Warning after diners’ bank transfer scam

Warning after diners’ bank transfer scam

Hospitality Ulster has warned restaurants to be vigilant of a bank transfer scam after one venue was scammed out of £300.

In a post on social media, the trade group said it had been contacted by an unnamed business that shared an encounter where three men ran up a large bill and later claimed they didn’t have cash or cards to settle the bill, instead asking if they could pay via bank transfer.

“One of the party showed the staff a text message allegedly from his bank, confirming that the funds had been transferred to the restaurant. He said that it could take an hour or more for the transfer to show in the recipient’s account, so the party would wait and have more drinks,” read the post from Hospitality Ulster.

“The restaurant owners grew suspicious and informed the party that they had contacted the PSNI, at which point they left the establishment. Police attended the restaurant and informed ownership that they were aware of this scam.

“Please remain vigilant to situations like this, or similar, where you are unable to confirm that payment has been made.”

The warning of the scam comes at a particularly difficult time for hospitality venues. In February, it was revealed a quarter of hospitality businesses have no cash reserves and a further 29% have less than three month’s worth, according to a survey covering the whole of the UK.

The joint survey by the British Beer and Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping, UKHospitality alongside Hospitality Ulster showed the overwhelming majority of businesses have seen costs rise across the board, and are struggling with additional pressures.