Strange topic: reporting fraud?

Here’s a strange question.

I am posting it in the regional board because I think it’s a regional answer, but it’s not about dining. Please move if there is a better location.

Let’s say I notice there’s a restaurant listing itself for business, month after month, when it’s closed. And even creating new business listings at the same location. And even re-opening itself on Google and Yelp.

I think to myself “the only reason to do this would be fraud. Either they are applying for state grants as a small business, or a loan from a bank, or something”

I’d like to report these people, because it irks me no end that there should be a restaurant in this location but there isn’t! It seems their shenannigans are depriving me of a perfectly good restaurant to try, and probably taxpayer dollars too.

Where would I look up to see if they are getting loans or small business checks, so I can report they are not in business?

(I do believe strongly in “don’t snitch” but this is a rare exceptioin)

Thanks in advance!

If it seems a problem. Drive to your local jurisdiction, courthouse. Every thing should be available . Building dept , and so on …

Yeah, but where would i look up if they got pandemic small business support? I am sure they are on file as businesses, i am just thinking they are pretending to be in operation when they are not?

Are you thinking about that juice/ Mediterranean place on Willow that’s never open?

It might be shell restaurants run by larger ghost kitchen, and there’s a few big VC backed ghost kitchens in the Bay Area.

In any case, a friend in LA told me a story about a local pizza place that they thought closed. The store was still there, signage up, just not open for business…yet they saw online listings for their food. After some looking around, they found it was a ghost kitchen deal. A ghost kitchen took over during the pandemic, or something….but the motives and logic are unclear (like why keep the brick and mortar store front?) They verified this by ordered delivery and it showed up, but they knew the shop wasn’t open. Wasn’t the same pizza either, if I recall. Apparently the ghost kitchen did this for several other places.

Not saying it’s this but perhaps. Otherwise, a front for something else? Could it be pandemic relief fraud?

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Concerned citizens don’t need to throw around extreme language or actions to just dip their proverbial community toe in inquiry. Town officials can be called who can then reach out to landlords,biz owners, partners you may not be aware of. If no trash is accumulating, utilities are running, no closed signs are posted-you maybe completely misguided. Go gently.

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Ya, this has been going on for a while and written about a lot. Kin Khao and Blowfish were two popular places which were covered extensively:

It’s both ghost kitchens/grub hub and/or unscrupulous smaller businesses.


Wow! What a crazy situation!


I work in banking specifically in financial crimes. I don’t have anything specific to help on this is as it is outside of my area entirely but wow, very interesting observations. Our investigators rely on many factors when researching potential illegal activity and Google results absolutely are part of that.

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I found an interesting resource:
which includes strange names but the addresses are, by and large, true and existing businesses that I patronize.

And here’s where you submit suspected fraud: