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The Restaurateur Insights

RI Restaurants Target of Recent Scam

October 08, 2014

The Rhode Island Hospitality Association warns restaurants in Rhode Island about a recent scam tactic.

The Rhode Island Hospitality Association warns restaurants in Rhode Island about a recent scam tactic. Restaurants are warned to pay close attention to any vendor representatives visiting your business with a product delivery, claiming that the restaurant has ordered the product in a previous telephone conversation (which likely never occurred). The scam also involves vendors that may call the restaurant and act as if the restaurant had already ordered product and stating that they are merely notifying the restaurant of an impending delivery. Many times, if approval is given over the phone or the delivery is accepted the restaurant then receives a large invoice for a product they never agreed to purchase.

Employees are warned NOT to sign for any deliveries or agree to accept product over the phone without verifying that the purchase was authorized.

The Rhode Island Hospitality Association and the RI Attorney General Consumer Protection Division provides these tips for keeping you and your business safe:

  • Make sure your employees know who has purchase authority
  • Prior to signing for any delivery, employees should verify that whoever is in charge of purchasing has authorized the delivery.
  • If an employee is unable to verify that the delivery is for an authorized purchase, that should not sign or accept delivery.
  • If an unfamiliar vendor calls your restaurant claiming you ordered a product, confirm this is correct. If this is incorrect ask to be removed from their contact list.
  • If you believe that the delivery is potentially a scam, contact local authorities immediately.

If you believe you are at risk or have fallen victim to this scam please contact a member of our Hospitality Services Group.

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