Telephone scam targets restaurant operators

The Bellingham Business Journal

The Whatcom County Health Department is warning restaurant operators of a fraudulent scheme to obtain personal financial information. The caller may threaten fines or enforcement action if the restaurant operator does not cooperate. These calls are fraudulent.

Restaurant operators in several Western Washington counties have been contacted by a caller claiming to be from the health department. The caller requests personal financial information, such as a credit card number. In some cases the caller has claimed to be “implementing a new inspection program.”

The Whatcom County Health Department will never request personal financial information over the telephone or otherwise. Inspections are unannounced and all inspectors carry photo identification when conducting official business.

Similar telephone scams have been reported elsewhere in the country as well.

Fraudulent telephone calls should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission on its website, or by calling (877) 382-4357.


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