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Catering Scam

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Might not be the proper forum to post on, but trying to reach a broad audience.

 

I was told after the fact that this scam was run (successfully) on a small business in the community. 

It's seems pretty obvious to me, but I'd hate for someone to fall for it.

 

FoH manager took a call from someone requesting a catering for chicken Caesar salad for 100ppl.

The person ordering it was "hearing impaired" so they were using a service like IP-Relay for the phone call.

And his last name is Jones.

 

Spider-senses tingled immediately, but front manager wanted me to follow through with it...  w/e

After that manager had a few emails with them and playing middle-man, I asked manager to just give them my email so I could ask relevant questions.  Such as, "do you realize that you can buy all this stuff from a grocery store for about a quarter of what I'm going to charge you?"

 

...

"Hello ----------,
Thanks for your mail and am Very Grateful So I Will Be Needing 100 grilled chicken Caesar Salad For Individual And It Will Be An Order And The Pick up Date is 29th of This is Month and The Pick up Time is 3 pm and I Will Be Needing forks Knives Napkins etc So What Will Be the grand Cost of My Order Plus Tax And What Type Of Card Do You Accept As payment And I Will Also Like You To Get Back To Me With The Restaurants Address So That I can Forward That To The Carrier That Will Be coming for the pick up of the order and More so I Will Like you to get back to me with the owners Contact Cell Number And Forward my order also To The Owner And If necessary i Will Be Able to get back to the owner via text or email so i will be looking forward to read back from you soonest.
Regards
Mr Smith"
...
"Hello How Are U Doing And Have Been Expecting your mail so That i can get back to you with my credit card and we can proceeds with the order so i will be looking back to read from you Soonest.
Regards
Mr Smith"
...
 
Well, anyways, the 419 scams have hit the restaurant industry.
First I've seen.
Be aware.
 
 
post #2 of 18

Why don't you clarify what the scam is. I don't clearly understand what you are talking about...it's about the cell number? About people using stolen credit cards to buy food? 

 

Your post is confusing. 

post #3 of 18

The caller sends a delivery service which doesn't accept a credit card.  The restaurant pays the delivery service in cash.  The caller "overpays" the restaurant with credit card to cover this service.

post #4 of 18
They are so annoying. They call me every month. I have a sheet typed up for my staff. The fastest way to get off the phone with them is to instruct the staff to tell the relay operator, "sorry, we cannot conduct business through relay." If you just hang up, they usually call back. If you tell them that, the relay operator always responds with, "caller has disconnected the call."

They scammed one of our local BBQ places a few years back and it made the local news.

J
post #5 of 18

I don't understand. I mean, I think I understand...the "delivery service" is a scammer who gets cash, but why does the restaurant pay the delivery service in cash in the first place? Why would any restaurant in their right mind pay someone to come pickup a catering order in cash?

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday View Post

I don't understand. I mean, I think I understand...the "delivery service" is a scammer who gets cash, but why does the restaurant pay the delivery service in cash in the first place? Why would any restaurant in their right mind pay someone to come pickup a catering order in cash?

Because the scammer who ordered paid for the delivery charge with a credit card and asked to have the delivery paid in cash, they are in it together!

 

You end up paying them to steal your food.

 

It all makes good sense until your merchant account makes a charge-back!
 

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

I know the scam is old, I've just never heard of it being played on restaurants for a few hundred $$$.

A couple other restaurants in town have been called I've found since my original post.

Sorry if it's old news.

post #8 of 18

My issue was that I didn't understand why the restaurant was paying cash to someone to come pick up the order. I missed the part about the person who ordered food charging the delivery fee on the credit card. It kinda makes sense, but seems like a lot of trouble for a scammer to potentially get a few dollars in cash and some free food. 

 

What restaurant in their right mind would do that? 

 

post #9 of 18
One that is just trying to make ends meet. A few hundred bucks can make a huge difference to many businesses.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

/\ /\ /\  -that.

 

Desperate times.  For honest people and thieves.

post #11 of 18

Just recently started getting emails regarding ordering food for 150 people for a wedding.  Emails, "IP Assisted" call from the client who is "hearing impaired" 

 

Refuses to give full name, any type of credit card, or details pertaining to the order requests.

 

Wants me to include a large sum of money for the "carrier" that will be picking the food up as well as a "tip" for myself.

 

These emails are a SCAM AND NEEDS TO CONTINUALLY BE REPORTED.

post #12 of 18

The reason it sounds confusing is because it's intended to be confusing.  I've even had them ask me to pick up 50 folding tables with chairs for them to use at the function, which I was to add to their "credit card" plus a profit for myself.  My experience with them has always been in the $2000-$4000 range.  I think this was going to work like this:  They give credit card number to pay for $3000 worth of food, plus $1000 for equipment rental, plus an additional $800 profit for my trouble.  They come get the food, the tables, chairs, and leave (I think they will have sold it beforehand or something).  They then dispute the card charge.  Whatever their method of operation, fall for it and you're just screwed.

 

One thing we can all do is to report the call to the operator/phone business department and then follow up with a call to the state Attorneys-general office.

The operator, or at least the business department, will in all likelihood be familiar with the scheme, mine was.  Most likely, so will the Attorney General...mine was in Arkansas.

 

If you have more than one phone line, and have a bunch of time on your hand, drag out the call.  Tell them how much you appreciate what they're doing, go over the order several times to be sure you get it correct so they'll be happy customers.  Keep 'em talking, be friendly, tell jokes, etc.  whatever.  They may be having to pay for the call using hearing impaired equipment and personel.  Even if they aren't, the operator which has to intervene between each question and answer may as well suffer like you are doing.  The operator knows what's going on and will at least talk about it.

 

When it becomes obvious the call is coming to a close, just tell them you'd be happy to serve them and how much you appreciate it.  Then tell them you need a call back number, that your scheduling director will call them back in a couple of minutes.

 

Might want to avoid using the word "yes".  Is this Joe Smith?  What can I do for you.  John, do you think you can handle the order for us?  We do catering of all sizes.  Etc.

They'll try to make contact with an employee, who might jump at the chance to make a big sale.

 

Bottom line...I don't understand all of it, either.  Now I just hang up.  Employees are generally told not to discuss caters, to call me to the phone.

Some people suck.

post #13 of 18

Mine was for a wedding cake "for as much to feed 500 guests" and requests for a huge stacked monstrosity,with satellites, in some really hideous colors.

Always email tho...never by phone.

laser.gifI am jealous.

If you google Nigerian oil well scams there are a few forums that feature nothing but these different scams.

The members post the scam and what was said to jack with the scammers.

Some are pretty hilarious.

Like ..in order to comply with government export laws I need a picture of you and 5 friends dressed in the bridesmaid dresses in long blonde wigs.

As most of these criminals are men the resulting pix make me LMFAO.

 

mimi

post #14 of 18

Hmmm...

 

Mine are from a "Reverand" so-and-so.  Weird e-mails.  Wants to order a bunch of stuff, but can't elaborate as to WHAT he wants, could be chocolate, could be cement mixers, used auto parts, whatever.  Wants to know if I accept VISA or other form of credit cards, wants to pay me immediately.  Then a big schtick about how my "product" is going into gift baskets to be auctioned off, and god bless me.

 

Can't quite figure out how this one works, and I'm not wasting any time either.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

Hmmm...

 

Mine are from a "Reverand" so-and-so.  Weird e-mails.  Wants to order a bunch of stuff, but can't elaborate as to WHAT he wants, could be chocolate, could be cement mixers, used auto parts, whatever.  Wants to know if I accept VISA or other form of credit cards, wants to pay me immediately.  Then a big schtick about how my "product" is going into gift baskets to be auctioned off, and god bless me.

 

Can't quite figure out how this one works, and I'm not wasting any time either.

 

They buy a ton of stuff from you and have it all charged to a Credit Card (Stolen) - to save time they ask you to pay for a few things for them.  

Usually something associated with the food they are buying, delivery, place settings, rentals etc.

They have you charge the card in advance with this amount added onto the total bill.

 

They have the food and 'services' picked up,  you pay the delivery guy or whatever - the person who actually owns the Credit Card reports this as fraud.

The credit card company reverses the charge - you are now out the food cost plus what ever 'services' you paid for on behalf of the customer.... usually a hefty delivery charge or catering fee.

 

You get no money back ever - as everyone involved except the 'pick-up' crew is located in a different country.

 

Pretty old scam actually, keeps getting recycled through different businesses.

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
post #16 of 18

we had one faxed to our restaurant. it was from an "edward johnson" and as usual, asking for food for 250 people, and for you to contact them at edwardjohnson90@yahoo.com.

the fax was from 631-229-9333. passed it around to some of the other restaurants in town to keep people informed. these types of scams have been around for a while. like four years ago in another city, i had to deal with a scam through a relay service. same type just different medium. ended up backing out on the whole thing just cause of how much a pain in the ass these people were trying to make it. it was like run the card for the food plus gratuity plus carrier fee and some more for your troubles then western union the carrier money to the carrier and blah blah. huge win for us just to not do it at all. it would have been like 2500 $ we would have lost.

post #17 of 18

Got one this weekend in San Antonio: Chicken caesar salad for 100...blah blah blah.....strung it along as long as I could, but after the "fee for courier" email, I was done playing....this is just ridiculous.  First, that someone could fall for this (but I know it happens---it particularly hurts small mom/pops who see this big order and think YAY), but these a**holes need to get caught.  What a shame..

post #18 of 18

Also just recently received an e-mail through our pages reservation request box of a similar nature, asking for 100 Crab Bisques to be catered. I automatically new it was a scam because A) Who has a name called David Alonso, B) Any CEO of a company would know they don't need to capitalize each word and C) If you had a catering order of that nature I am assuming you would want to speak directly to the owner on the phone.

 

This guy's e-mail is davidalonso878@gmail.com.

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