The Truth About Credit Card Theft In Restaurants

Who can you trust?

As discussed yesterday, Yahoo ran a front-page story from creditcards.com on Friday discussing types of people who you cannot trust with your credit card.  The Yahoo headline is pictured above and makes it clear that servers are on the list.  While the actual article includes eight groups, the headline very clearly implies that you should be worried about handing your credit card over to a server.  What the headline does not mention is that you, your kids, and your loved ones are also on this list.  Does anyone else already smell the sensationalism?

Each of the seven other groups listed are accompanied with reasons not to give them your credit card.  Prevention tips and ways to verify that the person is not out to defraud you accompany the groups listed.  No such prevention tips is available for servers.  The reason is simple; there is no way to do a background check on a particular server or restaurant during your meal.  This leaves the consumer with no recourse but panic and doubt.

On the surface, this seems like reason enough to worry about letting your server leave the table with your credit card.  As with most sensationalistic stories, the truth lies a little deeper beneath the surface.  While I don’t dispute that such scams do occur, I think a little honesty about their frequency is in order.  Before casting aspersions on server’s integrity, the author might want to check on their own.  After looking at the statistics it is clear that you are far more likely to be scammed by an attention-seeking journalist than a server.

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About David Hayden

David Hayden is a restaurant marketing and training consultant based in Kansas City, MO. He writes a series of 9 blogs collectively known as The Hospitality Formula Network and is the author of "Tips2: Tips For Improving Your Tips" and "Building Your Brand With Facebook"

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  • http://therestaurantmanagersrants.blogspot.com/ The Restaurant Manager

    It’s all about getting people to click on the story and then hitting them with ads for life-lock and all sorts of ID protection products. So yes, I do smell sensationalism.

    • David Hayden

      Or in this case it was written by a credit counselor who works for a site that hawks credit cards. Yeah, we are the one who have to worry about our integrity.