How To Prevent Foodie Fraud From Happening To You In 2022 (A Yahoo Boy Advisory)

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The Foodie Fraud being perpetrated by Internet fraudsters would have you second guessing your take-out restaurants. During the lockdown when local stores didn’t open, many of us turned to online sources. With the pandemic still ongoing, a lot of people have come to rely more on online shopping and take-outs delivery. Usually, ordering food online from a restaurant shouldn’t be a hassle but surprisingly, people have shared stories of being scammed of their orders. Here’s how it works; you are hungry, so you go online to search for your favorite food/ restaurant but the fraudster has created a fraudulent version of a popular restaurant. You place your order, pay and get debited but the order doesn’t get placed with the restaurant neither does your food arrive. It’s 2022 and these internet fraudsters a.k.a. Yahoo Boys are working harder. Here are a few things you need to know in order not to get tricked;

 

  • Google is not always your friend.
    With Google My Business Listings, a lot of people can now create business listings on the biggest web directory in the world. The ease of this has drawn the attention of internet fraudsters a.k.a yahoo boys. This Foodie Fraud being perpetrated by yahoo boys involves hacking into the official Google My business pages of popular restaurant brands to ensnare unsuspecting restaurant patrons into creating phony online orders. Don’t think anything Google suggests can’t be wrong and blindly put yourself in scam’s way. The Herald learned that an online diner ordered the Amala special from Oh La La restaurant in Ikoyi and was defrauded of N15,000, after one hacker changed the Ikoyi based restaurant’s phone number.The Foodie Fraud has become so complex and hard to detect as the hackers are able to create bank accounts in the name of the restaurants with big Nigerian banks such as Stanbic IBTC.

The Herald learned of another version of this incident where an online diner tried to order some food  from Crossroads Restaurant at Eko Hotels, Lagos. Therefore, this reporter proceeded to find the Crossroads Restaurant’s Business listing on Google and contacted the number on their page. 

 

Crossroads Eko Hotels Google my Business listing profile
The Google My Business listing profile of Crossroads Restaurant at Eko Hotels

Then, a phone call conversation ensued. Here’s a snippet of the voice recording.

 

 

Following instructions to have the menu forwarded via WhatsApp, the chats with a fraudster duping people with Crossroads orders:

 

Foodie Fraud chat exhibit
Conversation between this reporter and the Foodie Fraudster (a.k.a Yahoo Boy)

 

Menú listings by Foodie Fraudster
Conversation between this reporter and the Foodie Fraudster a.k.a. Yahoo boy

 

 

Foodie Fraud : Conversation with a Fraudster
Conversation between this reporter and the Foodie Fraudster a.k.a. Yahoo boys

 

  • Is the site secured?

Now, these internet fraudsters can create a fraudulent version of popular restaurants. The best way to make sure you don’t become a victim of the Foodie Fraud is to confirm the site security before making any card payment. Is it http or https? Https means that the site is locked and secure which means all your card information is safe from malicious sites and prying eyes. Http means the site is vulnerable to hackers as data is not encrypted. You do want to make sure you are not entering your card information into the database of a malicious website. Also, make sure that the restaurant’s name is included in the URL. It is also possible that these fraudulent websites have secured their sites with https. Of course, you should double check the spellings i.e. be sure that the name of the restaurant is correctly spelt and there are verified reviews on the site. Also, make sure that you are browsing safe and your site settings is set to block malicious contents

 

  • Are their contact details real ?
    With the set up of a fraudulent website comes a fake contact information. When you call to place an order, they will insist on a bank transfer, send you account details where they want you to make payment. In cases like this, it’s usually better to ask to pay on delivery and if they refuse, it’s advisable to cross-check where you are ordering from.

 

  • Is the offer too good to be true?
    Sometimes, it may seem like they are running a promo or they are offering you a discount but they are not. It’s a Foodie Fraud technique and you shouldn’t fall for it. For example, you are ordering a plate of chicken that usually costs around 20,000 naira but they tell you to pay 6,000 naira. That’s a too good to be true offer and you should steer clear of it.

 

  • Check them out
    If it’s a first time purchase , you should check out the restaurant before you place an order. Type the website or restaurant name into a search engine with words like “scam,” “complaint,” or “review.” Although, it’s usually advisable to buy through referrals because that might mean a couple of people have tried and have been successful.

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2 Comments
  1. Anonymous says

    Kudos! One must be careful on the internet these days

  2. Chinwe Okwu says

    Imagine being very Hungry and angry because they scammed you of Food! Food o. Omo!!
    These boys are evolving.

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