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Credit Card Fraud At Restaurants On The Rise
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Credit Card Fraud At Restaurants On The Rise

Under mounting pressure, restaurants in the US are now trying to tighten credit card security for their customers as credit card fraud at restaurants has grown in popularity.Just recently, a few restaurants from all over the country has been in the “limelight” due to credit card skimming or fraudulent credit card charges that have happened on their turf. US restaurants have already spent billions to tighten credit card security, but experts say that it's not enough yet.

Identity theft and credit card fraud costs consumers over $50 billion annually worldwide, and the need to ensure the safety of debit and credit card use while dining out continues to increase.

Recent Fraud Cases

There have been many of these restaurant fraud cases, police say, and it has happened in different parts of the country. The Olive Garden franchise has been a victim of this fraudulent act, and service personnel who worked for scammers have skimmed credit card information while working at various Olive Garden branches.

The modus operandi, authorities say, involved hand-held skimming devices for servers to skim the credit card data of diners. Such devices were used in restaurants Clyde’s and M&S Grill in 2009. In the Clyde’s Restaurant case, one of the servers told authorities that the scammers paid servers $20 for each credit card number, making it a lucrative activity for them aside from their monthly wage from said restaurant.

Recently a Corpus Christi restaurant called Two Georges’ Seafood Company closed down because of credit card fraud. However, this incident is not connected to the larger identity theft and credit card fraud ring that operates in many parts of America today.The owners of the seafood restaurant are now nowhere to be found, authorities say. Their landlord has been looking for them, too, and their former employees have not yet been paid.

These are just a few of the effects of what they did months before, though, because the owners allegedly falsely charged the credit cards of their customers, even those who only dined in the place once and never returned.Police say that charges reached up to hundreds of dollars for each cardholder. The authorities are still out the lookout for the owners of the Two Georges Restaurant.

Another incident of this nature happened recently in New Hampshire where Bella Sol owner, Brian Pearson, allegedly charged his customers for food they did not order and never ate. In fact, authorities say, the Bella Sol customers were charged months after the restaurant closed in late 2010. The police report says that these false credit card charges happened between August of 2010 up to May of 2011.Pearson was arrested by police recently but is now out of jail after posting for his bail.

Security Needs To Be Tightened

Experts say that credit card fraud in restaurants will continue on if these places do not tighten their security and do not follow the security models in many European dining establishments. One of the best precautions restaurants can employ is to issue handheld card swipers to their employeees so that the cards are visible to their customers at all time.


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