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Second restaurateur reports suspected money laundering scam

03 April 2018 by
Second restaurateur reports suspected money laundering scam

A second restaurateur has reported suspect bookings to police amid fears the industry is being targeted by a money laundering scam.

Hannah Trickett, owner of Faodail restaurant in Kincardine, Fife, received a mysterious booking request from a would-be guest seeking to pay up front and add £2,000 to the bill, which the restaurant was requested to hand to the diners' driver.

Her report came just days after chef Mark Greenaway warned fellow restaurateurs to be on their guard after being targeted in the same way.

Restaurant Mark Greenaway, based in Edinburgh, received a request for a booking for 30 through its bookings email address, from someone asking to pay for everything in advance on a credit card, but the would-be diner had a favour to ask.

"After two or three emails we then discovered what the favour was. He asked if he overpaid by £2,000 could we transfer the money to a different account so the driver got paid. The reason he couldn't do it? He was going into hospital so wouldn't be there, so could we pay the driver for him?" Greenaway said in a Facebook post.

Trickett, who understands other restaurants have also been targeted, told The Caterer that the would-be guest had also emailed her restaurant directly, rather than following prompts to use their booking system.

Requests to meet the enquirer, supposedly looking to book the restaurant for an 18th birthday, were ignored repeatedly before the request to pay a "driver" was made via email with the explanation of a hospital stay offered.

Trickett said: "We have to be so careful, people will try anything to catch you off guard. We always like to know what new scams are coming out."

Both restaurants reported the suspected scam to Police Scotland, who said: "We can confirm that we were contacted in relation to a concern over a potential money-laundering scam. Appropriate advice on this matter was provided."

Anyone concerned that they may have been targeted by the scammers is advised to get in touch with the police by calling 101.

Chef Mark Greenaway warns of suspected money laundering scam>>

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