Scam Targets Local Restaurants
Two businesses hit by long-distance con artists
A Pearl Road restaurant owner lost about $1,000 in a scam that is targeting local eateries.
According to a report, someone called the restaurant shortly before Christmas and placed a large order for food platters. Detective Lt. John Janowski said the caller placed $2,190 on a credit card, which included extra money for fees or other miscellaneous expenses, and asked the restaurant to wire back the overage.
The owner send back $1,010 before realizing the credit card account was fraudulent. No food was prepared or sent.
At around the same time, a similar incident took place at a Pearl Road bakery, but the owner got suspicious and called police before finishing the deal.
In that case, a caller claiming to be from Florida put in a large order for bakery and said someone from North Carolina would pick it up. The business took the order, but contacted police, who said not to complete the transaction.
A number of people have reported similar scams in recent months, often involving items they are selling online and relying on the seller's honesty. Typically, a caller agrees to buy the item and sends a check for an amount much larger than the asking price.
The buyer then says it was a mistake and asks the seller to return the overage. After he does, the seller learns the original check was fake.