Metropolitan Police issue warning on restaurant scam

An alert sent out from Operation Sterling part of the Specialist, Organised and Economic Crime Command regarding a fraud focused on the restaurant industry.

The fraud occurs as follows. A restaurant will get an unsolicited phonecall from a suspect saying there is a problem with the merchant services they are using. They will be instructed to redirect any credit card payments to a phone number provided by the suspect.

This phone number is staffed by the suspect and when the restaurant calls the suspect will ask to speak with the paying customer. They will then go through the customers security questions. Having gleaned all the security details from them the suspect will then instruct the restaurant to put the transaction through their machine as normal.

The suspect then will call the customers bank the following day to transfer money to the suspects account using the security questions from the previous day.

So far the fraud has been focused on Fine Dining restaurants in the West End, Twickenham and Canary Wharf areas.

If you receive a call like this please ring your merchant services from a number you have to establish whether the request is genuine.

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