Are there new targets for scams?
Yes, we often see a shift of focus for scams. For example, for years seniors were the primary target for telemarketing crooks, until they learned to say "No" and hang up. Young people are now the primary target of identity thieves. Then the crooks moved to the Internet where we see various groups being targeted. However, anyone who owns a computer may be targeted by crooks. These same crooks are now finding a new target for their frauds. Restaurant scam owners. We have heard from a number of restaurant scam owners about various scams. One example is the caller who claims to be with the police and is trying to find a crook who is passing stolen credit cards. The restaurant scam owner is asked to provide a list of credit cards used by customers within the last week. Of course this is just an attempt to steal credit card numbers by restaurant scam.
What are some other types of targeting restaurant scam?
There are the scams involving food. One e-mail was for a lunch reservation for 25 people from a research institute in India. The sender wanted to send a deposit check for $10,000 with part of the money being forwarded on to a third party who would arrange transportation for the group. Of course, the restaurant owner scam was asked to deposit the money in her account, keep $3,000 to cover the cost of the lunch and wire the remainder to the transport people. Sure, and she could kiss $7,000 goodbye. This is a variation of the fake check or money order scam. Another scam involved a man who claimed he wanted to order food for his wife's birthday party. He wanted to charge the payment to his credit card. After two credit card charges were denied, a third card was accepted for the charge. However, he wanted to charge an additional $650 to the order and have the amount sent to a third party who would handle the delivery of the food. Guess what, the credit card was stolen, the whole thing was an attempt to defraud the restaurant owner. Fortunately, these restaurant owners were sharp enough to realize they were being targeted by crooks restaurant scam. However, we do hear from people who weren't as fortunate. Once money has been sent to a crook, there is nothing we can do to recover the loss.
Are these scams quite common?
According to a number of owners, they are frequently targeted by scams. The crooks realize restaurant scam have been affected by the economic downturn and prey upon their need for business.
Many of these scams have certain characteristics:
- The scam involves a significant sum of money.
- The payment is for an amount greater than the total of the purchase.
- The restaurant owner is instructed to do a wire transfer of part of the payment to a third party.
An actual email that illustrate this type of CraigsList scam:
Any highlighted passages below are to draw your attention to typical scam clues:
Email 1 from the scammer:
Sorry for the late response but I work in the US Air Force and it's very hard for me to reply faster. I wanted to let you know that the 2004 Nissan Murano SL is still available, i had a buyer but his loan did not get approved. The final price is $5,800, so if you are still interested please let me know ASAP. Here is a link with more photos:
At this time the truck is in Helena, Montana with me and we can use the eBay Vehicle Purchase Protection service to handle this deal if you're not able to come pick this up. Let me know if you have any questions, for some reasons your previous email did not load on my screen.
William R. Butler , TSgt, USAF
373rd TRS/Det. 11
Second email from the scammer:
Hi there again, Sorry but I cant use a phone being in a dgt mission, this Nissan Murano SL is a perfect car and it will make you proud, it is in excellent condition, never been involved in accidents, only 75k miles, vin # is JN8AZ08T64W212370, clean and clear title, no mechanical problems, no smells and odors, no rust, no leaks, power options all functional and it will need nothing in the near future. I inherited it from my uncle who had health issues and took great care of this car, always garaged and never off road. I wouldn't hesitate to jump in and drive it to China any time of the day. We are in a training mission here until 25th of May but if you're not able to pick this up I have some great news for you.
The shipping will take 4-5 days thru DAS and it will be free, my previous buyer already paid for it and DAS didn't want to refund him so I have the car sealed at DAS terminal ready to be shipped out. If we cannot meet face2face I would like to use eBay motors vehicle purchase protection to take care of this deal, smooth and safe.
I want to sell it because I don't have much use for it and I could use some quick cash right now, rather than waiting for a better offer (selling takes a lot of time too... and time is money). So I'm willing to let it go for $5,800 and since I only have one car, First come, First served.
Let me know if you have any other questions, hope i didn't miss anything, if we use eBay program this is not a sight unseen deal anymore.
William R. Butler , TSgt, USAF
373rd TRS/Det. 11
THE S/N CAR WAS SOLD ON E-BAY FROM A DEALER IN TEXAS FOR $16,000.