Scam targets chain restaurants and convenience stores

This item from Arizona sort of blew my mind. I’d never even thought of a setup like this before, and I read about fraud every day.

It’s a scam that targets chain businesses like fast food restaurants and convenience stores. It starts with a phone call to the store late in the evening from someone who claims to be from upper management in the company.

The victim store is told that there was an incident earlier in the day; for example, a customer was injured or food poisoned. To avoid a lawsuit, they are instructed to give a bag of money (and sometimes, cases of food) to a taxi driver waiting outside.

Of course, the caller is just a thief, and the driver usually isn’t even in on the scam; he just had instructions to make a delivery.

First, if you’re an employee at a chain business, know this: legal matters are not settled with bags of money handed to taxi drivers. If someone is food poisoned or injured at a store or restaurant, there is an official, documented process by which such things are handled.

Second, if you’re an employee, also know this: if someone who claims to represent upper management calls, you need to verify who they are. Never give out personal information or store information to someone just because they claim to be an executive in the company. Anyone can claim to be anyone on the phone.

Finally, if you’re one of those executives, and you called one of your stores requesting information that might be considered sensitive, ask yourself this: how would you react to an employee who refused to give out information without a way to verify your identity? Would you become angry? Would you fire them on the spot? Or would you see that this is exactly the kind of person you want working for you?

Just something to consider.