Scam targets take-out restaurants -

Scam targets take-out food

Crossroads Country Kitchen in Middleton, Tennessee is a favorite for local diners. In addition to the fried chicken and vegetables, grilled chicken salads are also popular.

But when owner Charity Cooper recently took a big order for chicken salads, she became suspicious.
"It was like $836, and that's when he asked me to do a favor," she said.

The caller told Cooper he wanted $120 chicken salads - for pick up - and that he'd pay with a credit card.

Then he made a special request.

"He wanted me to add $1,350 to his credit card, $100 for Western Union, and $100 for a tip for me helping him out," Cooper said.
The caller instructed Cooper to send him cash for the additional charge to his card.

"We didn't have that kind of cash with us on hand to begin with, so if I'd done it, I'd have to go to the bank and get it out, and we wouldn't have been sure we were going to get the money back," she said.

According to Cooper, the man was adamant about getting the cash wired to him before the credit card went through, and texted her repeatedly asking for confirmation.
"He wanted to pay for it," she said. "Then he wanted us to wire him $1,350 to a woman in Kansas City."

It was all standard recipe - for a scam.

"What made me really realize (it was a scam) was the guy was calling and using a relay service from AT&T, and then he tells me he's sending out a hot truck to pick up salads," Cooper said. "You don't need a hot truck for salads."

Cooper never filled the order, never wired any money, and was proud she 'chickened out' of a deal that could have cost her a lot more than chicken salad.

"I guess he thought he could talk to a country restaurant, pull something over on them, and take them for what they've got," she said.

According to police, scammers use this ploy all the time. The bottom line - if someone offers to pay you more for something in exchange for you paying them, walk away.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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