Order takeaway? Beware of fake websites

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The COVID-19 pandemic has made take out more popular than ever. Some restaurants have even created their own websites to avoid the expense and challenges of food delivery apps. As always, crooks are quick to catch a trend. Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to beware of bogus food ordering websites that are designed to scam them out of their money and personal information.

How the scam works

You search your favorite restaurant’s website to see if they have 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 or GrubHub.

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 happened, they are not aware of your order. The website was a fake, and now the crooks have your credit card information, address, and other personal information.

BBB Scam Tracker has received reports from consumers who have accidentally ordered from bogus websites called “Order Hero” or “Order Ventures”. But watch out for other variants. The crooks often change their names and continue their tricks under a different false identity.

How to Avoid Food Order Scams

  • Order only from websites you know and trust. Even if you think you are 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 have the order online and that you are on the correct URL.
  • Use your credit card. When you pay with your credit card, you can dispute any unauthorized charges. The same may not be the case if you use your debit card or give a business your banking information, such as your account number and your bank routing number.
  • Take action if you think you ordered from a fake site. If you believe you entered your credit card information on a scam website, immediately cancel your card and request a new one. Fraudsters can wait a few weeks or months before they start using the card numbers you have given them access to.

For more information

Check restaurant reputation on BBB.org. If any website you visit looks suspicious, report it to the BBB Scam Tracker. Sharing your findings can help others avoid falling prey to similar scams.

Source: BBB.org

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