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SCAM Alert !

December 20, 2000

Restaurants in Texas Are Targets of Recent Scams

To protect you from being the next VICTIM, the Texas Restaurant Association is alerting restaurateurs of two scams operating at this time. If you or someone you know has experienced either of these, please notify us at: (800) 395-2872.

This is a service of the Texas Restaurant Association.

Scenario: Restaurateur receives a copy of a letter and a dry cleaning bill. The letter is from a woman who claims that on a specific date, a server spilled food in the lap of her elderly mother and that her meal was given free with an offer to pay the dry cleaning bill. As you read a letter received in Texas (cited below), notice that the writer refers to “your company” without naming the restaurant specifically and that it contains no phone number. Content of the letter (not edited) follows:

December 7, 2000
Name & address
Dear Sir:
-----While my elderly mother and her guest were dining at your establishment on the evening of October 14, 2000 when her server spilled her diner in her lap. At that time your company paid for the meal and assured her you would pay for her cleaning bill after it was submitted, which brings us to why I’m writing you again. In my first letter I enclosed the original cleaning bill along with a similar letter. I also explained that the card that was given to her by the management was to be presented along with the cleaning bill, unfortunately she was unable to locate it as she is 76 years old.
-----In this second request I’m sending a copy of the cleaning bill which includes her pants, shirt and coat she was sitting on. The total cleaning bill was $23.42. We would very much appreciate your help in solving the matter and thank you for your cooperation. I have spoke with my attorney about this matter and he has advised me to inform you that if we don’t have any response from the sending of these two letters within ten working days this matter will be turned over to him and will be resolved in the small claims court as I travel to your area often with my company business. My apologies for intruding during the holidays and Merry Christmas and God bless you.
Sincerely, Name

( 2 ) V.I.P. SCAM
Scenario: Restaurateur is contacted by phone by an individual requesting dinner reservations for a very important person (VIP) in the community. The caller explains that earlier that day a delivery service will deliver a package intended for the VIP. The caller asks the restaurateur to pay for the package and add the charges to the bill, which will be paid at the time of the dinner. The package is delivered and paid for; however, no one arrives for the dinner reservations, and upon inspection it is discovered that the package is empty.

Source: Texas Restaurant Association

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