TripAdvisor has removed a fake restaurant from its website but not before it was ranked as one of the top establishments in its area.
The fictitious Oscar's in Brixham was set up around two months ago, and was thought to be an anonymous protest by the friend of a hospitality business operator.
Over the course of its presence on the site, Oscar's gained a series of glowing reviews.
TripAdvisor removed the page for the restaurant yesterday, following media attention after it was highlighted by reputation management firm KwikChex.
A spokesman for TripAdvisor said: "Upon investigation, as this property doesn't meet our listing guidelines, the listing has been removed. With more than 60 pieces of content coming in every minute, occasionally a review or business that does not meet TripAdvisor's guidelines may slip through the cracks, and in these rare cases, our members can report the material to us, helping maintain the high quality content of our site."