their only job is to keep making mistakes?  

Another GLE review failure that had been previously deleted by a GR many moons ago (and had been mysteriously revived):

Spam Counterrevolutionary:  



Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/15/14 12:21 PM
This is annoying.  Here's why you don't have two Google groups reviewing and editing POIs from different UIs:


This was (once) a legit auto shop.  Or maybe not.  It was hijacked/claimed in the Places Dashboard by a spammer, who converted it to a spam locksmith.  The original POI data is not visible to us (I can only "see" the original data after the GR attempts to change it back).  Attempted to delete twice, because we can't see the original POI.  Denied/accepted by GLE then GR.  GR fixes it, but the spammer changes it back from the Dashboard.  Huh.  Didn't see that coming.  

This is really stupid.  Really, really stupid.  It's stupid for multiple reasons (since it's not apparent to the engineers who botched this, and who don't actually use the product):

1)  A lot of data is invisible.  If data is invisible, whoever is editing this via MM doesn't know if it's claimed, it's been hijacked, what changes have taken place, etc., because all it says is:  

Google Published
6 hours ago
Edit Summary : 5 changes were made by Google

Okay, so what went on here?  Before the DB integration, I had a clue.  Now I know less.  Now it's shooting in the dark, hoping that I don't run across a bad reviewer.  Is this the intent?  

2)  Claimed POIs that have spammy activity are not being removed, and the accounts associated with them are not being removed.  This is wrong action on the part of GLEs (who's presence on MM has never been formally announced, and who's presence was discovered through 'detective work' and informally announced on the forums, even though their presence has a substantive impact on how edits play out), and the wrong action on the part of GRs.  If the GRs are unable to terminate the spammer's Place account using their tools, why are they 'fixing' it, since the spammers will revert the changes back?  Unless the account is terminated (hijackers accounts should be terminated, because), they'll change it back.  

3)  This is the consequence of segregating any kind of data from editing in MM, whether it's SAB, the history of changes made from the Dashboard, whether it's claimed or not.  I'm not sure who's in charge of figuring this out, but complexity coupled with simplification is not working out.  Complexity, in this case, in dealing with spammy POIs, with multiple review teams, and multiple editing and review process; simplicity, in this case, by hiding data that is useful to a mapper.  This is why people quit so early and often, even if they could provide tons of useful info. to Maps, because MM is completely messed up.  

Suggested course of action:

Do I really need to spell out what needs to be done?  Do you need a map?  I think I provided quite a trail with markers and signs and guides and everything you need to get there.  

Also, 

Spam network.  There is a clue somewhere in the midst of this name.  I wonder what it could be?  

Bulk takedown.  
Terminate the Places accounts associated with the POIs
Remove the POIs if the original was spammy.  

Finally:  

An IHOP?  Since when does Google allow IHOPs to be hijacked?  I can't see what's happening in history to be able to make a good determination as to the what and who, but when it was hijacked, whoever at Google that cleaned up the spam data forgot to remove Key Duplication Service from the cats.  Dang.  Maybe try training the Googlers?  That might help.  It just might.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/15/14 2:12 PM
More spam hijackings of hotel listings:


It's interesting that the new Report a problem UI has no connection to MM.  Edits made from that UI appear to go into a review black box.  It used to be any edits you made showed up in MM regardless of what UI you used:  Report a problem on Maps, Edit details on Google+Local, Edit on MM.  It used to all be present in MM.  Now it appears that Google has siloed these into different processes.   I'm not sure why they would do this.  That makes no sense.  But that's something I've come to expect from Geo!  Anyway, since all of Google's spam algos don't work (wholescale changes to multiple hotels worldwide with the same domain around the same date--shouldn't that have shown up on Google's radar, especially since it's a repeat of a previous pattern?) and their review processes are equally bad, they're heavily dependent on business owners with claimed listings as well as volunteer mappers to keep a vigilant eye on changes to listings.  Google had to be alerted that the problem occurred.  Hmm.  Perhaps there's a mod bug in the new Report a problem, in which case, outstanding work.  

Quite a mess to clean up.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/15/14 2:34 PM
Thread that deals with this issue on Google+, with further comments by me:


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/16/14 8:23 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/16/14 8:31 PM
Well, this is different.  Didn't know that spammers recruited in the US:  


 Thechnician needed (Baltimore area)
Technician needed 


First of all: we do not care if we did spelling, or grammar mistakes in this ad.


We are a locksmith company located in Baltimore metropolitan area.
We are looking for someone that have a goal, and he/she willing to work hard in order to achieve this goal.


About the job:
This job is an emergency based job
it is a 24/7 all year long, so if you want to save money, with this job you can make it 24 hours a day, every day, 365 days a year.
If you can't, or not sure you can handle a 24/7 job, please do not contact us, this is not a part time job.

You will work on 2 time frames:

day: 7:00 AM - till 7:00 PM
night: 7:01 PM - 6:59 AM 

You will make 30% commission for each day job that you do, and 35% commission for each night job that you do. 

Examples:
If you did a job of $100 total:
You will make to your pocket 
$30 on day time, and 
$35 at night time.
If you did a job at total of $200, you will make to your pocket
$60 on day time, and 
$70 at night time,
and so on. 

The faster you are, the more jobs we can send you, the more jobs you do, the more money you make. 

You will work as a subcontractor, a privete contractor, but you must take any job that we will give you at any time.
If you not gonna be available for us 24/7, then we will not gonna continue to work with you anymore. 
Our service area is 40 miles radius from downtown Baltimore (from zip code 21201). 
you will work as a technician on the road with your car, and will provide services at the costumer locations. 
this job is emergency based job, so you must provide the service within 25-40 min from the time the call had been sent to your phone.
You will start with opening cars, and opening houses and businesses for customers that are locked out.
If you will be good, we will teach you other things as well.
When you get a job, you must take it, no questions asked, after you Finish the job, you can do whatever you want until you get the next job.

You must be available at any time!
We know that this job is not for anyone, and most of the people cannot handle a 24/7 availability job, but this is what we are looking for, and this is why we are paying a large commission for each job that you do. 

Training is on us. 

In order to start, you must have:
1) car
2) US driving license
2) GPS
3) cell phone. 
4) at list $1,000 for starting tool and equipment kit.
5) background check (CJIS) - fingerprint check.

Only if you think you can handle a job like that, 
Email us a short massage with:
telephone number
your age
Where you leave including your zip code area. 
What you have from the list above
What you did in the last year

And most important why you think we should choose you. 

You're supposed to leave a massage for them.  They're kind touchy feely about that.  

If you feel like you can handle short cons, then this is the job for you.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/17/14 7:52 PM
Google doesn't vigorously enforce any of their rules across any of their products, unless they absolutely have to, and its in their best financial interest (like YouTube, after pressure from the movie and music studios, and to ensure compliance with the DMCA):  


Watch out!  Adware-filled Chrome extension coming to a Chrome browser near you!  Buyer beware!  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/17/14 8:59 PM
Auto-approved in MM, instantly claimed in the Dashboard (along with the locksmith cat):

Anonymous3807 (16 spam parking lots)

The loophole hasn't been closed.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/18/14 12:34 PM
Still going:


Parking Lot, Internet Marketing Service, tel...Same pattern.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/19/14 3:52 PM
More parking lot spam:



Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 1/19/14 4:01 PM
Google please close this loophole: Park Parking Lot, Ct Parking Lot

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=206758419508412949938
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=217603629354930124448
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=208177385184478730397
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=201881055401871245342
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=206261373525056707171
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=212707676103020989546
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=209534575705015936834
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=211469916669253934053
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=206059890719720081583
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=207183197208708632376
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=203235997934327852188
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=216628304258492622260


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/19/14 8:15 PM
Spammer auto-approved.  Created false listings, vandalized competitor's listings:  

Same person:  

False listing:  
Danville Home Inspectors (multiple false accounts associated with the review process)

Spam edits of competitor listings:

Etc.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/20/14 11:50 AM
No comment:  

Spam:  Quality Locksṁith & Doors

Comment:

Google reviewer Moumita approved spam hijacking of tel:  



Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/20/14 4:20 PM
We created a new sheet on the spam spreadsheet just for SABs.  

If you want to continue pasting in the main spreadsheet, just mark the SABs as SABs in the Spam Fighter notes field.  SABs are POIs with the address hidden, and are also hidden from MM.  

Google needs to tend their garden better.  Send some Google Places Reviewers over, or give GRs access to the Places UI to delete SABs.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Jason in PGH 1/21/14 4:17 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/21/14 6:00 PM
I'm really fascinated at how Google has managed to drag its feet on this issue for months on end:  http://goo.gl/sjbJX8

These issues started in March 2013 and escalated in June/July.  

Some of the other related issues have festered for years on end, preceding my time at MM.  

It baffles me how little interest Google takes in either training their personnel to do their job or fix things that are broken.  


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/21/14 6:17 PM
This is how screwed up Google Maps is:  They can't even keep legitimate listings up, but Maps is flooded with spam.  

Legit, but disappeared:  

Where is it?  Oh, it's invisible because of all the spam (which can't be removed, because GLEs):  

More parking lot spam, same pattern:

Google reminds me a lot of a place I used to work for.  It was really, really hard to get fired.  You had to work at it.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/22/14 1:13 PM
GLE denied spam deletion:  


I'm not sure who's at fault, here.  Google Places, for not training their GLEs to identify (and remove) spam, or the GLE, for not following guidelines.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/22/14 1:14 PM
Incidentally, that's a lot of wasted effort on the part of MM.  Hitting I object means that the POI will be reviewed twice.  

Might want to potty train the GLEs so that you're not constantly having to clean up after them.  Unless you like that sorta thing.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 1/22/14 2:45 PM
Park Parking Lot:


I have to hand it to the spammers.  They are not as lazy as Google.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 1/24/14 8:18 AM
Look at this giant chunk of parking lot to locksmith spam that came down the line yesterday:
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=pyNtycQIAYv2GCIbbs&ll=47.69934,-122.335989&spn=0.10109,0.186768&z=13&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.688743,-122.287447&hyaw=103.3138313865055
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=IQRfhrRE-yCQYMaXf1&ll=47.713782,-122.336794&spn=0.101062,0.186768&z=13&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.734114,-122.345439&hyaw=194.4083647045896
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=IQRfhrR90LE5QTa4vD&ll=47.69934,-122.336794&spn=0.10109,0.186768&z=13&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.686542,-122.363299&hyaw=281.00082540258614
https://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=IQRfhrRp8JOilshDgG&dtab=overview&ll=47.696049,-122.336794&spn=0.101097,0.186768&z=13&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.659401,-122.335013&hyaw=71.3730901792982
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=FxI6Scmy5VD7hqGoDb&ll=47.65944,-122.365496&spn=0.000574,0.00103&z=20&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.659535,-122.365257&hyaw=236.33871091485386
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=KeIS7IvGuxp7sy0aEu&ll=47.612631,-122.318904&spn=0.0368,0.065918&z=14&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.610364,-122.308405&hyaw=171.33621058024573
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=KeIS7IvWPu7kONdFK2&ll=47.733932,-122.333&spn=0.146859,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.746622,-122.290156&hyaw=270.9885414908964
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=KeIS7IvB4LsnlrxFCM&ll=47.684116,-122.352022&spn=0.146999,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.67663,-122.392955&hyaw=79.75768346323444
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=KeIS7Iv_iKMEZc0zxD&ll=47.684116,-122.351679&spn=0.146999,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.687194,-122.374092&hyaw=276.2536705695186
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=KeIS7IvgB6Dsuz4YQq&ll=47.69771,-122.351679&spn=0.146961,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.710527,-122.353859&hyaw=182.3868617756499
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=KeIS7IvUAVfRXEqu0P&ll=47.69778,-122.332015&spn=0.146961,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.710168,-122.289797&hyaw=19.777506023835386
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=KeIS7Ivq5QZBwUURq0&ll=47.684116,-122.324413&spn=0.146999,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.687735,-122.282204&hyaw=85.52195573756607
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=KeIS7Iv6thjCotP6f9&ll=47.684116,-122.329694&spn=0.146999,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.660976,-122.2872&hyaw=272.94182487490343
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=pyNtycQIAYv2GCIbbs&ll=47.708499,-122.329714&spn=0.146931,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.688743,-122.287447&hyaw=103.3138313865055
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=IQRfhrRgjZyz-qEgiX&dtab=overview&ll=47.692198,-122.355871&spn=0.146976,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.646413,-122.396933&hyaw=88.81153174532025
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=7bEvrIN8d97jX2iB02&ll=47.773297,-122.351679&spn=0.146748,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.78146,-122.343165&hyaw=356.2034617938509
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=7bEvrINUWf2g9OTC5u&ll=47.741269,-122.351679&spn=0.146838,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.754132,-122.351201&hyaw=196.08255999943069
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=7bEvrIN05HjdBRgLGE&dtab=overview&ll=47.697299,-122.351679&spn=0.146962,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.651609,-122.378083&hyaw=118.33261803588815
http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=7bEvrINTUcsNkEwduA&ll=47.708217,-122.351679&spn=0.146931,0.263672&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.671298,-122.317358&hyaw=267.00914987303054

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 1/24/14 9:01 AM
Re: Is there any credibility given to an editor or reviewers Geo-Location? Website Design Concepts 1/25/14 1:15 PM <This message has been deleted.>
(unknown) 1/25/14 7:22 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 1/26/14 4:19 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/1/14 8:43 PM
Are you guys giving up? Are you all done fighting spam?
Whats going on???

There use to be so many good spam fighters,
These days, all i see is Spammers, taking over, Come on, Dont give up!!

Where are all the good guys????

Here are some spammers from the last few days,
Cant delete them, any super google man can help here?



Please join the fight, and paste here all the spammers you see, i am sure someone is looking.

Thank you!

Ray

 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 2/1/14 9:07 PM
I am here. I do monitor the map. There are many issues. For example we can completely block the spam method "parking lot->locksmith spam" manually or automatically by deleting every spammy parking lot but GLE will deny it. See this https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/map-maker/review-edit-requests/Nv-PsaCaRf0
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/1/14 11:29 PM
I know, this is some BS.
Its been going on for months. all google need to do is block this option of converting parking lots to Locksmith.
Another big BS is that they are adding "Normal" looking listings, and converting them to Locksmith.
And after you delete them, they just change it back from the Places dashboard, because the GLE's never delete the whole account.

Every time i see spammers add Spam i will post it here.

one more...
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/2/14 2:45 AM
Google has to take the lead here, and correct the underlying problems.  It isn't for lack of effort on the part of the volunteer spam fighters that the spam continues to grow unabated.  It's all due to Google's intransigence.  The Local Spam Team isn't really interested in leading the effort to coordinate the fight across all the teams.  Otherwise the spam would at least go down, instead of up.  

A partial list of the problems (that can't be corrected by spam fighters):
*GLEs
*Moderation algorithms
*Spam algorithms
*Phone verification for PINs on Places
*Faulty, slow, broken reporting mechanisms (Report this, Report a problem, 
*SABs
*Verification in general

I'm a big fan of simple and easy.  Is it simple and easy to remove spam?  No.  Is it really anyone's responsibility to make it easy to remove spam other than Google?  No.  

I wonder if anyone who works at Google has ever tried to remove spam using the existing reporting mechanisms.  It's doubtful, because the process as it now stands is too hard.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/2/14 11:06 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 2/2/14 11:25 AM
For whatever reason, the spammers seem to be converting their parking lots to key duplication which is easy to delete.  It takes Google so long to get around to deleting it though that I suppose the spam listing serves its purpose as it is still active for a week or two before Google deletes it. 
Just yesterday a woman told me, "You should really move to Olympia.  There is nobody there that will open a car for less than $300!"  Apparently the spammers have so much control over the search results and adwords on google that unless you know what you are looking at, it is actually impossible to find a business that is not a scammer (using Google).
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/2/14 12:31 PM
Mr. "LocksmithVigilante"
They are converting it to "Locksmith" and the listing is locked, and can stay for weeks and weeks.

Look at the links for users i pasted before.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/2/14 12:36 PM
Parking Lot-> Locksmith+SAB


This will stay for a while.
This is just an example. Multiply this by 1000.
This is what they added last few days, all around the US
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 2/2/14 12:38 PM
I know that they do that, I am just noticing that a lot of the time they don't.  I suspect that they don't want to make the problem such a huge deal that Google actually becomes motivated to shut off the loophole, and thus shut off a major source of these scumbags' revenue.  If it takes a week to remove them and it is really easy to add them, there is no reason to switch to locksmith category instead of key duplication anyway, especially since both categories show up if you search google maps for a locksmith.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/2/14 12:43 PM
I think you are over analyzing this whole issue.
You think there is one guy sitting and saying "Mmmmm, Today i will add only 300 "Key Duplication Service" to my sapmmy listings, anf tomorrow about 450 more, and this way google will keep the loop hole open."

You are very naive.

There are so many spammer out there, so many different loopholes, and they all go for what ever the can get.
Loop holes in Places, in MM, in the Verification system, hijacking listings, converting listings.
Its a whole party out there. Its now 1 loop hole.

Its 1 Google - ignoring the issues, and supporting spam.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/2/14 12:52 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/2/14 4:20 PM
That's funny.  There's actually a lot of legit locksmiths in Olympia.  

I'm not sure why anyone is okay with Google collecting millions of dollars in AdWords revenue from scammers, or doing nothing to clean out the spammers.  The scammers simply look at AdWords as the cost of doing business, and the fee gets tacked onto the victim's final bill.  Google is getting its cut from an illegal transaction, so the victim is essentially funding their own defraudment.  You can't really pretend like it's not happening.  Google is certainly aware of it--who do you think cancelled Run Local Locksmith's AdWords account?  That's one AdWords account among hundreds, all of them systematically defrauding consumers, who click on AdWords in the mistaken belief that there's a legit locksmith behind the ad.  I don't know of any legit locksmiths who are using AdWords anymore.  Does Google think it's noble and pure because they won't accept ads from gun manufactures and escorts?  What about locksmith spammers?  The scale of their fraud is enormous--for locksmiths in the US alone you're talking about $500 million to $1billion a year moving through their network, and that doesn't necessarily include other peripheral businesses that are getting no attention at all, but are run by the same group of spammers.  Getting a PIN card?  Mail fraud.  Click-to-call?  Wire fraud.  People who work for locksmith scammers?  Immigration fraud.  Bait-and-switch?  Consumer fraud.  Tax evasion?  Tax fraud.  That's RICO-level fraud.  

Of course, if you're Google, your lifeblood is AdWords.  People like the Local Spam PM can pretend it's someone else's problem, and not his responsibility.  To paraphrase him, "AdWords is a whole 'nother division."  Google has already been up to its eyeballs in another AdWords scandal, one that cost them $500 million dollars.  Really, in the end it comes down to simple greed, so that Google can have their toys and build out their little empire.  

Frankly, if I were working for Google, I would be ashamed and embarrassed at the behavior of my company.  It's deeply unethical, and if you're not working to eradicate it, then you're basically colluding with the spammers and causing a lot of suffering.  My understanding is that Googlers working at Mt. View can go talk to Larry or one of the senior execs.  Get some courage and knock on his door, or bring it up at the weekly meetings.  You want to change the world?  An app isn't going to do it.  Answering yet one more complaint about your services or products isn't going to do it.  Typing up some email isn't going to do it.  Eradicating the spammers will change the world.  

Help the spammers go out and get a real job.  Most of them are lazy, stupid, and shady, but there's always ditches to dig and prisons to fill.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/2/14 9:10 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 2/7/14 8:16 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 2/7/14 8:18 AM
None of these are open for user review, Google will have to do so.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 2/10/14 7:48 AM
Wow! Today I have unbelievable smart GLE https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=39&fid=9751003547567931949:9442408915826591313
So they can approve spam deletion but many or 99.9999999% of them won't do it.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 2/10/14 7:57 AM
Am I going mad here or was someone able to publish a locksmith POI in mapmaker??: http://goo.gl/NMDaiA


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers geopgeop (Map Maker RER) 2/10/14 8:50 AM
I'm even more amazed that one of our volunteer RERs approved it. Time to go yell, sheesh.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers thirdandbroad 2/10/14 10:43 AM
These spammers are getting downright ballsy!  The chutzpah of this guy!
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/10/14 11:01 AM
Locksmith cats are only locked in the US, apparently.  What's amusing is that locking the locksmith category has had no effect on the presence of locksmiths in the US, except for the fact that it's now almost impossible to remove locksmiths, as all the reporting mechanisms are effectively broken.  

Here's what will work:
*Unlocking the Locksmith category.  
*Using the crowdsourcing tools of MM to remove spam.  
*Repairing all the various technical and HR issues with Maps Report a problem and Google+Local Edit details.  
*Reintegrating SABs back into MM.  
*Training Googlers to process spam reports efficiently and effectively.  
*Speeding up spam reports within MM.  
*Giving MM GRs the ability to review SABs and edits to claimed listings.  
*Slowing down the rate at which new POIs are added (no phone verification for any business model; manual review bulk uploads; no automatic approval for new POIs in MM).  
*Implementing better verification methods for spam POIs.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 2/10/14 2:02 PM
Sounds like a job for Matt Cutts.  Too bad he's only in Search.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 2/10/14 11:25 PM
What's this spreadsheet about then?
(unknown) 2/10/14 11:25 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/11/14 3:10 PM
Send me an email (conscious...@gmail.com) with your MM profile link and I'll get you access to the spreadsheet.  

It's for reporting spam POIs, troublesome GLEs and profiles, etc.  Pretty self-explanatory, once you see it.  Post links, wait for action.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 2/12/14 1:34 PM
We have been filing a complaint with the attorney general of Colorado. It seems that the attorney general in different states need and want all of us to come and complain together! Why are none of you joining us?

It is a nationwide problem and the attorney generals needs to get together on this.

Forget about Google! We have tried it. Google cannot help us because they are using an automatic system and it’s not a top concern for Google at this point to fight the locksmith spam.

Just to let you know, we have been sending lists for months to Google of fake locksmiths listings. Google responded… We don’t have the manpower to take care of it or give it attention.

Please, lets understand the real solution to the problem. We have to use law enforcement.  The attorney general in Colorado finds it very interesting and i'm sure the attorney general in your state will find it interesting as well. Just try to contact him and ask to contact the AG’s in Colorado for more information.

There is a lot of information that I know about these people. I myself will be happy to assist you and answer more questions you may have.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 2/12/14 2:06 PM
I agree the best way is to circumvent Google or find somebody with leverage over Google (and the phone companies) but I sent a letter to the WA state attorney general about six months ago explaining the problem and my company name.  They sent back a letter explaining that of I wanted to complain about my own company I had to have proof that I hired my own company.  That shows you how much the was state attorney general cares!  They barely read my letter and didn't understand it.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 2/12/14 2:54 PM
The attorney general doesn’t understand. You are talking about millions of dollars tax free money. They don’t understand that most of the employees are here on tourist visas. The attorney general definitely underestimates how big is the locksmith trade is. The attorney general doesn’t know that the there is only about 10 people running a big scale of locksmith companies with fake addresses all over the country. Run Local,  who recently ran away, was bringing in $100,000 a week!
If you want the AGs in WA to get your attention, you have to ask for a meeting. Ask your competitors to join you. Also follow the fake listing on a daily basis. Take screenshots of it and show the AGs how these people are adding hundreds of fake listings a day when Google removes one in months. Explain to the AGs that each listing is a full business and these people are opening hundreds of locksmith businesses a day, when a real locksmith will have only one listing in the area. Don’t give up!! The only reason the AGs didn’t give you the right response is because he doesn’t understand you are talking about millions of dollars a year tax free that is going to the country of Israel. The homeland security will be involved too because most of them are illegal to work here.
In your state can you see hundreds of fake listings? You are talking about 2 or 3 people running it. It will be not so hard to track them.

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/12/14 10:25 PM
If they don't have the manpower to deal with spam, then why have Report a problem on Maps, Edit details on Google+Local, or Report this/Edit on Map Maker?  All of those reports are presumably processed by someone or something somewhere, regardless of whether they're spam or not.  I can imagine if someone clicks on report a problem after they get ripped off because of Google's misleading advertising and false local listings, that the report has to be dealt with by someone at Google.  Presumably, they have the resources to hire an army of GLEs to process Maps reports, but they don't have the resources to train them to do their job?  I should also point out that, in the past, Google at least looked at the reports.  Now they're claiming that they don't look at them at all?  Also, this is simply not true for MM.  I have filed reports in MM, and if they're edits, they're processed by GRs or a mod bot, and if I file a report, with the exception of spam reports, the reports are processed by the GRs within a reasonable time frame.  So the Google rep was either misinformed or lying.  

If the volume of incoming spam is the issue, they can reduce this substantially by switching to a tighter verification system to make it harder for spammers to get on board.  Since the Local Data Quality team has had years of experience, preparation, knowledge, and engineering resources to deal with the spam problem, what, exactly, is their excuse for not dealing with the spam?  Why would Google continue to employ a local spam team that has effectively done nothing about the problem, and is regularly fooled by the spammers?  I though Google measured performance with metrics (it would be misleading to use volunteers on MM removing the spam that Places refuses to remove as a metric for the success of Google's approach)?  

Nonetheless, the only option at this point is to engage the interest of local state AGs, since Google would prefer to take the lazy way out by aiding and abetting criminals and get their 'taste' of that sweet, sweet AdWords revenue that they're addicted to.  
 
I think AEGe is right.  You will have to prepare a report detailing all the players (including Google, which plays a central role in this epic catastrophe), the amount of money being swirled around (at least $25 million/year for locksmiths in the state of WA), outline a plan of action, and get all your fellow locksmiths on board to meet, in person, with an assistant state AG, not some intern straight out of community college.  This is not a consumer complaint, this is a criminal matter.  I know most of the local legit locksmiths in WA would agree to meet and figure this out.  

I would also shake the tree and find someone in your network who knows someone who works in the State AG's office, to get an "in".  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers randomwilly 2/14/14 10:07 AM

Just going to but in briefly to ask who this user is: http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&uid=211583736793503149763


I don't know why he/she butted in to say a couple of my edits are correct (http://goo.gl/ZCWyOY and http://goo.gl/pD5w7P) and that something will be done soon, but the user doesn't appear to be employed by Google…  but they are active making "Building" edits here there and everywhere. Spammer tailing me, or some other goofiness I don't get?


I'll likely have some comments on spammers and the law, later, when I find more time.

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 2/14/14 2:03 PM
No, that is a spammer. The building edits are a "technique" they use to try and hide their obvious spam.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 2/14/14 6:30 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/14/14 7:32 PM
He's contacting them.  

Here's the Ohio State AG's contact information:  
800-282-0515 
614-466-4986

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/14/14 7:35 PM
They need to escalate this to RICO level, and get ICE, IRS, Postal Inspection Service, and the FBI involved.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/14/14 7:39 PM
Federal resources to file complaints with:  
FBI (cyber crime):  http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

Each state also has an Attorney General (consumer fraud), contracting board (contractor issues), sometimes a locksmith licensing board (locksmith complaints), and a department of revenue (tax fraud).  Google them for each state and start filing complaints.  It's the only thing they notice, when the paperwork starts piling high.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 2/14/14 7:39 PM
We will, we will making sure the Colorado AG's will call him
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/14/14 7:50 PM
I know one state, Virginia who I wouldn't bother to contact because they've been dragging their feet.  Both the State AG's office, and the DCJS refuse to enforce the law despite being asked to by licensed local locksmiths (you know, the ones that pay their salaries), and in at least one instance, went after a legitimate licensed locksmith who complained about the spammers, after a spammer filed a spurious complaint!  It just goes to show that the law is only for the people who follow the law, or if you pay enough in bribes to get your issue noticed by an AG, or if they're embarrassed into taking action.  The Virginia AG knows full well about the spammers, and they just don't care.  It's ridiculous how complacent they are.  

Also, don't contact the BBB (Better Business Bureau).  They're worthless.  Try the Consumerist, local TV news stations, anyone that reports on consumer fraud.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/14/14 7:55 PM
Most excellent.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 2/14/14 7:55 PM
Im ready to get my family to the AG's building and just go to sleep there over night
(unknown) 2/14/14 8:07 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 2/14/14 8:08 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers M. Dawood Karim 2/14/14 10:10 PM
Hi there,
Yes, I have approved it without any comment as I found the local mapper trustworthy for a while! A locksmith with a contact number is a regular business here in Bangladesh and does not needed to be scrutinized (in  Map Maker Support, Google Map Maker Terms of Use and also in Bangladesh laws). These locksmith are doing business with proper permission from local government authority, and often they establish their shops in road side huts! 
Unlike yours, these locksmiths are not that much sophisticated and do their works with hand held tools; and usually they provide services for lost keys, fixing locks for travel bags etc.
That's why I didn't give any comments there!
Thanks for understanding!  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers W12 engine 2/15/14 7:45 AM
The above post is likely in response to keith.a and geopgeop's discussion here : https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/map-maker/UL1Y5CEdUJA/CucQ_G8K35gJ

The RER has also left a comment on the now deleted edit. http://goo.gl/xvzJwI   
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 2/15/14 8:35 AM
I called the Google Maps team from my Google Plus dashboard account. They have a click2call button during business hours. Google's response is that the MM system is blocked and all we can do is use the "report a problem" link in each listing itself. I can see some fake listings being removed after days, but then in the next day the spammers just add a few of them back in just a few hours. If Google's lawyer would receive a call from the AG's.... Google will start to take it seriously.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Cardice 2/15/14 8:38 AM
Could you care to clarify this "MM system is blocked "? Thanks.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 2/15/14 9:51 AM
A Google employee told me that they are looking to shutdown the MM system. I don't have information about why, when, and what is next. But whatever happens, it looks like it's become worse for us. This is one of the reasons I think we are all shooting  blanks here with Google.

We can become more active instead of sitting our asses in front of the computer and get up and go out to the AG's office to get protection from the law with the AG's. (This is his job.) He is the state lawyer for the public. We need to get out from the box we have been in for years. It's not about saving Google anymore its about saving us.

We need to get all kinds of different locksmith companies to go to the AG's offices all over the country. Why doesn't anybody want to step up? Here in Colorado we did. Other locksmiths in other states need to come forward as soon as possible too. Just tell your AG's to contact the AG's in Colorado for more info.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 2/15/14 9:56 AM
You have misunderstood.  Places decided that those that had hid their address needed to be removed from Map Maker, as their address still showed there and so there could be privacy issues.  That's what is meant by "locking out" and "getting rid of Map Maker".

Next time you talk to them, when they tell you to use Report a Problem from within the item itself, tell them that Report a Problem generates a MM edit, and since the item isn't in MM, it won't let you.  Places staff are well known for not understanding.  I'd just respond "No, that's the point, that doesn't work due to the changes Places made.  Please provide a solution that does work."
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/15/14 4:08 PM
Click to call them again, and tell them:

*Maps (Old and New) Report a problem doesn't work.  I have used it extensively over a three year period, and the only time I ever got any traction is when I escalated the report via MM.  I haven't received an Action Taken email from any spam POI that I've reported, and they've never taken down the listings.  
*Edit details ("Report a problem") on Google+Local is broken for SABs--you get a 404 page.  You can't report something you can't report.  In addition, the reports for non-SABs are funneled to MM, and the Places GLEs deny spam deletions, thus killing the purpose of reporting spam.  

They are insane to believe/pretend otherwise.  If it worked, it would work.  It doesn't work.  What part of "doesn't work" don't they understand?  




Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/15/14 4:59 PM
*A Googler tells me they're no longer interested in working with individuals.  
*RER program is effectively shut down.  
*MM abandons any pretense of community, and switches to the product model of other groups.  
*Product features trimmed away.  
*Places has more influence over elements of their group within MM:  GLEs, SABs, etc., and have been making steady inroads into MM, effectively displacing MM.    
*Places making a big push for businesses to upload and claim their businesses.  
*Places and the has-been social network Google+ takes more precedence in SEO.  
*Databases merged.  
*Link to MM removed from the new Maps, Report a problem funneled to a new black hole, segregated from MM.  
*Product features that lead to MM remain unfixed; efforts to remove claimed spam via MM are blocked.  
*High level features, like highways, are locked from editing, and increasingly, Maps Editors are capable of working on features that were previously the domain of mappers.  

If this isn't shutting down, then MM's influence is withering away.  

Google has never been one for anyone telling them what they can do with their data.  The engineers and upper management have too much pride (and are too sequestered and pampered) to be told when they're doing it wrong, even when they're doing it wrong.  They are not one for any kind of community, much less communication, unless it adds substantially to their bottom line, in which case, they can pretend long enough that they're for community (that is, until they leech ever last bit of data from the community).  They readily abandon products if they're not making money, or they're not contributing substantial data that Google finds useful, or will eventually make money.  

It's also interesting how they're emphasizing data quantity over quality.  MM is, for all its faults, about quality.  Places, is all about quantity.  One cannot survive in the face of the other.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/19/14 10:24 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 2/19/14 10:29 AM
If you have their accounts, the best thing to do is to just "Report user as spammer". This will automatically get anything they publish reverted by an automated spam cleaner. No need to go through every individual edit they've made and try to undo it.

Likewise, if you have a bunch of spam POIs, the best thing to do is to just delete them (or report them) as spam. This will reflect on their account, which should trigger an automatic spam cleanup later. (If it doesn't, then that's Google's fault, not ours).
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/19/14 10:33 AM
MR - The Webspam Inquisition

You are very naive.

But i respect every spam fighter, keep doing whatever you think works, and i will do what i think work.

One thing i do know. "Report a problem" "Report as spammer" ect. Dont work.

By the time Google will even look at the report, the spammers already would have X100 more spam.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 2/19/14 10:44 AM
Mr. Spam Terminator, there is no need for personal attacks on this forum.  We are all working towards the same goal here, probably even Google is to some extent.  We are on your side working with the same crap tools so don't misdirect your frustrations at us.  Accusations of naïveté are counter-productive.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/19/14 10:47 AM
"personal attacks" ?
God bless you,
Like i said, i respect you, and any other spam fighter.

Good luck.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 2/19/14 10:53 AM
I don't think I am. Even if Google doesn't act on it right now, the data they need to do so in the future are all there, and that's what matters.  Making sure to provide Google with as much data about spam as possible is in some ways more important than trying to delete a dozen or so spam listings per day.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/19/14 10:57 AM
I have no more faith or trust in google.
They are the #1 supporter of spam.

I am posting it here so RER's and Googlers could see it and delete it.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 2/19/14 12:33 PM

You are very naive.


This is not the first time you have said this to someone who does not hold the same opinion as you.  Please keep such comments out of the forum, it is disrespectful.

The GRs do not visit this forum.  The RERs have no more ability to remove those than you do, they use the same tools as you and have the same editing trust as any other user.  You are basically asking that someone else clicks "Report This" for you as you cannot be bothered.  Using that method will get almost all of these taken down, you just have to wait for it to get from the person that receives the report to the person that handles that sort of report.  

A select few of us have the ability to add it to the spam spreadsheet, but that is meant as a way of reporting items that failed to get taken down by following the regular processes.  The people that work on our reports there have other jobs and just occasionally check the sheet.  The sheet is thus no quicker nor any more successful than using "Report This".  If we were to flood it with all reports rather than using the proper reporting methods then it would become more than they can handle.  Since most will get handled by using the correct reporting methods, and will get handled by people who's primary job function is to handle those reports, that is the proper way to report them.  That is also the proper way to ensure it gets into the stats Google would look at to decide what problem they should focus on next.  Once proper methods have been tried, the few that didn't get removed after the majority did would be appropriate to be added to the spreadsheet.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/19/14 1:48 PM
I think the problem is the same one it's been for quite awhile:

There's no clear, simple, easy pathway to remove spam from Google Maps.  Google has made this process unnecessarily complicated, and it takes too long.  It's not that difficult to review spam reports, and come to a definitive conclusion.  I can safely say that I ran into only a handful of POIs that fell into the grey "I'm not sure" zone, and although I knew that they were spam, I had a hard time proving it, because technically they fell within the guidelines, and it would've been difficult to prove to GRs that it was spam based on my hunch alone.  Everything else was spammy spam spam.  

What worked best in my experience was deleting them in MM and get them approved by a GR.  All the POIs, including SABs, were visible in MM.  There were no GLEs, no spreadsheets, no locked features or categories, none of that other procedural noise.  

Now it's hard.  

I don't see it getting any easier, either.  Google has committed to certain product decisions that continue to have a negative impact on spam mitigation.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers W12 engine 2/19/14 10:21 PM
Maybe my suggestion is oft-repeated or I may sound very naive - did you fill the spreadsheet the one shared on this thread or the one referred to by consciousnessbliss on the forums? We've limited options ( Report a problem" "Report as spammer  etc ) to report issues. I've reported an issue and used all the available channels for the reporting, and now I don't have to do anything but wait for the resolution. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 2/19/14 11:39 PM
Speaking of stats, California and Florida seem to be high-priority spam targets.  I'm finding more fake parking lots ("Park Parking Lot") in my spam sweeps in those two states than in any other state.  Has anyone else noticed this?

Additionally, I'm going to try to start putting out regular statistics on spam volume, distribution, and Google's efficiency at removing it.  No promises, but I hope to be able to do this on a weekly basis.  Currently, I'm just identifying spam listings labeled "Park Parking Lot", which seems to be a very popular locksmith precursor.  Are there any other known common locksmith precursor names?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/20/14 12:22 AM
"Park Parking Lot" is a moderation loophole that spammers are either exploiting now or in the recent past.  You'll find references to it in previous posts in this discussion thread.  It was ignored for months on end, and if it's still occurring, it's still being ignored.  Hmm.  Simply put, a new account was created on MM, and it allowed you to add certain kinds of features at a prodigious rate, without being moderated--essentially, everything was auto-approved.  Those features were then claimed on the Places Dashboard (usually within minutes) and then converted to spam POIs, usually locksmiths.  Why Places hasn't caught on to this is strange, but perhaps the hundreds of reports that I sent them regarding this situation were "lost" in the email.  

You'll find recurring patterns, because it probably never occurred to Googlers that spammers tend to repeat themselves, endlessly.  Creativity is thrown out the window when you outsource spam operations to India or the Philippines.  It's just factory work, repeat, repeat, repeat.  Why this can't be translated into spam detection algorithms is a puzzle.  Perhaps Google is not so good at building algorithms, after all.  

One way to measure spam volume is to regularly track the addition of spam across multiple categories.  This seems to never have occurred to Googlers on the Local spam team, either, but statistical analysis is probably not one of their strong suites.  (Spam mitigation is not one of their strong suites, either.  They are very good at standing still.)

Some of the commonly spammed categories or keywords are:
Locksmith
Garage Door Supplier
Key Duplication Service
Carpet Cleaning
Lawyer/Attorney
Bail Bond
Tow Truck
Wrecking Service
Handymen/Handyman
Escort Service
Mover
Limo
Taxi Service
Dating Service
Fire Damage Restoration Service
Water Damage Restoration Service
Check Cashing Service
ADT (name of business)
Comcast (name of business)
DirectTV (name of business)
Plumbers
Electricians
You name it, someone is spamming it in some way

So I would use Classic Maps, and then keyword search, as it gives a fairly accurate summary.  You only need to track a few key markets, for example, NYC, Los Angles, Las Vegas, Denver, which have the densest concentration of spam, to get a good read on the spam (or just track the US as whole).  If the spam stays the same, the reporting processes are not working.  If the spam goes up, the verification procedures are not working.  If the spam goes down, what you're doing is effective, but it's only because Google (barely) did their job and got out of the way.  

Realistically, if any given locality, there's not hundreds of listings for a product category.  For example, in the US, my estimate is that there's about 5000 legit locksmiths total.  According to Google, there's 20,000, which seems a bit off.  

What would be interesting is if Google suspended MM in its entirety, or if mappers on MM ceased spam mitigation, and see where the numbers go.  I think that the spam total numbers would go up, dramatically, since Google is not actively pursuing spam, and they've closed off many of the traditional reporting mechanisms, perhaps in an effort to take a breather from their long siesta.  Even without MM to add new spam, the spammers would turn back to their besties over at Places and jump the fence (well, it's not really a fence, so much as a rock you occasionally stumble over, but Places is more than happy to give you a hand and pull you over to their side).  

More ideas here, from an old article I wrote.  

I would also encourage everyone to lobby GMM on a solution for spammy SABs, via reportabus...@google.com and mapm...@google.com.  They're being added to the spreadsheet, but nothing is being done to take them down.  Places has made a series of bad, not infrequently catastrophic decisions in regard to their product development, and segregating SABs was just one of the many.  Not surprisingly, when you allow a product group like Places to make bad decisions, without any accountability or guidance, like a misbehaving child, they will continue to make even more bad decisions.  

I can safely say that MM is pretty good at removing spam, although they can be slow.  The spammers are even better at adding spam, and they're quick, especially at finding exploits.  Places does not like to remove spam at all, and they're only quick if it threatens the integrity of a money making product like Google Hotel Finder, or if they manage to detect (as in, someone detected it for them) a mega-spam network with the same name that they've already removed several times before.  

Barbarians at the gates, indeed.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 2/20/14 12:42 AM
I was thinking about this myself.  I want to see statistics about how fast Google responds to spam listings that are reported in
1. the Mapmaker interface
2. the google maps interface
3. the spreadsheet

So far I have seen much faster turnaround with the spreadsheet but can't back it up with actual statistics.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/20/14 1:34 AM
There's no response to No. 2, Google Maps, in my experience.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/20/14 3:08 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Nyagoslav 2/20/14 3:14 AM
Thanks for posting about the article here! This is actually a great thread, I will be digging into it.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/20/14 3:20 AM
Excellent, I look forward to your input, Nyagoslav.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/20/14 3:57 AM
Annnnndddd...


The Park Parking Lot exploit hasn't been closed.  MM has been aware of this for months and months and months, and like Places, has done nothing about it.  There's no excuse, not even by the loose engineering standards of perpetual beta MM.  

I'm not sure how many times I need to say it.  Obviously:

*You don't want new accounts auto-publishing.  You just don't.  
*You don't want new accounts auto-publishing POIs with very common spammy names.  
*You don't want new accounts auto-publishing POIs with very common spammy names with telephone numbers, because parking lots do not usually have telephone numbers.  

The easiest solution is to end auto-publishing for new accounts.  It was a stupid idea.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/20/14 1:56 PM
This is so not going to be abused at all:

Good work, Places!  

I think this guy should call Places Support and have his listing reinstated, since it’s not only true, but it falls within the new guidelines.  

Actual working title (I am not making this up!):
Lol Google u r my bit.ch
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/20/14 3:50 PM
Mike Blumethal had some great examples on his blog of spam that made it to Google Maps:  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 2/22/14 8:30 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers randomwilly 2/22/14 12:50 PM

Woke up this morning, checked locksmiths in my area like I usually do, found a couple dozen had got added overnight. Some are addresses in New Jersey claiming to be locksmiths here in Kansas City. How does that happen?

I phoned a few of the spams when I couldn't verify on the Net just who they'd stolen the address from. And I found what I was expecting: They don't know their address either. One guy (and he answered 2 different numbers to 2 different companies) plainly admitted they're not local, that they use a subcontractor (a "technician").

Also, what is Google's aim in hiding many of these addresses? To help prevent Google-users from trying to locate a shop that isn't a shop? That doesn't work. Prospective customers call asking "Where's your shop?!" and they often do it AFTER driving to where they saw "the red dot" hovering on the Map, or their smart-phone app gave them directions to an SAB.

I'm thinking the "service" of hiding the address is extremely outweighed by the disservice of hiding addresses. If a Google-user were to hire a locksmith and the locksmith were to 1) pull a scam on them or 2) damage their property, then they have little recourse. If they want to press the matter legally, they can't. The scammer isn't at the "verified" address given to Google, and Google's hiding a lot of these addresses anyway. Scam companies are effectively masked from public scrutiny and from accountability by Google.

There ought at least be a requirement to have a website where the address given to Google is displayed. My own business address was verified, in part, in this way back when Google did manual reviews  (so why require websites with contact info from some and not others?).

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/22/14 5:02 PM
Simplest solution is to make all SABs (service area businesses) visible in MM, so that you can verify the address.  

No one uses MM to get directions.  They use it to add or fix Maps data.  

Legitimate business addresses are a matter of public record, easy to check online at various government websites.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers randomwilly 2/23/14 12:40 PM
I meant how the addresses are hidden on Maps. People often ask for the business location before hiring the service, and they have every right to (The spammers inevitably react to it like it's a pointless and stupid question). Upset consumers have limited legal recourse for their complaints when a business location is hidden. 

The use of showing SAB's in MM would be two-fold: 1) we spam fighters can find if it's real or stolen address (though Google should be doing that) or the address of someone without a business license (assuming the government website is actually a complete record). And 2) spammers can get revenge on the SAB's of disliked legitimate businesses by hacking listings (it has happened) and making false reports that get the exact response from Google they're hoping for.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/23/14 2:29 PM
Agreed.  Sorry, I misunderstood what you were trying to say.  

The person or team that made the decision to hide SABs system-wide was stupid, because outside of their experience of working for Google, they've never actually run a business or had a real job, so they can't think like a person who actually runs a business or uses their Maps service.  The idea of 20 year olds who just ascended from their mom's basement making these kind of decisions that affect businesses on a global scale is kind of absurd--it's like trusting a 2 year old with a butcher knife.  Creating a business directory is not the same as playing with Legos or working on an Arduino project.  It's just not.  You have to be careful, because businesses are sustained around a complex web of social relationships, and brilliance with engineering doesn't translate well into brilliance with social (there's something odd about people who want to reduce all communication down to machines talking to machines).  

The problem, of course, is that once something is 'set' within Google, it's hard to change it.  Googlers, even though they pretend to follow the data, don't.  They make a decision based on their own prejudices, and then use the data to justify that decision.  After that, they continue following the decision, instead of the data.  The data would indicate that whoever made this decision to hide SABs was ignorant, and they would like to avoid the conclusion that they were wrong, perhaps because they're bucking for a seat as a PM, or maybe, someday, a VP--if they can even see that they were wrong at all, which is also just as likely.  

Look at Mayer.  She made a bad series of decisions regarding Local.  No one had the courage to say to her, "Marissa, using Zagat's rating system is stupid, because no one who uses our product understands what the hell it means.  Using stars is much simpler, because everyone understands that."  Until she left for Yahoo, it wasn't changed.  

So goes with all their verification procedures at Google Local.  There's a certain kind of laziness that accompanies their verification procedures.  It's superficially much easier to call the business in question than it is to train someone to verify a business using other processes.  However, it's actually much harder, since it increases the time spent (phone calls are long) and it doesn't do any better job than a Magic 8 ball as to determining the veracity of the business, so following that procedure increases the total amount of spam.  If you train someone to verify a business properly, they can actually do it much, much faster than a phone call, and it's accurate, and there's no people involved, just machines.  Seems like a very Googly outcome, eh, machines talking to machines?  

Another way to put it is, if Google's verification procedures are any good, how does Google account for all the local spam?  

As for the SAB, businesses should be allowed to hide their address, if they want, but the address should be visible somewhere, ideally MM, because Google has shoddy verification procedures, and they make a lot of mistakes even with their 'resources'.  How many times has your local knowledge trumped that of GRs, who are probably better equipped than their always wrong GLE counterparts?  Most SABs cheat anyway, and display their address, since it helps with hyper-localized searches (if you flood the map with tons of spam, you can outrank even local businesses by creating lots of POIs that are close to the location of the person calling for a service).  

It really amazes how adaptive the spammers are, and how rigid Google is in comparison.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 2/24/14 6:27 PM
Today all of the new locksmiths in the USA appear to be "On the second floor next to" some business.  It is funny because I can't recall ever seeing any locksmith business on any floor except the first floor of a building!
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 2/24/14 7:32 PM
At first, I apologize if I sound too direct.
10 years ago I saw how the locksmith scammers flooded the 411 directory and 10 years later I can read everywhere online that someone is trying to tell someone there is locksmith spam on Google? Really? Google didn’t know that? And BTW has anybody ever heard about USA Locksmith from New Jersey? It looks like the  owner is still running the locksmith spam in the US from Canada. My question is how can anybody still have any questions about the scam? Why is everybody refusing to take a bigger step and use the law enforcement? So of course they will get away with it.. Nobody is doing anything effective to stop them.

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/24/14 8:18 PM
I found your YouTube channel:  

Date Posted:  April 4, 2012:      

Engineer talking about verification techniques (jump ahead in video):  

Engineer in story left in June 22, 2011:

Story is actually from May 6, 2010:  

Busted!  Google has known about this problem for 4 years, and done nothing.  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 2/24/14 8:31 PM
On the other hand, as AEGe just pointed out, this spam was around before Google was the medium.  While I would love to see Google improve it's spam handling and I'll keep discussing it with them behind the scenes; it is not Google that created the spam nor is their medium unique that is wasn't possible beforehand.  The big issue continues to be that tens of thousands of people are defrauded, and yet law enforcement does nothing.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/25/14 7:53 AM
Check the photo and listing type on this example:



Example job from searching oDesk for locksmith:


That's Chixy Chai?  Or something like that.  It's a spammer out of the Philippines.  May be more than one, since that's a common spam technique from that region, or it may be that that's her modus operandi.  I found a few of her profiles on more than a few edits.  

Profiles:  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 2/25/14 9:44 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/26/14 12:23 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/26/14 1:28 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 2/27/14 3:43 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers an interested editor 2/28/14 8:45 PM
From the lack of response, I believe you have their answer.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Micro741 3/1/14 10:06 AM
Google has finally added some restrictions for business verification.. if you haven't realized yet.. business phone verification doesn't work anymore. Yey
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 3/2/14 5:18 PM
Timing is everything!  Only several years later...
While we wait for Google to figure out how to cauterize the other heads of this locksmith scam hydra, maybe somebody could help approve these deletions which were denied to me by GLE's:

https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=55&editids=Z8_YAZX-Ypu_B8AO9v&iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&ll=47.775814,-122.310248&spn=0.000975,0.001876&z=20&lyrs=1&lyt=large_map_v3&htll=47.775814,-122.310248&hyaw=356.5986502703314

http://www.google.com/mapmaker?iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=39&fid=6093394236454131893:10111024358083235298&dtab=overview&ll=47.668505,-122.382327&spn=0.000977,0.001876&z=20&lyt=large_map_v3&htll=47.812547,-122.38268&hyaw=127.03933123561161

http://www.google.com/mapmaker?qmo=re&iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=Z8_YAZXuf2gR_G1eOm&ll=47.734351,-122.232907&spn=0.249843,0.480309&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.732319,-122.35656&hyaw=167.6094784280999

http://www.google.com/mapmaker?qmo=re&iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=Z8_YAZXTVkSNX0E6FP&ll=47.70312,-122.232907&spn=0.249993,0.480309&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hyaw=167.6094784280999

http://www.google.com/mapmaker?qmo=re&iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=Z8_YAZXhHdvVqzI3Xp&ll=47.734351,-122.232907&spn=0.249843,0.480309&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hll=47.755406,-122.321403&hyaw=87.41859298834395

http://www.google.com/mapmaker?qmo=re&iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=Z8_YAZXTVkSNX0E6FP&ll=47.703143,-122.232907&spn=0.249992,0.480309&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hyaw=336.08180575642604

http://www.google.com/mapmaker?qmo=re&iwloc=0_0&fmi=0_0&gw=55&editids=Z8_YAZXVblwFFXXDDd&ll=47.625095,-122.234167&spn=0.250366,0.480309&z=12&lyt=large_map_v3&hyaw=336.08180575642604
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 3/2/14 5:32 PM
On Sunday, 2 March 2014 17:18:19 UTC-8, LocksmithVigilante wrote:
Timing is everything!  Only several years later...

Phone verification was actually a fairly new thing.  This is a return to how it was last year.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers James Stew 3/2/14 7:53 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/2/14 8:48 PM
From four years ago:

April 4, 2012 (features Google engineer, talking about verification; skip ahead to 1:11):  

Engineer in story left in June 22, 2011:

Story is actually from May 6, 2010:


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/2/14 9:39 PM
From Bryan/maptivist's IamA:


I'm way too late to this thread but I used to be part of googles "verification process". Want to know what it is? Its about 100 underpaid temp workers in an unmarked office building in a Seattle suburb using Google searches and street view to verify submissions. Most of your submissions would have been denied right away if it weren't for the fact that they were probably buried in thousands of edits. I'm guessing you have trusted user status as well?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 3/13/14 8:36 PM
Spammers are not happy with current situation. Another attempt to find a hole https://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=66&ptab=1&uid=206710990342718669521
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 3/13/14 9:06 PM
They may not be happy with the ease of adding stuff to google maps, but i don't think their feathers are that ruffled.  They are still number one on Adwords.  In fact they have all three top places on a Google search at my location due to the help of Adwords, meaning they still have guaranteed $200 tickets from the gullible.  They still aren't getting investigated or getting caught in sting operations here.  I think the scammers are just peachy!  If Google actually removed paulslocksmith.com, fidelitylocksmith.com, hawklocksmith.com, recommendedlocksmith.com, 24locksmithing.com, pisecuritysolutions.com etc and all other fronts for scammers from Adwords then they might start hurting for money and start investigating other services to scam people on, like chimney sweeping and plumbing.  Right now they don't have to get their hands too dirty.  This is just a flesh wound for them, they are still getting plenty of money.  Don't forget, they also have Google Local ads all over google maps. 
Eventually Google's failure to meet this problem head on will have trained everybody to use adblockers and they will have to learn how to deliver meaningful search results to their users again, but until that time suckers will keep calling scammers and scammers will keep making more money than locksmiths and continue being able to afford exorbitant advertising budgets.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 3/13/14 9:27 PM
How do you know that those websites are involved with Locksmith spam? They all look like unique websites that were configured very differently.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/13/14 9:35 PM
This is pretty incredible when you think about it:   

WHY HASN'T MM FIXED THE MODERATION HOLE?  

To wit:  Anonymous9521
1 day, 17 total edits, 13 approved

How do you get auto-published if you're a first time mapper?  How?  Is anyone going to seriously suggest that after months and months and months, MM can't figure out how to plug this hole?  

To wit, if I want to build anything without bothering with GLEs or guidelines or any of that nonsense, I'll just create a shiny new, throwaway account, rather than using my existing account, and get auto-approved.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 3/13/14 9:43 PM
Because they have the same list of fake locksmiths on them
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 3/13/14 10:10 PM
Those links can be reported to the Google Webspam team directly if it can be demonstrated that they're doing nasty things.

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 3/13/14 10:23 PM
The websites have phone numbers on them.  So do the AdWords.  When you call these numbers it goes to a call center, the same call centers (and this is important here) that you get when you call the phone numbers listed on MM spam listings...  When they send a guy out to help you, he will employ bait and switch techniques and charge the times more than a locksmith with a reputation to protect.  With that money he will pay some Lady in the Philippines to make fake Google plus profiles to give fake reviews for fake locksmith companies.  He will pay Google for AdWords and Google local ads, bidding higher than real locksmiths can afford to.  He will pay the el ad group to make more joomla cookie cutter websites that link to each other for maximum seo results.  And he will make more fake locksmith listings on Google maps, waiting for the Google confirmation letters to come rolling in to derelict houses around his neighborhood.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 3/13/14 11:34 PM
I've filed appropriate webspam reports against all of them referencing the fact that none of them appear to be licensed, per http://bls.dor.wa.gov/LicenseSearch/
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/14/14 12:44 AM
Two of them do:

US 1 Locksmith
UBI:  603227569

24/7 Mobile Hawk Locksmith
UBI:  602678578

The search engine for WA LIC is not very good.  The fewer the search terms, the better.  I used their BBB profiles to dig them up (owner's business name).  

However, there's only two authoritative licensing websites for locksmiths, as many spammers will register themselves with the existing licensing authorities (Run Local, a well known fraudulent outfit, has done this on multiple occasions):

I use the state licensing websites first, to quickly eliminate possibilities, then turn to the other databases to verify them more thoroughly (1.  Check business name  2.  Check business location).  

The reasons are complex, but they boil down to peer review, background check, ethical locksmith.  Anyone can apply, only legit locksmiths will get in.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 3/14/14 12:51 AM
The only search term I used was "Locksmith". Those results should have been returned, but they weren't.

Oh well - I'll just open up those webspam tickets and amend them with this new information... yep.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Spam Terminator 3/14/14 6:02 AM
Look at these listings i am attaching, all are the same, i just wanted to show a few examples, but there are many more, all around the US.
They all are the same:
All have Locksmith+City name+Angieslist.com (as website)+"Located" in the city center+some BS gmail account.

Baltimore:

Columbia MD:

Minneapolis:

FL:


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 3/15/14 12:42 PM
Recently If you try to remove spam [key duplication service], you will automatically be denied? Is it just me all of sudden or google changes? This is only one particular category where my edits are being automatically denied. Tried to send an email to google but no response.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 3/15/14 1:37 PM
if spammers notice you removing their listings, they will turn around and report YOU as a spammer!  You have to post about it here and send an email to mapmake...@gmail.com and ask them to reinstate you.  It has happened to me numerous times.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 3/15/14 1:38 PM
actually, never mind.  It failed to delete for me too.  Something else is amiss!
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 3/15/14 1:41 PM
So they technically locked [key duplication service] now? What is awesome news for spammers.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 3/15/14 1:48 PM
It will just be this one item that is corrupt.  Use Report This.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers W12 engine 3/16/14 4:08 AM
I am sorry, the reporting mail id posted above is incorrect. I am copy-pasting the entire text for reporting such cases : 


Suspension or blocking of Users

Users found moderating User Submission, more than twice, in a malicious manner or in a manner that in the sole discretion of Google appears to be with a view to post inaccurate information or in a manner that results in spam, or for giving abusive comments while moderating, shall be barred /disabled from moderating User Submissions.

Any User that has been blocked shall have an opportunity of applying to Google for the restoration of his account by sending an email toreportabus...@google.com stating appropriate reasons why his termination is not justified. The decision of Google in this regard shall be final and binding.


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Gary D. 3/16/14 6:16 PM
Got the same problem, 
Trying to delete spam (100% confirmed spam) and got the "Auto Deny"
Please take a look at these:
My 100% is now 99% approved in my user info. Sad.
Wrote about it to "Lori" and to the "Report Abuse" email address.
You Guys are more then welcome to check it out, and get "Auto Deny" as well.

Auto Deny:

Didnt even try, It would be "Auto Deny" anyway.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/16/14 6:18 PM
Tested.  Can confirm.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 3/16/14 7:46 PM
I just got an auto-deny as well (http://goo.gl/jTNRkU). But it only happened for one of the features I tried to delete. Most of the ones I deleted were sent into review, and one was even auto-approved.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Gary D. 3/17/14 6:03 AM
Same problem this morning,
Tried to delete a spam listing in a different industry (Florist) and it went into "Pending"
Went back to "Locksmith" and got the "Auto Deny" again

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Lori Savageau 3/17/14 11:07 AM
Hey folks,

I've noticed that all mappers attempting to delete locksmith spam have been getting auto-denied as a side-effect of a mass-sweep, internally, to remove this latest flux of locksmith spam. That said, I welcome you to ping me all links to reported spam so I can escalate internally and avoid any more dings on your accounts. 

I appreciate your diligence and patience, and will do my best to keep you updated on the ongoing situation/problem.

Thanks,
Lori

MM Community Manager 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/17/14 1:21 PM
Well, that's interesting.  

Can we get Denver from 623 to less than 20?  They do not have more than 20 locksmiths in that region.  I think they have about 10.  I could manually sweep through that area in about an hour.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Micro741 3/17/14 2:08 PM
I keep reporting these fake locksmiths as spam but nothing really happens. Am I wasting my time?

http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=30&q=philadelphia+locksmith&ll=26.367725,-80.132561&spn=0.001026,0.001888&qmo=&start=10

The way I do it is going to mapmaker, searching for locksmith and report the spam listings.
Is there a better way?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Michael W. Jones 3/17/14 6:25 PM
Lori -

I too have been doing the due diligence of trying to report locksmith spam for removal (I know that I typically can't edit the locksmith category since it's locked, so I don't even try). Several weeks ago I spent a few hours each day over several days looking at locksmiths, and querying the Texas Department of Public Safety licensing database (Texas is one of a few states that requires all locksmiths be licensed) by name and by address. I filed spam reports on each that was not found in the database. I looked back today and the area I worked through of Dallas/Fort Worth has the same number of Locksmiths today as they did before I started (this is browsing the "Locksmith" category):

The area outlined above roughly represents the area I have validated. At the same time, many of the ones that I reported still exist, but the report is no longer visible on the history tab (keep in mind, in the area I worked, there were less than 20 actual licensed locksmiths)

At the same time, there are many of these listings that now return the following error if I click on them:

There were many that had this problem when I did my first pass, and now that number seems to have only doubled. If by reporting it is not the best way of getting these "off the map" then please let me know what I should be doing instead.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/17/14 6:57 PM
Also, what's the pathway to remove SABs (service area businesses), since they're not present in MM?  They keep being reported on the spam spreadsheet, but no Googler has taken any action to remove them, even though Google Places/GLEs/Ground Truth obviously have the tools to remove them.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 3/17/14 8:35 PM
Thank you, Lori,

I'm now locked out of editing anything and it seems pointless to attempt to
review.  There was no previous notice that I saw on either this or the
Power Mapper Forum that this would occur if I continued to report
spam/abuse.

I have truly enjoyed my thousand days here and will miss both the
camaraderie and the satisfaction in both editing and reviewing.

As I understand your earlier statement, we are to send all future possible
spam edits to you.  Regrettably we'll have to absorb any damage that we've
already received as the result of reporting spam.

Thanks again. The time that I've spent here has been a pleasure.

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/17/14 10:29 PM
Sorry to see you go, Mara.  You're joining the exodus of many, many frustrated mappers into Geo exile.  

To cheer you down, I just posted added a post on Mike's blog:

There's something there for everyone, but the gist of it is is that the New Maps Report a problem works about as well as the Old Maps Report a problem, which is to say, for spam, it doesn't really work at all, or at least not as intended.  I was excited because they did remove the spam I reported, but it was tempered with the realization that it was coincidence, rather than any direct action on my part.  Like so many spam reporting mechanisms, it's another facet of Geo that's in disarray.  

Penny wise, pound foolish.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/17/14 10:33 PM
That's the direct link in Bold CAPS above, although it doesn't appear that way.  

Added again, for clarity:  



I also updated my old article on Makerpedia, Wiping Out Spam.  Nothing new--I just trimmed away some outdated material.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 3/18/14 3:15 AM
Sounds like the best solution to this issue might be to, after fixing the auto denying problem itself, just wipe all of the denials in Map Maker from whenever this nasty auto denying business started.
(unknown) 3/18/14 5:40 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers keith.a 3/18/14 6:16 AM
Gary D. - I am sure it was unintentional, but I think Mara would prefer to be referred to with "woman / her" :)
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Gary D. 3/18/14 7:25 AM
Loosing a great Lady like Mara is the worse that can happen to google.
Mara backed me up so many times when i was deleting spam, Her work in MM was so much more helpful then any engineer or googler.
Hope you stick around to help us with fighting spam.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Lori Savageau 3/18/14 10:14 AM
Mara - 

I've escalated your profile straight away as I've no idea why you would have been locked out of editing. While I understand your aversion to further attempts at mapping, we've hugely appreciated all that you've contributed (I believe you and I joined Map Maker right around the same time!) and I'd like to do what I can to keep you on our community team. 

In spite of what you've all seen in the product, spam-fighting is at the forefront of the Map Maker team's concerns these days and I truly hope that we will start seeing the fruits of such efforts very soon. 

In the meantime - all profiles / concerns reported here have been escalated by me directly to our spam team.

Thank you all, again and again and again,

Lori
MM Community Manager
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/18/14 10:26 AM
Hi Lori, 

Thank you for your involvement, here is a bit of spam around my house... The sooner this will be removed the faster we can get our jobs back. 

https://plus.google.com/106088476705862494551/about?hl=en
https://plus.google.com/116755483104198110378/about?hl=en
https://plus.google.com/117977354442609959144/about?hl=en
https://plus.google.com/101600244736176338962/about?hl=en
https://plus.google.com/117176465658109155592/about?hl=en
https://plus.google.com/112902063456432753166/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/113810830664552583331/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/108714044574831699699/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/118285255375545116634/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/103043628154683394145/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/112495724046746316423/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/110126650743530268264/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/117021449608743075663/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/103904639101341563447/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/102836707583800155700/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/107643804419369125602/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/102420083278649329463/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/108228795410613807655/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/117040493345579567331/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/114960204478385227456/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/115320116360355288419/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/102555135448018040989/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/115029487870565981030/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/118394705420672721029/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/106963197488421160336/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/114812678216261595687/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/115915265035488760203/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/111271535899455983759/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/116448135158408225414/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/117101517936628698587/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/110896821693198116763/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/109198634161563680140/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/115140419936191325747/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/106888513954494090563/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/114724689825992982375/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/109954945955607344646/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/118089238680438102682/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/113983644996118528927/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/107280925884062217662/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/103237445372881935780/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/115037161049021802633/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/106263501713439705423/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/113717885688406564683/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/107092631836446984187/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/114022118651694436195/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/107344185936156325449/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/109110469161256388793/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/102607995802856262139/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/106670705118003942452/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/107422834276570171472/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/102889693269920944208/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/109738311447721738738/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/110688454654098035018/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/116426791693773155163/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/104706391139601705204/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/102420005914074947201/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/102420005914074947201/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/103278781254850171297/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/109447977862030212615/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/109179029539623664484/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/110795386923180262635/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/114748403270735262858/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/114811253142497094756/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/111188537836703437836/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/111157112611709506482/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/109822423570555859680/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/116967042255296496637/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/102224040416225660185/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/107956105007184348941/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/104404231994955607943/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/104224122038659772766/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/114078474496072284574/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/107783206319583286824/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/110100348177926613218/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/101769616122572869108/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/114022118651694436195/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/111157112611709506482/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/107268273240178504063/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/111394925966568696888/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/113187303838983967037/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/108536512961409313085/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/101603038673253342324/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/109710898052374433630/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/102125613554278224684/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/104211565876421970817/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/100271803175131074140/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/108911802765125031986/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/114463495781052574019/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/105241304762422440772/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/116091998826253323389/about?hl=en
https://plus.google.com/102815729473123492263/about?hl=en
https://plus.google.com/116022905492517621442/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/106589680759816977472/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/116245210087379456242/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/109036836648602272848/about?gl=us&hl=en
...
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/18/14 10:45 AM
Hello Consciousnessbliss, 

If we can get the Denver list to 20 is will be great. But even if you ignore the local locksmiths community, Google products are hurting consumers. The spam has been a problem for almost what? 4-5 years now? When a company states "Do no evil" and knowingly helps mislead customers just because it's not a priority, that company at one point may face a class action lawsuit. Not by locksmiths, but by consumers that put their trust in this company. 

Lori, 

Is there anyway you can unlock my profile for edits as well? I've attached a screen shot from Brighton, Colorado (Where Juan - The non-existing locksmith - is ranked number 1 with 6 fake reviews, followed by few other fake locksmiths... So the entire first page is all spam. My business listed number 3 on the second page, and between my business to Juan, it's all spam (Juan included). 

Report a problem is not really working for me - I've reported this list over and over in the past 3 months but they are still on. 

I would appreciate if you guys can help unlocking my profile so I can actually delete those from MM. More spam in Commerce City, Broomfield, etc..
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 3/18/14 10:53 AM
Barry, Google is not "knowingly helping".  Google plugs holes and the spammers find other ways to post them.  The only way to complete stop it would be to not let anyone make any updates at all.  They are not responsible for someone else's malicious actions, and if fact there are laws that specifically state that fact for websites that host postings made by others, making a law suite impossible.  The law makers have recognized that we could not have our modern world of copious amounts of information always available and always updating if they did not allow for companies to just display it and not be responsible for other's purposely posting wrong data.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/18/14 11:09 AM
Flash, 

In the past 5 years Google invented Google glass, Android Phones etc. Priority is the key. When I say "Knowingly helping" I mean that they fully aware of the spam problem and let it continue because they've got other things to do. When the FBI came knocking on their door they sealed one loophole. How come that in 24 hours they were able to do something that has been reported 4 years now?..

Knowingly helping means that they don't really care about my business or any other small local business for that matter. If you look at the AdWords on that screenshot that I've attached you'll see that there is NOT EVEN ONE local business. The AdWords it pure spam driven product.

We cannot compete with the high bids that spammers are using to target the first place, Google does not care about delivering good product to the end user, they care more about who's paying more. So we gave up on AdWords and redirect our budget into Yelp and Facebook ads. 

The local product is all Google has left to offer to small business owners now, and with that been taken away from us - our business won't last long. The businesses that will survive will find a different niche (word to mouth, referral groups or other local website). The customers will leave Google as a search platform. But hey.. let's make a quick test. Let's assume the YOU need a locksmith. Will you use Google? Would Lori? Would any of you? And once you know it.. Would you use Google to search a Plumber? Electrician? Carpet Cleaning company? HVAC service? Moving company? Yeah... didn't think so. 


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 3/18/14 11:28 AM
How come that in 24 hours they were able to do something that has been reported 4 years now?

It has not been reported for 4 years.  This was a new exploit, and it has been plugged.  Yes, a faster plug would have been nice, but it is not a single issue as you are trying to make it out to be.  Has spam gone away now that it has been plugged?  No, the next day they switched to different exploits.  As I already said, it is a continuous process.

And despite what you feel, the end users are not leaving.  Why?  Because despite the imperfections, it is still the best option available.  And this is also why the spammers target it.  If another service grew in popularity, then the spammers would devote resources towards spamming it also, and there would be no difference.  While we would all like to see Google do better at finding and eliminating spam, the issue in the end is the fraud artist, and what really needs to happen is that those people need to be made to face consequences.  Google is not a law enforcement agency.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/18/14 11:32 AM
Lets agree to disagree. 

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/18/14 11:33 AM
What steps to I need to take to unlock my profile for edits or is it just a Google feature that someone need to assist me with?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 3/18/14 11:33 AM
We are not disagreeing, we both want better spam clearing.  However, you are stating things as fact that are not correct.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 3/18/14 11:36 AM
On Tuesday, 18 March 2014 11:33:02 UTC-7, Barry Oliel wrote:
What steps to I need to take to unlock my profile for edits or is it just a Google feature that someone need to assist me with?

Please see the last two paragraphs on this page.

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers SeattleLocksmith 3/18/14 3:54 PM
If spam listings are getting fast tracked from this forum, please remove this SAB. Our customers are calling them and getting ripped off because their name is almost exactly the same (Broadway Locksmith vs Broadway Locksmith Seattle), and then calling our shop to complain.  I guess the scammers aren't concerned with trademarks or getting the pants sued off of them.... 
I called Google Local (who must have approved this in the first place) and they couldn't get it off the map.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers SeattleLocksmith 3/18/14 3:57 PM
I like Juan's reviewers and their brevity, particularly Baskerville Rossignol!  What a mouthful that name is.  An imaginative spammer's work, to be sure.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/18/14 4:35 PM
lol.. yes. Juan is very famous here. You should meet his cousins Hector & Ramirez.. They have THE BEST fake Mexican restaurant around!

I got an offer to get spam listings in Colorado, the lady works from the Philippines and she dropped the price down to $10 per unit, she and her "crew" can make me 50 - 100 new listings every night. So just to get it straight... a 19 years old from the Philippines (and her crew, don't forget her crew) is responsible for your bad experience with Google product. 

I say stop hiring those overpaid expensive MIT graduates...  Clearly a 19 years old girl from across the ocean can humiliate Google's best minds.. Good thing that Google still has people like Flash to protect their name in these forums. 

The only way to kill a good idea is by poor execution.. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/18/14 5:00 PM
Oh... and if you check Gina & Sons and Alpha Key Locksmith you'll see that they are at the exact same address... what a small world :)
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 3/18/14 6:00 PM
If there are indeed only 20 real locksmiths in Denver CO (versus the hundreds listed in Maps), the logical thing to do seems like it would be to just perform an automated deletion of POIs not matching the information of the businesses "known" to be correct. Filter them by business address, name, and phone. All the remaining ones can be manually vetted by a small task force.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/18/14 6:11 PM
There are about 60. 20 of them does not have a place on the map because spammers kept reporting them and they finally gave up.
But yes, I agree - We can star the local ones and have Google remove the rest. I just don't think it's possible with the way the system is set up right now. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/18/14 6:18 PM
Barry, is this who it is?

Check the photo and listing type on this example:



Example job from searching oDesk for locksmith:


That's Chixy Chai?  Or something like that.  It's a spammer out of the Philippines.  May be more than one, since that's a common spam technique from that region, or it may be that that's her modus operandi.  I found a few of her profiles on more than a few edits.  

Profiles:  


You should call her back up and say, "Sarah, is that you?"
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/18/14 6:57 PM
We already have two database of locksmiths that the searches can be run against:

The rest can be sorted by keyword search, and just automatically flagged and removed:  Lock, Locksmith, Key.  It's going the generate a lot of false positives, unfortunately, and the search parameters will have to be further refined.  But the flip side of that is is that you can force business owners that suddenly have 'disappeared' to contact Support to reinstate their listing, and Google doesn't have to make much work cleaning up their indexes unless the spammers want to go to the trouble of complaining to Support why their spam listing was suddenly taken down.  

Another method is use crowdsourcing brute force (a spam Mapup).  I think you could put together about 100 or so mappers to scour their regions for locksmith spam and get it done in a week.  It should take about an hour or two to sort through Google+Local in each major locality:  star, copy/paste URL, star, copy/paste URL.  The problem with that approach is that Places makes it really easy to add spam, and that MM doesn't make it easy to takedown.  Spammers will just gear up and do their own crowdsourcing and add about 40,000 PIN card requests at once, and Places will probably (foolishly, I might add) let them back in.  

The best way is to make sure that every spam report from MM, Maps, or Google+Local is tended to quickly and thoroughly rather than being ignored, as it presently is.  I estimate you could get spam takedowns down to about 30 seconds or less, provided whoever is doing it is trained.  It would be easy to "mark up" already verified listings (code them internally with SV, Verified, etc.) provided that they've already been thoroughly vetted.  (They already do this, but everything that Places has is Verified including all the spam.)  Then it's controlling the influx of new spam in specific, heavily spammed categories (keyword rather than category search) and changing the focus depending on spam surges, which can be measured by comparing the total number of present keyword listings against the actual number of legitimate listings.  For example, Google Maps claims there's 18,403 results for Locksmith in the United States.  Less than 5000 of those are legitimate locksmiths.  A not insignificant percentage of them are key duplication service (Home Depot, Shoe Stores). Another smaller percentage is Closed listings, buggy listings, etc.  So out of 18,000, only 8000 or so fall into the legit category, and the rest is just spam.  If you measure those numbers (like, say, with a spreadsheet), you can track the rise and fall of spam.  If there's a sudden surge, you can look for that surge in specific areas, usually big markets like NYC or Denver, and find out where the spam is coming from and how they're getting in.  That way you can keep it down (but you'll never get rid of it) and stay on top of it, instead of being months behind.  (Cheating is cheap, the payoff for cheating is big.)  Locksmiths are like frogs, it's an early warning species that indicates the health of the entire Geo ecosystem.  

Another approach Google should explore is paying for Maps exploits.  Say $10,000 a pop, provided that you can document the approach.  There will be an incentive for part-time hackers to find the loopholes, and for those in quick need of cash to sell them to Google rather than their spammer buddies.  

Reducing the amount of spam will mean a reduction in spam reports for Googlers, will means work doing something more productive, like bug fixes.  I wonder how many thousands of hours MM has wasted not just on the GLE dummies but spam in general?  

Of course, less spam means less money for Google, since the spammers, especially locksmiths, are a not insignificant revenue generator for AdWords, and without the spammers or spam, that's less people buying AdWords at the presently high markup (at $20 a pop for locksmiths, that's a lot of money for one click).  I would love to see the sales figures for keywords like lock, locksmith, lockouts, key, etc.  

Also, I'm curious why Google cancelled Run Local's AdWords account but not all the rest of the spammers, since the spammers (and their clickfraud bots) are only competing against each other in AdWords?  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/18/14 7:02 PM
That explains why we couldn't find them...They never appeared on Maps.  My bad.  

I also noticed that a lot of locksmiths have simply gone under over the years.  And many locksmiths have never migrated from the printed Yellow Pages to Google Maps.  

I would like to see some comparisons for regions, how many legit locksmith in each area:    

Seattle?
Los Angles?
DC?
Atlanta?
Chicago?
New York?
Miami?  
Dallas?  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 3/18/14 7:50 PM
Google won't filter locksmith by white list. What they need to do is to finish closing these loopholes. They closed parking lot->locksmith spam. 
They need to recognize and block this chain: mail fraud->PIN code->listing with spammy features->locksmith spam
I won't share here details but it is very easy to recognize. Of course there more issues: locked category, GLEs, moderating, reporting etc.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/18/14 9:19 PM
And I will say this again. 

Google has OCR program. They tried to scan all the books in the world. They can use this program to have all local businesses upload state approved documents and if there is an issue (forgery - I hoped I spelled it right) it a big no no that will involve more than a state AG.. 

A yes, they SHOULD hold more moderation ALL categories that are being changed from parking lots to locksmiths or from butcher shop to garage door. There is so much that they can do and it's actually takes very little effort. 

So why won't they give it priority?

And I asked before and I will ask again. Will ANY of you is going to search Google for a local service related business? Would Google employees do? 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/18/14 11:51 PM
Here's my maps strategy:  

I use Google Maps to find directions to specific points of interest that I know exist.  I print a copy of that.  At least 25% of the time I end up correcting the data via MM.  Why do you think certain markers are so damn accurate?  Or the level of detail for that restaurant on Maps is so dang good?  Not Ground Truth!  Map Maker!  Also, no sense in someone else driving off a cliff.  (More amusing GPS gone wrong tales.)  I gave up on GPS/iPhone thing a long time ago.  Between data woes, bad data, batteries conking out, and the NSA, it's got a long way to go before it's decent.  Also, I love paper.  

If I want to get curious about the imagery, I sometimes switch to Bing.  Their images are frequently better, and clearer.  If I get curious about something that I think is there, but isn't represented on Maps, I switch to Wikimaps.  Those guys aren't so good about roads and stuff like that, but if it's on Wikipedia, it would be unusual for it to not be on Wikimaps, and the level of detail is pretty dang good.  You can even try out different imagery and hybrids from Bing to Google Maps right on Wikimaps.  I've peeked at OSM.  For a volunteer effort, some of their data is amazingly good.  Some of it is amazingly bad.  And Apple Maps?  Well, I sometimes use them to save contacts as vCards.  It's quite clever.  But there's a lot of missing data because it relies on OSM, Yelp and Apple's famous indifference to anything that isn't a rectangle, because it's all about selling the boxes, and not really the content in them (unless the content sells the boxes).  

Other than that, I drive around till I find something that I need, ideally close by.  There's things called signs.  They're helpful.  

I occasional use it to find POIs and then gather them up in my phone's address book, just in case.  You think I trust Google to find locksmiths (or any heavily spammed service industry)?  Please.  I'm smarter than that.  I suppose in a pinch I would use Google to call a real tow truck or whatever my insurance considers to be a legit locksmith, but anything else is just asking to get robbed.  AAA is also nice, or so I've heard.  

The rest if word of mouth.  If it's good for someone else, it's good for me.  

Things I don't trust:  internet reviews (unless they tell me what's bad about a product on Amazon).  There's so many laughably fake reviews on local written by the owners or spammers or people who got strong-armed into writing them or (if Yelp) are just plumb crazy.  

And that is the roadmap to my Geo strategy.  Add that to my profile, comrades NSA and Google!  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Levi-MDC 3/25/14 12:30 AM
Lori,

I messaged you these POIs, but I don't know if you got them. The following are (mostly) spam precursors that were denied but soon after changed by an automated system or a GR.

The sheer volume of the denials has rendered my account almost completely unusable. Even simple things like editing enclosed traffic areas are being held for review. Making a new account and building up new trust would be faster than the about 2,000-4,000 accepted edits I would have to make to counteract all of these denials (99-199 for every denial, 99/100 = 0.99), but this is disallowed, so I really don't know what to do. I'm effectively locked out, and will be for a very long time unless something can be done.


Thanks,
- Levi
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers SeattleLocksmith 3/26/14 9:06 AM
The second wave of locksmith spam has come, now they are switching to snail mail to make their spam.  A lot of them are choosing SAB's, but are deleting their plus page or something so that they can't be reported.  this guy's plus page doesn't have a report a problem link on it, don't know if it is just really new or if the spammers figured out how to keep that link off their plus page.  Anyway, following is a list of seattle locksmith spam.  I've called these listings and they all can't name their business name, or they mutter 24/7 locksmith so we know they are fake.
https://plus.google.com/116023654744336347161/about?gl=us&hl=en - I have been reporting this one for about a month with no results.  Please remove it.  It is right next to a legitimate locksmith called Allstar Lock and Safe.  


https://plus.google.com/110913106179986718610/about?gl=us&hl=en - It is pretty clear that SoDo lock and key isn't even from Seattle since they don't know where south of the dome is on the map.  They are five miles north of the dome!  Guess when you are in the Philippines it all looks close enough from over there.

https://plus.google.com/114631596786687586462/about?gl=us&hl=en - "Broadway Locksmith Seattle" is impersonating the actual "Broadway Locksmith" a scant five blocks to the south.  I am sure they are only using their lazy formula of %"street name" %locksmith to come up with their business names and accidentally infringed on a trademarked name but they need to get spanked all the same.  

https://plus.google.com/+Seattleslocksmiths28/about?gl=us&hl=en - great video spammers, I am sure customers want to hire people adding graffiti of their business name under cover of darkness to concrete walls.  A lot of people will call that number!

I reported this on March 1st, not sure why it is taking so long to remove it.  It is pretty obviously spam.

These guys might be real or they might not, but their business address is an apartment building with multiple suites and a locked front door.  They aren't advertised on the call box or on the door, and the door is locked which is against Google Places for Business policy so it is spam.

https://plus.google.com/102218321785297964735/about?gl=us&hl=en is intentionally impersonating the real Ravenna Locksmith at ravennalocksmith.com.


I reported this on March 3rd, it is still going strong and funneling the credulous into the claws of scammers.



Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/26/14 11:41 AM
Google Plus uses Edit details which, naturally, doesn't work, because it's still broken, and has been for months.   

If you click on the Map on Google Plus, it will take you to the listing in Maps, and you can click on Report a problem or Edit this listing.  

Hiding SABs from MM was a bad decision.  It just incentivize spammers to hide their address.  

Their other spam formula is city name plus locksmith.  

It appears that most reports are discarded by Google without taking any action, based on my experience dealing with Report a problem.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/28/14 10:40 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 3/30/14 10:18 PM
Fake locksmith listings for sale on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/david.gen.75
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/30/14 10:53 PM
I'll give spammers the secret, and it won't cost them any money:

Search real estate listings for for sale and rental properties.  Have the PIN card sent to those locations.  Go to the Post Office, and use mail forwarding to have the cards sent to a central location.  Congratulations!  You just committed mail and wire fraud.  20 year prison sentence for each count, in a medium security prison of your choice, followed by immediate deportation.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers bushurt 3/31/14 1:29 AM
all ar
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers bushurt 3/31/14 1:31 AM
add allyear send seach
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/31/14 8:43 AM
And in the meanwhile.. 730 "locksmiths" 730 Strangers with a copy of your house key. That's 130 new ones since this weekend.. 
However, for them to go to jail you need someone that will go after them. I don't think the authorities care. Don't think that Google cares. Maybe after they will sell these fake listings to a serial-killer/ rapist and someones wife or daughter will get slaughtered someone will care enough to do something about it. 


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/31/14 11:22 AM
I'm sorry. 740. In the past 2 hours 10 more locksmiths picked Google verification process.. 
Google! Let us upload state documents (Public records anyway) to ensure local is really local.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 3/31/14 11:41 AM
We say it all. Do it all. Do you really think that Google will do anything in 2014? How about 2015? Really? Why haven't they done anything in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013? Well, at least the word on the street is that they are fighting the spam.. Just not the locksmith spam... "It's all about the money"
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/31/14 11:59 AM
Heyyy... I (741) LOVE (742) This (744) Song (745). 

746 between the time that you posted to my response. 

Google are waiting for a class-action lawsuit under the consumer protection act. The US Attorney general will have to take action once consumer complaints pile on his desk. So it's not when Google will take action (2014, 2015, 2016..) it's When someone will make them fight spam. 

Or maybe.. maybe that's the way they designed it.. It's like when my dad couldn't figure out facebook.. it's another generation. Same here.. We are dinosaurs and this is the new world - THIS IS HOW YOU ADVERTISE TODAY. We just need to adjust.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/31/14 12:18 PM
750... yeyyyyyyyyyyy. Maybe they'll get 1,000 by tonight! 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 3/31/14 12:33 PM
753

Google is helpless against the spammers.

W H Y ?

I personally have been reported on these forums over a year now. Over a year. That's a year to patch a product. Can't believe this company is really in charge of the search results online.. 
No wonder we couldn't find Bin Laden for so long... 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/31/14 2:00 PM
Google's problem here is two-fold:  
  1. They don't treat vulnerabilities in their Local products as a legitimate security threat.  And by security threat, I mean someone abusing their system for harmful gain against the end recipients.  
  2. By not immediately disclosing and fixing vulnerabilities in their product, and instead, adopting the 'Ignore it, then hide it, Oops!  The Media caught us, it's embarrassing, okay, we'll fix it, but we'll still keep it secret" approach, they're fueling a black market in exploits, and undermining the credibility of their product, as well as bringing into question their own competence.  


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/31/14 2:48 PM
This is what Google Maps appears to me, right now:


I can't take ancient depictions of dragons seriously, anymore than I can take Google's symbolic manifestation of 'reality' via Maps seriously.  The irony here is that locksmith listings and their ilk are the "dragons" of the 21st century, with some of the attendant dangers (like getting "burned").  Although you won't lose your life, you will lose some of your lifeblood/money if you engage with Google Maps in some of their more heavily spammed business categories.  Also, some 20th century maps were at least faithful to the images that Google overlays on the base maps layer, and the trained cartographers made an effort to ensure the accuracy and integrity of their depictions, to the point of traveling to the location in question.  Not so much anymore.  

Isn't the Local Data Quality team supposed to be the dragon slayer of Google Geo?  Or are they just waiting for the 'right' time to come out of their castle to do battle?  Or perhaps they're hoping the dragons will go back to sleep rather than burning "customers" with bad data and bad listings, after they've accumulated enough treasure?  

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mara Winslow 3/31/14 3:32 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 3/31/14 7:02 PM
Article hit Boing Boing.  Same as the others, so if you've read 'em, you've read it.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 4/1/14 10:38 AM
Dear Google Spam Team

There are about 

20,300 locksmiths in USA Don't believe us? See screenshot


99.999999999999999999999 % of them are spam listings.

You don't know how to 100% identify LOCKSMITH SPAM? We can help you with all information. We know how spammers work.
You don't have many workers? We can help you. We have a great team of spam fighters.
If you want to keep the current situation or If you don't want close loopholes give us right tools and one week and we will disinfect whole USA and we will keep/monitor it.

Your [Report the problem] is absolutely ineffective. Maybe you don't realize but spammers are just dreaming/waiting or prepared for their listings to be removed because they have backups

We have reported 2500 SABs in http://goo.gl/x7EFDj We can start from there.

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 4/1/14 10:47 AM
Truth.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 4/1/14 11:03 AM
I am so “happy” this morning, after Google closed the phone verification! We assume that new fake, spam, crooks, thieves and scammers call center locksmith companies... will stop for a bit. But guess what?? No they didn’t! They just added about 300 new listings in the Denver area. I cannot imagine what's happening around the nation. So I find myself running my locksmith business with my 1 listing in Google Maps VS about 700 fake ones. Thank you Google for doing everything you can do. Have a great day!!

But lets see why Google closed the phone verification. We know it’s because the secret services and the Media news story… Is it what we need to do in order to get Google’s attention to help us fight the spam?

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 4/1/14 12:27 PM

  • Verification takes 30 seconds or less.  It only takes 30 seconds for locksmiths because I'm cross-verifying using three different databases.  If you include checking street view, quality guidelines, and common sense, you should only have to spend one minute to verify each spam POI.  
  • Google employees, outside of MM reviewers, seem oblivious to spam.  Obvious spam is obvious.  Once everyone knows what it is, it's easy to identify and remove.  
  • Maps Report a problem is the problem, not just spam.  In my experience, Report a problem only works for high value POIs, like hotels or the Statue of Liberty, or anything that gets a lot of traffic or attention.  It doesn't work with locksmith or other kinds of spam.  I've filed literally thousands of reports via Report a problem over a three year period, and the results have been dismal.   
  • Hiding SABs from MM only hides one thing, spammers.  The chief justification has been that it protects the privacy of the business owner.  Business records are a matter of public record, which is how the business can be verified online.  If a business wants to protect its privacy, don't have a Place page.  The only reason left to hide it is to prevent people from going to that location, and MM is not really used for directions (unless you're trying to correct them).  Making the SABs transparent is the only way to keep shady business owners, SEO operators, and spammers honest.  
  • MM is the most efficient tool for crowdsourcing the removal of spam, but it suffers from several outstanding bugs, including moderation/auto-denial and incomplete takedowns that don't cascade to the Place page.  
  • Locking the Locksmith category has been wholly ineffective at preventing the spread of spam.  It's only slowed the takedown of spam.  
  • Report this on MM doesn't work for spam.  The GRs should be empowered to remove spammy POIs at their discretion, immediately.  


Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 4/1/14 3:04 PM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers SeattleLocksmith 4/1/14 3:28 PM
To punctuate consciousnessbliss's complaints about the pointlessness of using "report a problem", I have been trying to report this listing since March 21st.  Each time I report it, a few changes are made by Google and I have to report it again.  A Google Reviewer named Nimesha even marked it as deleted.  
I think the spammers figured out how to get their listings out of the queue for being reviewed by making small changes to their listing.  After they do so, the listing never seems to get reviewed and I have to report them again.
TL:DR version: Google, please fix your sh*%!
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 4/2/14 7:39 PM
I don't mean to offense anyone.. but I support SeattleLocksmith - Here is my not working "Report A Problem" list.. Please hurry up...

https://plus.google.com/112375704130639353570/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/117402819813690998152/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/104211565876421970817/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/108248963361242626150/about?gl=us&hl=en
https://plus.google.com/107775999652689423600/about?gl=us&hl=en
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...
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 4/2/14 7:46 PM
This is Map Maker, Google+ links are not handled here.  In addition, I randomly clicked on some of your links and the first three I choose were all already shut down; so it would appear you are incorrect and Report a Problem does work.  Please  check lists before posting them, and please provide Map Maker links to edits that you have made.  However, since it seems that Report a Problem is working, I suggest you continue with that pathway.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers W12 engine 4/2/14 11:04 PM
You might want to fill in the spreadsheet link given on this post - https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/map-maker/881GqfWYjRw/pEa9L_ksPVkJ
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 4/3/14 12:30 AM
Done. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 4/3/14 12:32 AM
Some of them are trying to look legit using real local locksmiths names. With any doubt please contact me I'll prove that the ones that I've listed are spam, or you can Google the business name and see that the phone numbers/address do not match. 

A copy of this list was forwarded to the state AG. Enough is enough.
(unknown) 4/9/14 11:06 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 4/11/14 9:32 AM
Got an official response from The Google Maps team:

From: Google Maps <noreply-lo...@google.com>
Date: Friday, April 11, 2014, 12:16:26 PM
Subject: Google Maps Edit: Townson Locksmith (04/10/2014 12:27 PDT)

===8<==============Original message text===============
Hi, 

Thank you for your suggestion. Upon reviewing your suggested change, we have decided not to apply your suggested change to Townson Locksmith at this time, as we found the existing details to be more appropriate. 

Thanks for your help,
The Google Maps team

===8<===========End of original message text===========

It clearly violates their Google Places quality guidelines (Examples that would not be accepted would be "#1 Seattle Plumbing").

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 4/11/14 12:20 PM
This was one out of how many submissions via Maps Report a problem?  What was the length of time being the submission of the original report and the time you received the action taken report?  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 4/11/14 12:29 PM
This was one out of how many submissions via Maps Report a problem?
This is 1 out of 500 SABs reported for the last 3 months.

What was the length of time being the submission of the original report and the time you received the action taken report?  
It was reported 6 days ago ago or below an original email.


From: Google Maps <noreply-lo...@google.com>
Date: Sat, Apr 5, 2014 at 8:25 AM
Subject: Google Maps Report: Townson Locksmith (04/04/2014 16:37 UTC)


Hi, 

Thank you for taking time to notify us about an issue with Townson Locksmith. We will use your feedback to investigate, verify the correct information and publish any necessary changes. 


Thanks for your help,
The Google Maps team
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 4/11/14 9:43 PM
The response time isn't bad for that particular report (ideal turnaround on spam should be no more than 72 hours, given that it takes all of one minute to extensively check a spam POI), the response itself is disappointing, and frankly, given Google's indifference and incompetence in regard to anything related to local spam, expected.  

Since they're incapable of detecting spam, I'll help them by linking to the Maryland Locksmith Licensing Database.  

The challenge for the keyboard cowboys at Google is to affirm or deny the presence of the following POIs in close vicinity to Towson Locksmith:

Hint:  one of these does not appear on SV, even though it has a street address.  
Additional hint:  none of these appear on the official database, or any other accredited database, either:  Verification Databases

Incidentally, can Google Places outline how you claim spam POIs?  At least two of them have been claimed.  The third must be claimed, since it's a SAB, but the checkmark doesn't appear.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 4/15/14 11:11 AM
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 4/15/14 6:20 PM
Google, why is this still up?  Every time I report this, I think "This will be the last time."  Then I go back and see, "Edit Summary : 4 changes were made by Google".  I have now reported this 7 times, it's been up since March 26th, a GLE has marked it for deletion, and it is still there.  I hope Google execs can sleep at night knowing that they are aiding and/or abetting scammers to rip off people just like their own mothers, leaving this garbage up on Google Maps despite our repeated efforts to remove it not to mention complicity in Adwords scamming.  I hope that "Google Glass" makes you dopes a lot of money because everybody who gets ripped off will tell their friends and family and your other services are going to suffer unless you fix this.  I will do everything I can to let people who got ripped off know that Google could have prevented their problems.

Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 4/15/14 6:29 PM
That is a hidden address SAB.  You cannot remove those from Map Maker, even when they accidentally show there.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 4/15/14 6:33 PM
In addition, it appears your only reason provided for removing it is the fact that you thought it's address was showing.  Since it is not showing, all those reports you made would be ignored.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 4/15/14 6:39 PM
There is also this one, "Adam's Car Key & Locksmith Master", up there since March 21st.  Reported four times before today.  Obvious spam, obvious keyword stuffing, obvious garbage.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 4/15/14 6:40 PM
Doesn't look hidden to me.  2311 North 38th Street is the address.  There isn't any locksmith there.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 4/15/14 7:06 PM
You cannot look at back end tools to judge what the public is seeing.  We have always been able to see the addresses of hidden address SABs when looking in Map Maker, that is why they started hiding them in Map Maker.  You have simply found two that are accidentally showing in Map Maker, but their addresses are properly hidden and thus they are not to be deleted for being SABs.

Whenever you are spam fighting, you need to completely analyze a listing before marking it for deletion.  I realize that you don't know all the ins and outs of the system, feel free to ask questions when your unsure.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 4/15/14 7:14 PM
I should also point out in the test market that I'm looking at, Denver, spam is up 20%.  That's after Google applied their latest batch of spam fixes for telephone verification, spam sweeps, etc.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 4/15/14 7:17 PM
Flash, I appreciate your desire for due process but there is no question this is a spam listing.  Just called them.  They  hesitated when asked their business name, and then said "24/7 locksmith services".  They are scammers through and through.  When spam is reported, Google should investigate it.  If it is too much work for Google, they should work with local governments for address confirmation or they are going to get burned, and I will be fanning those flames unless they make an effort.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 4/15/14 7:35 PM
I never doubted that this was a spam listing.  I've been fighting spam a lot longer than you and can easily recognize it.  My point is that if you aren't following processes, you will get nowhere.

When spam is reported, Google should investigate it

You have reported that this should be deleted as there is a business showing when there is no visible business at that location.  That is not considered spam, it is just an unmappable feature, they must instead hide their address via Places.  A quick investigation shows that they have hidden their address, the reason you provided is not a reason to delete the feature.  This is how a review works, each of the thousands of features edited each day does not then get a 2 hour look over from every angle, especially when the initial edit/request was wrong. 

they should work with local governments for address confirmation or they are going to get burned,

I was able to confirm both those addresses exist in seconds via Street View, there is no need to verify them otherwise.

I think you are trying to say that they should confirm the legitimacy of the business with the government, but your state has no licensing requirements for locksmiths, nor do they require that everyone get a business license, nor do they register every DBA.

You seem to think that someone spending 10 seconds saying "remove this from the map just because I say so" should mean that the item gets removed right away.  If that was the case then your own listing would be subject to the same rules.  Spam fighting is not as easy as you want it to be.  It could be easier, but even if we saw some of the improvements we've suggested it would still mean that you need to completely analyze a listing before marking it for deletion.  If you are not doing so and not then providing reasons within the guidelines for a items removal, then by definition your own work becomes spam.  Deletions are taken very seriously in Map Maker, as they should be.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 4/15/14 9:05 PM
This is exactly my point though, you can easily recognize this as spam, and so can I.  If I flag it, then Google employees ought to be even better at it since this is their job.  Even if I flagged it for a technically incorrect reason, it is still obvious spam.  Google should have figured this out when they first put this listing on the map.  They should suspect it when somebody repeatedly reports it as spam. 
Also, Washington State requires anybody doing business to have a business license.  There is a Reliable Locksmith listed in Seattle.  However, the person answering the phone for this listing is not answering the phone as this, so I don't know how Google failed to recognize this is spam in the first place.  If you can figure it out in ten seconds, it shouldn't take Google two hours.  It should take them 30 seconds.
While we are on the subject, what is your recommendation for removing SAB's?  Report a Problem doesn't seem to work.  The spreadsheet DEFINITELY doesn't work. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 4/15/14 9:43 PM
Your expectations are unrealistic, you are seeking spam and finding it. A reviewer is reviewing; they are not seeking spam and do not spend the time on each of the hundreds of edits they do each day to wonder if it is spam and whether they should look for the signs.  When you have gone out of your way to seek spam, you should not expect that everyone else will see it when they are looking a things with a different purpose in mind.

A reviewer is tasked with reviewing at the time they are looking at your edits.  To make all reviews equal, there is a set process that is followed. 

And they may recognize some of this as possible spam, but again, they cannot spend the time checking every edit.  You feel they should be able to delete it right away because you are hitting the delete switch within a few seconds; but again you are not doing things correctly when you do that.  Deletions need to be taken a lot more seriously, and the time needed to spend investigating suspected spam is not something allotted to someone tasked with a different job at the time.

Along a similar vein, employees will be tasked with taking down spam.  When they do, they don't spend time reviewing edits nor fixing up POIs; if they did they wouldn't get their assigned tasks done.

There is no way to remove SABs that we know of here.  You should be addressing that over at the Places forum; they handle SABs with hidden addresses and they were the ones that choose to disable editing and reporting them. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 4/17/14 10:02 AM
(unknown) 4/18/14 7:26 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 4/18/14 8:57 PM
I found a plywood supplier:  Crystal Locksmith

They sell plywood,  Wholesale.  Just ask them.  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Mofleta 4/19/14 8:32 PM
Since we started reporting... the numbers increased in Denver form the 600 to 1,100 tonight... so.. just saying. 
We've added the spam to Google spreadsheet, reported to the state AG, to the Department of Revenue and nothing is being done, or not being done fast enough. 

Can someone from Google step forward and explain WHY is it taking so long?
It's frustrating in so many different levels. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Danny-2376 4/23/14 6:55 PM
I gotta tell you. No progress from google side. Spam went only up after closing a few holes. I have been watching an area. For example it used to be 600 locksmith listings in a city now it is more than 2000. You probably can see this trend too.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers blissfulight 4/28/14 11:16 AM
Cafe King (locksmith)

Freedom Fighter Masbha Udin Sabu Rd
Dhaka
Bangladesh

Present location:  
5758-5798 Ammons St
Arvada, CO 80002 USA)  
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 6/18/14 8:16 PM
New idea for Google and it's spam-fighting algorithm: when more than five listings appear on the same day within one or two square miles for a highly spammed category, have somebody review them manually.  There are now all kinds of spam all around Seattle.  It has all been reported.  Google has done nothing to remove it.  I have started calling property owners at the addresses the spammers are using to let them know that I have reported the problem to Google over a week ago with no change.  To start, here is a list of spam listings added on June 3rd which are all still up:
A2A Lockouts Service Jun/03/2014 5520 East Green Lake Way North, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Fremont Locksmith Guys Jun/03/2014 4415 Stone Way North, Seattle, WA 98103, USA

Make a car key in Fremont Jun/03/2014 2510 North 45th Street, Seattle, WA 98103, USA

Ethan’s Lock Change & Rekey Service Jun/03/2014 109 North 49th Street, Seattle, WA 98103, USA

Phinney Ridge Car Key Guys Jun/03/2014 5413 6th Avenue Northwest, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
Century Car Key & Automotive Service Jun/03/2014 3525 Stone Way North, Seattle, WA 98103, USA

Jackson’s Installation and Repair Locks Co Jun/03/2014 4451 14th Avenue Northwest, Seattle, WA 98107, USA

I have documented the actual businesses at these addresses, and provided phone numbers.  Ethan's Lock Change is sharing the address of a 90 year old man.



Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 6/18/14 8:24 PM
While on the subject of Google not taking action on spam, I have been reporting the exact same listing for months.  I have provided the phone number of the property owner at the listed address for the listing.  I have provided reasons why it does not meet the TOS for Google Places.  It is still there.  I saw that Mark Baldino is taking Google to court for taking money from scammers, is Google not going to at least zip its pants while court is in session?  There is spam everywhere!  CT Locksmith's address is 12508 Lake City Way Northeast, Seattle, WA which is the same address as City North Apartments
Google, go ahead and call them!  Their phone number is (206) 466-1576.  At that address there is a locked front door with no locksmith advertising.  Not sure why Google did not remove this six months ago when I first started reporting it as locksmith spam. 
Google, you may as well give up on user submissions for Google Maps if you can't stay on top of this.  I am calling at least ten people a day telling them about how people are using their address for fraud on Google Maps and how Google can't figure out how to do anything about it.  Figure it out! 206-466-1576466466
ph. 206-466-1576
fax 206-306-0469
City North
12508 Lake City Way, NE 
Seattle, WA  98125

ph. 206-466-1576
fax 206-306-0469
Hours
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday

Saturday
Sunday
Make City North your home today!
8 AM - 5 PM
8 AM - 5 PM
8 AM - 5 PM
8 AM - 5 PM
8 AM - 5 PM

Call for Appointment 
Closed
12508 Lake City Way, NE 
Seattle, WA  98125

ph. 206-466-1576
fax 206-306-0469
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 6/18/14 8:29 PM
CT Locksmith
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers True Locksmith 6/18/14 8:48 PM
Why won't you take it with the spammers?


& that last guy posted an ad he is recruiting people to come work here..


The authorities don't seem to care, Google don't care.. so, what next?





ask them why are they doing it
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 6/18/14 8:51 PM
I see your multiple reports on that POI, but only going back as far as June 1 using the Map Maker reporting.  In any case, your reports seem to be centred on the fact that his is an apartment with a locked door, and can't possibly have businesses in it.

If you'll look, there is shops on the ground level, a row of windows along the second level, and then the apartments start on the third level.  A quick check of Seattle's business database shows at least 5 different businesses on the 2nd level, one at 12508 Lake City Way NE #220, one at 12508 Lake City Way NE #230, etc.  It's hard to tell if there's more; Seattle's search function has always been poor.

My point; this likely doesn't exist, but you've provided nothing to Google to prove that it doesn't.  What you have said; that there is apartments only at this address, is easily disproved.  I've pointed out to you before that just stating that something is spam is not enough to get it deleted, and this is the same case.  Do you want it to be that just anyone can get your business deleted tomorrow by saying it's spam but not providing any evidence?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers True Locksmith 6/18/14 9:02 PM
Hi Flash, 

You've seen my personal spam file (Denver) - There are more than 500 fake listings there that has been reported to Google spam spreadsheet and are still active. In the past 2 weeks only we've jumped from 360 to almost 800... It's not about one specific listing that is live for 6 months, it's the system that keeps ignoring small businesses the asking us to buy ads..

Google needs to take a stand. Pretending to fight spam is not really the same as actually fighting it :\

Check these fb profiles... Do you really want to tell me that bunch of kids, 24 - 28 years old are capable to beat Google in their own field? Makes you wonder if all of our information is really protected, huh? These kids beat Google in no time.. now imagine what will the Chinese will be doing doing with your credit card information 3 years from now.. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 6/18/14 9:29 PM
I have provided plenty of proof.  The listing doesn't offer any room or suite number.  Only the address is offered, and there IS only one door for this address.  That door is locked.  There is no locksmith listed on the call box.  Even if there were, Google Places requires an open door to the public for customers.  Calling this property management company will prove that.  All of these fake listings are breaking one rule: you must have a door open to the public at all times you advertise yourself open.  My business listing was closed quickly because I made this mistake.  Why doesn't Google treat the fakes the same way?  Perhaps because their pockets are being lined by the money made from scamming the American Public?  Or is it an inability to design algorithms properly?  Whatever the cause, this listing is in obvious violation of Google Places TOS and I have provided Google with this information for a long time. The details don't show it but I have been reporting CT Locksmith for months.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers AEGe 6/18/14 9:44 PM
I think it's a waste of time to write a single word here about locksmith spammers.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers True Locksmith 6/18/14 9:48 PM
Than you just wasted your time 15 times.. 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 6/18/14 11:32 PM
I have provided plenty of proof.  The listing doesn't offer any room or suite number.

Neither do half the listings on Map Maker. When I edit the average shopping mall I probably have to find out and add the suite numbers to 80% or more of the stores within.  Incompleteness is not a reason for deletion.  It is also not a reason you provided in your reports.
 
Only the address is offered, and there IS only one door for this address.  That door is locked.

So?  I found a law office, a church administration office and a 3D Computer Animation company all in there.  If I can buzz in there to visit those businesses, I can buzz in to visit a locksmith.
 
There is no locksmith listed on the call box.

How do you know?  Where in the information you provided in the issue reports did you tell them how you know?
 
Even if there were, Google Places requires an open door to the public for customers.

No, they do not.  They just require that the customers be able to access the business.  The biggest jeweler in my city is 2 doors down from me; you have to buzz through two doors like an air lock for security reasons.  That doesn't disqualify them.
 
Calling this property management company will prove that. 

That is not something that Google is going to research and do, and no one has ever implied to you that they will.  It is also not a reason.
 
All of these fake listings are breaking one rule: you must have a door open to the public at all times you advertise yourself open.

Again, there is no such rule.  Being able to access the business is the rule.  A simple buzz into the building is not a reason to disqualify all the businesses on the second floor.
 
My business listing was closed quickly because I made this mistake. 

You would have been shut down for not have a storefront.  That is different.
 
In summary, no, you did not provide plenty of proof, in fact you provided none at all. None of what you just said is enough to delete a business, and most of it was not in your issue reports.  Your standards of proof do not meet the ones we use for Map Maker.  I have explained this to you before; removing a business is a serious matter and any mapper must present clear reasons.  You continually point at things and yell "delete that, I demand that you delete that" with no proper reasoning nor evidence.  You want Google to take this more seriously, but you don't do so yourself.  There needs to be clear reasons for deleting a business.  Because you say so is not enough.  Whether they be spam fighters or regular mappers, the rest of the people using Map Maker understand and provide the evidence that follows the guidelines and provides the proof needed.  You're never going to have much success until you do so yourself.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers thirdandbroad 6/19/14 10:32 AM
Well then, spammers, take note!  You need not worry about your listings being removed anymore.  Simply pick the locked door of a shared building as your fake address. Then, even when people call you out for not having a presence at your listed address, Google will turn a blind eye and Flash will defend you on these forums.  Even when people physically go to your fake address to confirm, your spam listings are safe.  Your spam is basically un-deletable using this weird trick! 
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 6/19/14 10:35 AM
You have completely missed the point.  This is not a trick to keep spam on the map, and I have never defended it.  The entire point is that he was providing absolutely zero reasons for it to be removed, and then complaining when it wasn't removed.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 6/19/14 10:55 AM
Here is the sort of edit that does contain evidence and thus provides reasons for the reviewer to consider approving a deletion:

I have visited this site, the street door requires buzzing the business or residence for entry.  I could not find this business in the list, see a picture of the buzz code list at http://photoURL.  I contacted the building management, XYZ Corp @ 208-123-4567 to find out the buzz code, they said there is no locksmith in the building.  A search of the Washington State corporate registry showed there is no company using this name as the primary name nor the DBA name, and no locksmith registered at this address.

That's just an example, I haven't done the research, and so to provide that you would actually need to do research first and adjust as necessary to provide the facts.  But that's what reviewers are seeking; first hand knowledge with an explanation of how it is known and further evidence beyond that knowledge that the business is not appropriate.

Even then, this is Places claimed; they control it, not Map Maker.  If the above was attempted and it didn't work, then it's time to use "I Object" but also politely ask for help in the Places forum.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers thirdandbroad 6/19/14 10:58 AM
Where did you find this law office and 3d animation company etc?  I can't find it them.  It appears to be an entirely residential address.  It doesn't look like businesses are desired tenants looking at the website of city north apartments.  The doors to either side of city north apartments are different addresses.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 6/19/14 11:28 AM
Multiple sources, including good old Google Search.  That's all that was really needed, when you find a bunch of businesses at the address and rather than being dispersed throughout the floors (home based) they are all on the second floor, that tells me the second floor is for businesses.  A check of the Street View shows me the second floor is not residential, so that would have been enough for me as a reviewer to have to deny an edit that gave the sole reasoning as "There are no businesses here, only apartments".

As for other sources, here's just one, sorry that it's not longer but Seattle's business license search only shows three at once.  It's also a really crappy search engine, so not being able to find a business on it is not proof at all.

You can also look this up on USPS's zip code search, where it will tell you that 301 through 619 are apartments, but 200 through 240 are suites.

I also found about 5 other references.  If I can find the stuff that fast, so can other reviewers who will then discount the claim that it needs to be deleted because there are no businesses.
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 6/19/14 12:15 PM
Thank you Flash, I will include these search tools in my campaign.  I have been to this address but didn't photograph the call box, I understand that Google can't simply take my word for it that there is no locksmith there.  Not sure how a picture of the call box will be evidence since it could be a picture of any call box, but if you think that will help I will take a picture of the call box.  The only difference between me and these guys (besides that they are scam artists) is that I actually have a mailbox at my former listing.  These guys don't have any presence whatsoever at this address, though after reading about the bedbug problems this building is having I kind of wish they were occupying one of those suites.
The other issue of many many new listings in a contested category appearing on the same day in the same two square miles has not yet been addressed though: what do you as Google's defender say about this?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers LocksmithVigilante 6/28/14 8:26 PM
Ok Flash, I went back to this building and not only have I taken pictures of the front door, the call box etc but I also have a picture of the actual apartment door designated CT Locksmith headquarters on the department of licensing entry for CT Locksmith.  Nowhere does it say anything about a locksmith.  I reported these pictures on mapmaker.  What further suggestions do you have for showing google that CT Locksmith does not meet Google Local criteria? 
Bonus picture is of a lock inside this apartment building which appears to show activity by CT Locksmith.
http://imgur.com/sKVCpu5
 http://imgur.com/FdaHwcQ
 http://imgur.com/otJZA4h
 http://imgur.com/dXNPZ7U
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers C.W.Chadderson 7/11/14 12:10 PM
Locksmith spam isn't being removed even when we take a picture of the business with the address and furnish evidence using business licenses that there is no locksmith at or near the address.  What is going on?  From June 23rd, three weeks ago:
"This is locksmith spam. This is the address of the WA state DSHS office. See this picture I took when I went there to confirm in person that there was no locksmith here: http://goo.gl/5FRlmG Thesecurity guard there confirmed that there is no locksmith at this address."  
Also, "Additionally there is no locksmith with a business license by this name in WA state according to bls.dor.wa.gov, though there is a five star locksmith in Bellevue, WA. That is 10 miles away however."
I can see that this has been reviewed.  What more information does Google need?  I am beginning to wonder if anything short of a written confession by spammers will get spam removed from Google Maps.  Maybe the spam removal team is on summer break?
Re: New Locksmith Spammer Has Higher Trust Rating Than Experienced, Longtime Mappers Flash (RER) 7/11/14 12:28 PM
I can see that this has been reviewed.

No, you cannot. 
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