Restaurants Beware: Order Scam is Making the Rounds

Several Dallas restaurateurs have called my attention to an ongoing scam. Here’s the deal according to a local restaurateur whose name I promised I wouldn’t reveal. He writes:

I first became aware of this a couple of weeks ago when I was in New Orleans and noticed a few signs posted in more than one restaurant side station. The way it works the restaurant receives a call from a person using an IP Relay. They attempt to place a huge catering order and offer to give a credit card number and state that a “delivery service” will pick up the order on the selected date, usually about two weeks out from the call. According to a restaurant manager in New Orleans I spoke with, they instruct the restaurant to authorize $500 more then the bill which you then give to the “delivery service.” I guess they would then dispute the charges or something to that effect, nobody I spoke with fell for it so I can’t be sure how they retract the charges. It’s pretty obvious it’s a scam but I guess their looking for that one sucker. I first said no to the requested date to see if that would turn away, they replied “oops wrong date” and attempted another date. Again I refused, they asked “why.” I hung up. Oh yeah, the catering order was for chicken salad for 200, it was his Mother’s birthday.


  • Keith

    Sounds more like someone steals a card and gets a ton of food and $500 cash. And if they catch the guy picking it up.. I am just a courier.

  • chris

    the scam is pretty similar to the craigslist furniture scams

  • we get calls to TJ’s with this scam at least once a week. What is obnoxious is that you can’t talk to the operator who is the “spokesman” for the scammer. its awful.

  • Tr

    sad that restuarateurs have to deal with this on top of everything else they have to do to run a business in a competitive area

  • let’s not forget that besides wasting our time, the scammers are also taking time, money and resources away from a program meant to help the disabled.

  • PG

    Yep, they tried it at our place. The caller was hospitalized, getting ready for surgery. He wanted to order fajitas for 100 for his son’s reception. Wanted us to put an additional $1k on his card for the person p/u food who was helping w/ wedding and couldn’t facilitate payment by cc. We were to wire the $1k…. He was very persistent, communicated through operator several times, sent emails, etc. It was crazy.

  • We started seeing this scam about a year ago in retail. They call up using Relay Texas trying to order cases of Roederer Cristal either for shipping or courier pick up. Having used Relay for years with deaf children if really burns me up that they have discovered the service and are using it for fraud.

  • II

    The scammers call wanting 200 orders of chicken, and multiple cases of Cristal. Next time we’ll let the courier come in and try a pair handcuffs on for size

  • Mike

    Does the DPD have any interest in this?

  • Cary

    Yup they called us once too … we had more fun leading them on … we were writing notes to each other as they sent their “relay” requests … it was just so amateurish … we thought we could get some info to give to the cops, but it was just so long and drawn-out and events in the restaurant tore us away, so we hung up.

  • Hannibal Lecter

    Mike, thank you for the laugh.

  • BlondeMafia

    I work for a large catering company and we got a bunch of those calls last year. They stopped when we informed the caller that we knew it was a scam. They are now trying it through fax request as well.

  • We have been getting the relay call scam for a while and also have fun playing with them. Just now, got the fax…how stupid do these idiots thinks that we are?? They want BBQ chicken and cole slaw and potato salad for 150 guests. Can they at least do a little research and order something off of our menu?? haha