Rockford Area Residents: Be On Guard For Fake Food Websites
One of the things that has helped to save so many restaurants from closing is turning out to be the same thing that is ripping off unsuspecting customers. That thing is ordering take out or delivery food.
This morning on the WROK Morning Show, Joe and I spent some time with Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As part of our twice-monthly chats with Dennis, he filled us in on some of the latest scams that are being seen here in the Rockford area and around the country.
The fake food website scam will only work if you're the sort of person who orders food online, whether for take-out or delivery. Since online food ordering is at an all-time high due to the pandemic, scam artists have taken notice, and taken action to try to get some of the huge sums of money floating around in cyberspace.
How The Fake Food Website Scams Work
You Google your favorite restaurant to see if they offer delivery and if you can order online. As you scroll the search results, you find a website that looks like it belongs to the restaurant. Or you may find a third-party website that looks very similar to DoorDash or GrubHub.
Except the website you've found on Google isn't your favorite joint's website, or the third-party website that promises delivery isn't who you think they are. Scammers have paid to be included in search results so that you have confidence that they're on the up-and-up...which they most certainly are not.
What Happens When You Place An Order With These Fake Sites?
You click on the link, select your food, and enter your credit card information to pay. Charges appear on your account, but the food never arrives. When you call the restaurant to see what’s happened, they don't know anything about your order. The website was a fake, and now the scammers have your credit card information, address, and other personal details. That's when the real problems (for you) begin.
How To Avoid Being Scammed
The Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau says that to keep that awful experience from happening to you, you should:
- Only order from websites you know and trust
- When in doubt, confirm with the restaurant
- Use your credit card, not your debit card
- Take action if you think you’ve ordered on a fake site