Researchers at Google and the University of California (San Diego) say thousands of illegitimate business listings are added to Google each month. Those listings don’t just create confusion, they could lead consumers towards fraudulent business activity.
Because of these listings, browsers could end up trying to contact an illegitimate business that’ll try to scam them or put them in contact with an unlicensed contractor.
Based on an analysis of 100,000 abusive listings from June 2014 to September 2015, the listings were most often for locksmiths, plumbers, and electricians.
A lot of geographical variation was seen in the prevalence of fake businesses. The US has over half the listings, with India coming in at 17.5%.