Promoting, educating and advocating for Delaware’s restaurant industry since 1965.

The DRA has received numerous calls from restaurants receiving calls from a “customer” wanting to place a large catering order or wanting to reserve private space for a large group. The “customer” wants to pay in advance using a credit card by phone or email. They even submit what seems like legitimate information.

The “customer” then requests that the restaurant pay a “third party” for delivery of the order in cash or by check (there have been various spins on this part). These transactions can be between $2,000-$10,000! They implement a sense of urgency to finalize the order. If the check is cashed you will be out of money.

THIS IS PRIMARILY A GROUP OUT OF NIGERIA ENGAGING IN THIS FRAUD. THE DRA HAS HEARD OF TWO RESTAURANTS IN WILMINGTON JUST THIS MONTH THAT HAS EXPERIENCED THIS TYPE OF FRAUD! IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS!

The DRA’s endorsed credit card provider, Heartland Payment Systems suggests that their customers should contact them to call the issuing bank for more information.

Heartland also has provided some warning signs operators should be aware of:

  1. Customer wants to purchase an unusually large amount of product without regard or concern for cost.
  2. Customer wants merchandise shipped to Ghana, Nigeria or Indonesia. In this scenario, it is common for the fraudsters to prey upon American generosity and state the products are for missionary work or orphans.
  3. Customer contacts merchant through email or TDD (telecommunication devices for the deaf).
  4. Customer provides numerous credit card numbers.
  5. Customer not concerned about shipping costs.
  6. Customer wants you to purchase and send items you don’t sell—for example—the “customer” wants you to charge their credit card and asks merchant to use the funds to purchase computers, cameras etc. to be sent overseas.
  7. Customer wants to give you a bonus for your trouble.

If you have experienced a scenario similar to what is above please contact the DRA at 302-738-2545. For more information on protecting your business from fraudulent transactions, contact Kristin Novak-Csapo at Heartland Payment Systems at kristin.novak-csapo@e-hps.com