SCAM ALERT! Place a takeout order? Check the URL first
South San Francisco, CA August 20, 2021 Submitted by Better Business Bureau
The COVID-19 pandemic has made orders takeaways more popular than ever. Some restaurants have even created their own websites to avoid the fees and challenges of food delivery apps, like DoorDash Where GrubHub. As always, scammers are quick to seize on a trend. Beware of fake food ordering websites that scam consumers with their money and personal information.
How the scam works
You research your favorite restaurant’s website to see if it offers delivery and a way to order online. Near the top of the search results, you find a website that appears to belong to the restaurant. Or you can find a third-party website that looks very professional and similar to popular services like DoorDash Where GrubHub.
You click 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 find out what happened, they are unaware of your order. The website was a fake, and now the scammers have your credit card information, address and other personal details.
Some consumers have reported to BBB Scam Tracker accidentally order from fake websites called “Order Hero” or “Order Ventures”. But beware of other variants. Scammers often change their names and continue their tricks under a different false identity.
Avoid scams when ordering takeout:
- Only order from websites you know and trust. Even if you think you’re on a website you know, check the URL before placing your order.
- If in doubt, confirm with the restaurant. The first time you order directly from a restaurant’s website, call the restaurant to confirm that they ordered online and that you are on the correct URL.
- Use your credit card. When paying with your credit card, you can dispute any unauthorized charges. The same may not be true if you use your debit card or give a company your banking information, such as your account number and bank routing number.
- Take action if you think you ordered from a fake site. If you suspect that you have entered your credit card information into a fraudulent website, immediately cancel your card and request a new one. Scammers may wait a few weeks or months before they start using the card numbers you gave them access to.
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