This scam that takes place in restaurants is unfortunately becoming more and more common. And it was in Cannes, in the South of France, that she appeared. Several catering establishment managers realized that for weeks they had been the victims of a very effective scam. Their payment terminal had been stolen and replaced by another, identical one. It was only when they did their accounts that they realized that their receipts were not going into the cash registers of the restaurant but into the pockets of the crooks.
Several years earlier, in 2013, a similar scam was in the news. It also consisted of replacing the TPE of shops. But rather than replacing it with a TPE that sends the money to a bank account other than that of the establishment, it recorded the data of the payers. Then, fake cards were made to empty their bank accounts.
This kind of scam is therefore back in fashion and everyone’s vigilance is essential. Objeko explains everything about this new scam which unfortunately has a bright future ahead of it.
Restaurant scam, a discreet and profitable diversion
The city of Cannes is famous all over the world. Indeed, every year, during the Cannes Film Festival, it is the city to which all eyes turn. It attracts stars from all over the planet but also fans from various backgrounds as well as international journalists. For a few days, rhinestones and sequins are required. Cinema is in the spotlight and not just at the Palais des Festivals, at the entrance to the Promenade de la Croisette. It is celebrated throughout the city. From then on, all the shops and restaurants in Cannes are happy with this activity. They enjoy a record crowd in this period. Unfortunately, the shortfall this year is abysmal. Because a scam makes sure to deprive them of their revenue without them realizing it.
Indeed, restaurateurs are pleased to have a full house and that their terraces are reserved days in advance during this festive period. With summer approaching and the Cannes Film Festival, establishments in the region are seeing their revenues swell. Even if they have to work twice as much, they are happy to make numbers. Especially since the pandemic has not spared this sector. Objeko won’t surprise you by telling you that some restaurateurs are struggling to recover. But now, according to information from France 3 Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azura scam reduces the efforts and hopes of restaurateurs to nothing.
A simple method and catastrophic results
The scammers probably go there months before taking action. They take the time to locate the places, to observe the functioning of the teams in the room. Especially with regard to the time of the addition. They also take notes on the target restaurant’s payment terminal and determine the most effective way to steal the device without arousing suspicion. A well-honed machinery is set up to then make the restaurateurs toast. And if the scam works, it isn’t until weeks of work later that the scam becomes apparent to the victims.
At the time, the restorers are overwhelmed with work. They do not have time to realize that the money from their customers’ bills does not arrive in the restaurant’s coffers. They simply see that the receipt does not indicate an error and resume work. Also, in busy times like these, Objeko have no doubt that they prefer to take care of their customers first before worrying about their accounts. So it’s once it’s too late that they realize it wasn’t just a normal delay or a technical issue. The payment terminal was exchanged without them noticing.
Indeed, without being aware of this kind of scam, it is difficult to imagine that they can exist. And it is currently spreading like a plague on the French sides. The favorite places of tourists are indeed the most likely to suffer from this scam. The police are therefore calling on restaurateurs to be vigilant. Receipt data must mention unique details. They also invite potential future victims to excessively personalize their TPEs, with drawings and stickers for example, to make them almost impossible to imitate. Or to favor fixed payment terminals, at the counter.