Restaurants all over the country, including Los Angeles County, have been struggling to stay open due to the coronavirus and a new scam. This new digital dine-and-dash scam has left restaurants strapping for cash since thieves have found a way to pick up their food without paying for it. This has caused restaurants to lose money on orders left and right without a way to redeem the cash they have lost. This is the new digital dine-and-dash scam that has plagued many victim restaurants trying to stay open during the coronavirus.
What is the New Digital Dine-and-Dash Scam?
The thief steals credit card information from someone and uses it to place orders at restaurants online. They go pick up their food at the restaurant, and the restaurant gives them their food thinking that they already paid for it.
Then once the food is picked up, the restaurant receives a chargeback a few days later saying that the customer never received the food. The restaurant tries to provide proof that the customer bought food, but the credit card doesn’t belong to that customer so they lose their money anyways.
There is also another instance where someone uses their credit card to purchase food. Then once the customer receives their food, they dispute the charge to their order on a food app they use stating they never received the food. The app then requests a refund from the restaurant, which becomes really hard for the restaurant to dispute.
How is This Digital Dine-and-Dash Scam Affecting Restaurants?
Spoon by H in Los Angeles County
According to LA Times, Spoon by H is a popular Korean restaurant by the Fairfax in Los Angeles County that is closing permanently due to struggling from the coronavirus and from this new digital dine and dash scam.
There was one time where a customer placed a large order at Spoon by H that was supposed to cost $728.76. Yoonjin Hwang, the owner of Spoon by H, was thrilled to get such a large order and started to prepare it immediately. Even though she noticed that the customer didn’t put their car license plate number or description on the receipt, she figured they probably just forgot.
When the customer got there, Hwang helped the customer carry their order to their car. The customer didn’t really acknowledge Hwang all that much and didn’t respond when Hwang thanked him for such a large order.
A few days later, Hwang noticed that the charge for this large order was disputed by the customer. Hwang took a photo of the order that was prepared and sent it in, but the bank sided with the customer. This was because their card was stolen and didn’t actually place the order at Spoon by H.
She tried to take videos of photos of every pick-up along with taking photos of customer’s driver’s licenses, but unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to offset the costs of the money that was stolen. She made the hard decision to close her restaurant by the end of February.
Koko’s Mediterranean Cafe in Los Angeles County
The owner of Koko’s Mediterranean Cafe, Shant Bogharian, stated that there has been a lot of people who have been requesting refunds from third-party delivering apps a few months ago.
The customer usually states they had a “change of plans” in the app once they got their food just so they can get their money back. There was even a refund for as large as $140, even though the customer got their food!
How to Avoid the Digital Dine-and-Dash Scam
- Don’t give anyone online your personal or financial information for any reason.
- When you are about to use your credit card, make sure the card reader doesn’t have any skimmers by wiggling it first.
- Don’t request a refund from a restaurant unless it is absolutely necessary.
- Take video evidence of the order that you are preparing in case there is any questioning.
- Make sure the customer’s name on the order matches their ID and credit card they used if they are picking it up.
- Install security cameras in your restaurant just in case so that you have video evidence of each order and transaction.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with when dealing with this new digital dine-and-dash scam.