Calls from fake health inspectors in NC a fraud scam

My buddy Larry Michael with the NC Dept of Environment and Natural Resources, Food Protection Branch is quoted in an AP story as warning restaurant operators in NC to be wary of someone posing as health inspector and calling for business information.

Officials say someone is calling restaurants claiming to be a health inspector or other government official with new inspection procedures. They give the restaurants a code and tell them to provide the information when they get an automated call or when an inspector visits.

Larry says that the business information is being used to create dummy accounts for online shopping and auction sites.

This scam has beeen reported all over the U.S. and Canada. Back in June officials in Washington state also reported the information phishing:

The first caller tells the restaurant that it will receive an automated call providing a numeric confirmation code. A second caller, claiming to be a health inspector, requests the code and seeks to set up an in-person restaurant inspection. The caller threatens fines if the restaurant doesn’t cooperate.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.