"Lead Theft Directories"
I see a growing problem, at least in my vertical niche, of "directory" websites that publish companies' names along with phone numbers that are NOT the numbers for those companies but rather phone numbers for lead-gen call centers that divert the callers to other companies.
I call these sites "Lead Theft Directories" because that's basically what they are doing: using companies' brand identities to attract leads that they then sell to competing companies.
One such lead theft directory is a site that used to be a reputable elder care site called caring.com
. Here's an example of a lead theft page on that site with a number that is NOT the number for the company listed: https://www.caring.com/local/in-home-care-in-san-marcos-california/a-servants-heart-care-solutions
Of course, if you buy advertising on that site (around $2,000 US per year), then they'll do you the favor of using your number, not the phony lead theft number.
I just wrote caring.com
and asked them to take down that listing (I was the owner of that company in the example until I sold it last year). We'll see what they do about my request.
I speculate that I'm not the only one here who is encountering this problem more and more.
What else can we do in these situations?