The restaurant industry might be in dire straits, but that’s not stopping some people from scamming small business to get free food. According to a report in the LA Times, an increasing number of customers have been filing credit card disputes on meal charges, falsely claiming that their order was missing items or that it never arrived. Credit card companies typically favor cardholders in these incidents and will issue refunds that the restaurants then must pay for, or in instances where the delivery person is blamed, someone might lose their job.

The most egregious story comes from the restaurant Spoon by H, whose owner, Yoonjin Hwang, says she will have to close at the end of the month because she’s lost so much money to this kind of scam. In one instance, a customer put in an order for more than $700 through Tock, and then claimed fraud. Hwang sent photo evidence of the order being prepared and the customer’s confirmation, but still lost her appeal with Visa. She started taking photos of every interaction, but was told by Tock, “Despite presenting supporting evidence, the issuing card company often sides with the consumer, even in cases that may be fraudulent.”

It’s unclear how many of these orders are people engaging in fraud (say, using someone else’s credit card), and how many are customers pretending that they didn’t get what they ordered to try to get a delivery for free. Credit card fraud is on the rise in general, and because of the pandemic,…

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