BBB Alert: Scammers capitalize on Packers’ Super Bowl parties, target restaurants

Posted by Shelley Nelson on January 31, 2011 in Uncategorized |

The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau is warning restaurants and catering companies to beware of scammers using the TTY relay system to place orders for Packers’ Super Bowl parties.

Over the weekend, a restaurant in Oak Creek received a large order for food to be delivered during a Super Bowl party. The customer used the TTY relay system, a system which enables hearing impaired people to use a telephone with the help of a relay operator. The customer wanted to use a credit card to pay for the order and told the owner that, since the delivery company the customer was using didn’t accept credit cards, the restaurant would need to pay the deliverer in cash but would be reimbursed by adding the charges to the customer’s credit card.

This is a common scam that targets businesses, says the Wisconsin BBB. Typically, the scammer is posing as a “customer” and using a stolen credit card. The money that the business pays the deliverer (a co-conspirator) is lost, in addition to the loss taken by the business when it fulfills the order.

“We want businesses to be especially careful this week because we know they’ll receive lots of orders for Packers’ Super Bowl parties,” said Randall Hoth, Wisconsin BBB president/CEO.

The Wisconsin BBB advises that you watch for these “red flags”:

  • If the business receives a large order using a TTY relay system. Scammers often use the TTY relay system as a way to mask their real identity and things such as foreign accents or broken English.
  • If the “customer” asks the business to wire money to, or pay in cash, a third-party – such as a delivery company, then asks the business to add those charges to the credit card charge. When the credit card is discovered to be stolen, the business will lose the money it paid out-of-pocket.

For more information or further inquiries, please contact the Wisconsin BBB at or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), (920)-734-4352 (Appleton) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin).


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