Rowdy Irish mums accused of scamming Brisbane restaurants

Police suspect there are likely to be many more victims of a group of marauding mums that have reportedly gone on a scamming spree fraudulently receiving free meals, drinks and even cigarettes from restaurant and bar owners desperate to get rid of them.

The “boisterous” posse, with kids in tow, reportedly “trash” restaurants and cafes as part of the ploy to get staff, at the end of their tethers, to let them off the bill.

Benedict Brook of The Courier Mail reports in one case, they have also been accused of placing glass in a meal and then demanding a refund.

It’s thought at least six businesses in Brisbane’s CBD and nearby suburbs of Spring Hill and Fortitude Valley have been targeted by the gang, most of who are said to have an Irish accent, over the last week.

The apparent scam is just one of many that plague hospitality businesses that have to balance the needs of genuine customers against scammers wanting something for nothing.

While in Brisbane the ploy involved glass, in Adelaide hairs are often placed in food by dodgy punters. In Melbourne food allergies are part of cafe con jobs.

In an angry Facebook post on Monday, Marie Yokoyama from the Birds Nest Japanese restaurant in Fortitude Valley explained how the women had set about to get a free feed.

“They are a group of about seven — four children and three ladies — and they are unbelievably rude. They came in and totally destroyed the restaurant.

“Halfway through the meal one lady started screaming that there was glass in her meal and that her mouth was bleeding. I believed her and then asked to see the glass.

“Upon inspection I knew that this had not come from our restaurant but they were relentless.”

The restaurateur said they didn’t have any thick glass of the type produced but this didn’t placate the customers.

“I was so scared and terrified of them that I made their meals and drinks free — around $180 (in) value.”

The post said the group demanded further drinks, for free, and left their excitable children unattended while they smoked outside. reports today that the group of mums accused of scamming up-market restaurants and stealing from supermarkets may have also trashed four brand-new apartments in Brisbane.

Are Uber drivers using fake vomit to scam customers?

Uber drivers are using a fake vomit scam to force customers to pay hundreds of dollars in ‘clean up’ fees, a passenger claims.

Meredith Mandel had caught an Uber home to Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, with her boyfriend and a friend after enjoying dinner out, the Gothamist reports. The ride, which was uneventful, ended at just before 1.30am.

uber.fake.barfBut when Mandel, who says she and the rest of her party were sober, checked her e-mail the next morning, she discovered she’d been charged more than $200 for the two mile trip from Fort Greene.

After challenging Uber over the extortionate fee, she was told that a $200 cleaning charge had been added to her $19 fee after the driver claimed she had thrown up in the car.

He even provided photographic evidence – all of which Mandel insists is fake.

‘I was infuriated, because I realized that it actually is a scam,’ she told The Gothamist. ‘At first I was trying to actually give them the benefit of a doubt, but I realized [it] because all of the money goes to the drivers.’

The Manhattan art director began picking apart the driver’s claims, stating that the pictures showed vomit in the front seat while she and her fellow passengers had been sat in the back. she was also suspicious that the throw up seemed contained to easy-to-clean plastic surfaces.

Mandel, who temporarily closed her Paypal account, was still mid-dispute with Uber when she realized the driver had even attempted to take a second $200 installment.

And it appears she isn’t the only Uber customer to be fall victim to the alleged scam.

Last year, another New Yorker, who is only referred to by his first name as Billy, described a similar scenario.

Billy writes that he was eventually able to get his money back but other incidents have been reported across the United States including one in Los Angeles and two in Tampa, Florida that resulted in the driver getting fired.

Uber say that passengers who soil driver’s cars are charged a cleaning fee and are sent an explanation of the charge.

Arrests over alleged food poisoning scam in NZ

At least five New Zealand cafes have fallen victim to a food poisoning ruse in which an “overweight” woman told the owners she had suffered food poisoning after eating at their premises.

In many cases the woman, who claimed she was pregnant, was given a refund.

Thames Senior Sergeant Graham Shields said Whitianga police arrested two people on Saturday after a cafe reported a woman trying to get money by saying she had become ill after eating there.

“It just so happened that one of the staff had read about the scam in the paper and when this woman came in complaining of food poisoning the staff member went straight to police, Mr Shields told the Times.

A 26-year-old Auckland woman will appear in Thames District Court this week charged with fraud while a 30-year-old Auckland man will also appear charged with assisting her.

Water testing scam in Manhattan (Kansas) and Australia (Australia)

About a week ago some kid came to the door requesting a water sample. Some sort of free testing he said, but he had no identification and the city just doesn’t send people out in trashy cars with no mufflers.

I said no and shut the door and went back to the-by-now barking dogs and crying kid.

A few days ago Australia’s Herald Sun reported that a contaminated water scam is being used to fleece thousands of dollars from Victorian householders.

Doorknockers doing bogus drinking water quality tests are offering free filters through a fake government rebate, then charging up to $3000 for maintenance over 10 years.

Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson said residents were frightened into thinking their water was polluted, adding,

"Do not deal with anyone claiming to represent this scheme and do not give them any money."

Industry sources said shysters often changed company names or falsely claimed to be from a water authority.

Yarra Valley Water managing director Tony Kelly said in most cases, water filters were an unnecessary expense, adding,

"While some customers may choose to purchase a water filter for reasons such as taste, there is no need to filter tap water for health and safety purposes.”