Warning all restaurant and bar owners, this restaurant scam is full of bologna! A new scam is hitting counties across the U.S., and a number of health departments are raising awareness to help restaurants avoid becoming a victim of this credit card scam.
Local restaurants in Ohio and Maryland have been targeted by scammers who are impersonating Public Health officials and reporting that there has been a complaint filed against their establishment. Due to the complaint, Public Health is “required” to come out to their establishment for an inspection at a fee.
Hoping to catch business owners off guard, when scheduling the inspection, scammers request that the restaurant pay the fee upfront over the phone.
First things first, the fee is the first red flag! Under no circumstance will Public Health food inspectors ask for payment for regularly scheduled inspections, inspections based on a complaints, or other services they provide.
If you are a business owner, and have received a similar call, hang up and contact your local Public Health’s Office of Environmental Health to confirm if you’ve been reported and help raise awareness by reporting the call to the FCC.