SINGAPORE: A woman reportedly managed to trick a restaurant out of thousands of dollars worth of food through falsified PayNow transfer screenshots. She was said to be a regular customer of Joo Chiat Chinese Seafood restaurant Home of Seafood and carried out her bogus payment scheme over two years.
Home of Seafood says it lost S$4,619.90 to the woman’s scams, according to 8world and Lianhe Zaobao reports. It has filed a police report, which is currently under investigation. The woman would order meals online and then send the fake screenshots as proof of payment. She has done this 35 times so far, a scheme only recently found out by the restaurant’s management.
Home of Seafood’s owner, identified as “Bob” in reports, said that the woman consistently used the same phone number to place her orders. A number of different people would pick up the orders, and the delivery address for the orders would also sometimes vary.
He said that the screenshots she sent Home of Seafood via WhatsApp were very well executed, with accurate information reflected on them.
Bob told Lianhe Zaobao in Chinese that when they received the screenshots, the restaurant staff could not tell they were fakes.
Unfortunately, the former accountant for Home of Seafood had failed to thoroughly verify payment records, which is why the scam was allowed to go on for so long.
When a new accountant took over after the previous one quit the company, the owner requested her to check the records, and she found out that the alleged payments from the woman’s orders were never deposited to Home of Seafood’s bank account.
Today, despite the scam, the restaurant will continue to use PayNow to facilitate payments for orders, although it is looking at other payment channels.
Bob told 8world that Home of Seafood does not want to make it inconvenient for innocent diners just because of the woman’s fraudulent actions using PayNow. /TISG
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