courtesy of ‘dave~’
Have you eaten at the Cheesecake Factory in Friendship Heights lately? No? Good. Turns out, there was a credit card fraud ring operating with the help of the servers from Cheesecake Factory, to the tune of $117,000+ worth of false charges. The wait staff would use credit card skimmers to sluice off your credit card info for the low, low reward of $25-40 per card.
While this happens to local restaurants as well (famously, it happened at 701 last year) it seems to be something that happens mainly in the big chains, either due to depressed server salaries and tips, or because the organizations themselves don’t do much to engender staff loyalty to patrons. Just something to consider when you’re weighing your dining choices.
We regret the confusion, and have updated the story to put the Cheesecake Factory whence it belongs in Friendship Heights. Fail on our end.
There isn’t a Cheesecake Factory in Georgetown. There’s one on Wisconsin, in Friendship Heights, do you mean that one?
Yes, the article in question is about the Cheesecake Factory in Friendship Heights.
Boy, teach me to post before coffee.
Wasn’t the skimming going on at the Cheesecake Factory in Friendship Heights? Is there even a Cheesecake Factory in Georgetown?
Listen I think your article was unfairly harsh; as someone who worked for the company and still knows servers at this location the entire culture of the cheesecake factory is centered around absolute guest satisfaction; its in their mission statements. Also if you read further into the court records (publicly accessible an referenced in several credible news stories (see Fox, ABC and the Washington post) the cheesecake has been completely open and accessible to the investigation.
I feel for those who have been affected by this scam but as well it was 3 individuals not “the waitstaff” who were responsible and it should be noted that cheesecake factory was critical in identifying the suspects. I know you are just a blog writer but read the whole story
For patrons who went to that particular Cheesecake Factory who now have to go through months of receipts to make sure their credit card number wasn’t also stolen, the fact that it was only three people is entirely irrelevant. While there may only have been three actual thieves, there’s no telling how many customers of other staff members were affected by something as simple as “hey, I have to go check on table 17, can you run this card for me?”
I was one of the individuals who was scammed at this location. I wouldn’t put it as far as to say CCF is all about guest satisfaction and gratification. That’s bs, I have had waitresses who have rolled their eyes when I ask that I don’t want tomatos, etc on my burgers. What surprises me the most is the rigorous interview process and screening CCF does when hiring employees. You would think that this franchise wouldn’t have this problem, however they do. What also surprised me was the fact that my bank explained me to that the criminal (waiter or waitress) has rights and protection when I inquired about who scammed me. Today it seems that you need to just pay in cash to be protected, then again who carries cash nowadays? It’s sad almost, just sad what everything has come to.
I’m a fraud analyst for a major travel company. I’ve done this work for many years and can tell you these people spend their days finding ways to get at your money. We find ways to stop them and they find ways around our processes. It’s a constant game of cat and mouse. When the tools needed to steal your identity are available at your local Radioshack or online for a nominal fee or for free it’s no wonder why I still have a job. This job is one of the few jobs that is economy-proof. When the economy gets bad our jobs become more important and much busier. Skimming is popular but ID theft through online tools is easier and harder to stop. The trends I see more these days as opposed to years ago are internal fraud committed by people in the workplace, especially people in the financial industry. As fraud becomes more prevalent and more US companies try to outsource their customer service people we’re seeing internal fraud go through the roof. My advice?
1. CHECK YOUR CREDIT STATEMENTS ONLINE EVERY COUPLE DAYS!!!!! Especially after making a purchase online or over the phone.
2. NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR PIN #!!!
3. USE CASH WHEN POSSIBLE!!!
When I read Dan’s comment that “the entire culture of the Cheesecake Factory is centered around absolute guest satisfaction,” I LOLed. I had lunch there recently, for lack of time to find a better choice, and the waitstaff was lethargic and unattentive. And the food was surprisingly bad. I guess that’s what you get if you eat at a chain restaurant that calls itself a “Factory.”
Tom, I can’t believe you turn the blame back on the victims with “either due to depressed server salaries and tips, or because the organizations themselves don’t do much to engender staff loyalty to patrons.” These are thieves, plain and simple! Since when is it ok to take what does not belong to you? Unbelievable!