Articles Edmonton Sun Freelance

News: Bad checks scam

Published in the July 1 2010 issue of The Edmonton Sun. News


Bad checks scam

Scammers posing as food inspectors are preying on restaurant owners in Edmonton and throughout the province, according to Alberta Health Services.

In the past few weeks, dozens of eateries have been targeted by fake inspectors who attempt to bully their operators into paying fines, said AHS spokeswoman Shannon Evans.

“We have no indication any money exchanges have taken place,” said Evans.

Edmonton grocer Phong Luu is one of dozens of grocery store and restaurant owners provincewide who weren’t fooled.

Luu has had the same health official inspect his Chinatown grocery store, Kim Fat Market Ltd., for years.

His inspector would always show up unannounced.

That’s why when Luu received a phone call Monday afternoon from someone claiming to be a health inspector — saying he would visit the store the next day and even threatening to fine the store owner if he didn’t agree to the inspection — Luu knew something wasn’t right.

“It alarmed me,” he said.

“I’ve been in this business 10 years, and inspectors, they come when they want to. They don’t let you know and then all of a sudden expect you to pay upfront fines. It’s just alarming.”

AHS officials say food store owners report fake inspectors call, attempt to verify personal and business information, and try to set up an in-person inspection at the store.

“They are trying to arrange a visit and threatening to impose a fine if owners don’t co-operate,” said Dr. Gerry Predy, senior medical officer of health with AHS.

“Our staff don’t impose fines. They don’t ask for money.”

Predy said real public health inspectors do not call to schedule inspections beforehand.

He said he assumes the scammers are trying to get money from the restaurant owners.

Food business owners who receive phone calls or encounter unfamiliar inspectors should contact AHS or phone police, said Predy.

Similar fake inspector scams have recently been reported in other provinces, including Ontario and B.C., but it is unclear if any money has actually been exchanged in Alberta.

When Luu began questioning the caller for credentials, he said the caller quickly turned “aggressive” before hanging up.

For now, the store owner said he’s happy he followed his instinct and called his real health inspector.

“I’m glad that nothing came to fruition,” Luu said.

“But even if he came down, he’d obviously see I have nothing to hide.”

Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She’s also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

Previous Post
August 18, 2010
Next Post
August 18, 2010

Comments are closed.

Instagram

  • The gnocchi from @bundokyeg is heaven! ☁️😌🤤 Perfect way to celebrate @heyvanessaleigh’s birthday! 🎈
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #edmontonfood #yegdt #yegdtfood #bundokyeg #104street #gnocchi #gnocchiislife #gnocchilover #howmanygnocchihashtagscaniuse #cheeselover #lunchdate #birthdaylunch
  • New on the blog: check out my review of @avila.arepa Urban Venezuelan Kitchen in @oldstrathcona! They specialize in arepas: gluten-free, corn dough buns filled with meats, cheese, and vegetables. Fun vibe, super casual and comfortable, AND they have an indoor #InstagrammableWall! 📸😊 Read more @ the link in my bio! 👩🏻‍💻
.
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #igwallsofyeg #igwall #venezuelanfood #latinfood #arepas #oldstrathcona #whyteave #glutenfree #venezuelankitchen #whyteavenue #edmontonblogger
  • We got a taste of Venezuela 🇻🇪 today at the new(ish) @avila.arepa in @oldstrathcona! 😊 Arepas are corn buns filled with various toppings. We tried pork and beef arepas, as well as these yuca fries and beef patacones (fried plantains). And we had the cochino fritos - delicious fried pork bites! The restaurant was super busy. It was nice to see Edmontonians embracing Venezuelan food! 😋
Fuller review on the blog soon!👩🏻‍💻
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #venezuelanfood #venezuela #avilaarepa #arepas #venezuelanarepas #yucafries #yuca #whyteave #whyteavenue #oldstrathcona #friedplaintains #plaintains #sundayfunday
  • We loooove the ramen & curry at @kazoku_yeg. 😍😍 @mikethyking’s a regular. ❤️
.
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #edmontonfood #ramen #yegnoodles #yegramen #yegsoup #souperb #japanesefood #japanesecurry #asianfood #kazokuramen #weekend #handsomehusband #westedmonton
  • That yolk though. 🤤🍳 New on the blog and just in time for the weekend: check out my a review of the Spanish 🇪🇸 brunch and dinner tapas at @bodega_yeg Highlands! If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should. Link to the review is in my bio! ☺️
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #yolkporn #eggporn #friedeggs #spanishbrunch #brunchbrunchbrunch #migasconhuevo #bodegahighlands #spanishtapas #tapasbar #tapas #friyay
  • If you’re looking for ways to give back this holiday season, I recommend donating your time to @SantasAnonymous! 🎅🏻 They need volunteers to sort, wrap and deliver toys for Edmonton kids in need up to their Delivery Weekend (Dec 16/17). Thanks @britl for organizing her annual #yegwrap volunteer party. It’s something I look forward to each year! It doesn’t take much of your time to help make a family’s Christmas merrier.🎄
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegsanta #yegsanta #yegxmas #christmastime #santasanonymous #volunteering #exploreedmonton #edmonton #christmaspresents #hohoho #630ched #630chedsantasanonymous #holidayseason #🎅🏻 #🎁
  • 🔥🔥 Build your own @blazepizza today with @razannea & @mikethyking! I always get: spicy sauce, buffalo sauce, pesto sauce, Gorgonzola, mozzarella, Parmesan, ham, sausage, pepperoni, spinach, mushrooms, artichoke, garlic. 🤤 #unlimitedtoppings #buildyourownpizza 🍕
.
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #edmonton #edmontonfood #exploreedmonton #blazepizza #buildyourown #perfectpizza #pizza #hotsauce #pestosauce #thincrust #thincrustpizza #yegdt #brewerydistrict #dayoff #mondayfunday #pizzalover
  • Keeping warm tonight with homemade Budae Jjigae: Korean “army stew!” 🍜 It’s my favourite Korean soup with spicy broth, spam (😍), tofu, mushrooms, noodles, kimchi, onions, hot dogs and sausage. Typically comes with beans but I don’t like beans so. 💁🏻‍♀️ Love eating this with rice too!
(Soup🍜 + rice 🍚 = life).
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #edmontonfood #koreanfood #budaejjigae #armystew #homecooking #lindorkcooks #spam #hotdogs #enokimushrooms #instantnoodles #ramennoodles #spicysoup #spicy #asianfood #souperb #soups #soupseason
  • Brunch two days in a row? OK. 😊😊😊😊 Today’s brunch was at the new @pip_yeg in @oldstrathcona. Avocado toast & eggs benny get four thumbs up over here! 👍🏻 Farmer’s breakfast & french toast were good but not favourites.
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #edmontonfood #oldstrathcona #whyteave #pipyeg #brunchbrunchbrunch #yegbrunch #eggsbenedict #eggsbenny #avocadotoast #sundayfunday
  • Huevos a la flamenca + migas con huevos with @becausemimosas during our super cute & super delicious Spanish 🇪🇸 brunch at @bodega_yeg today! 🍳😊 (Translation: baked eggs with chorizo, ham & potatoes + sautéed bread crumbs, bacon, fried eggs & beef sausage).
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #yegbrunch #brunchbrunchbrunch #mimosas #huevosalaflamenca #migasconhuevo #spanishfood #spanishbrunch #bodega #saturyay #brunchlife #edmonton #edmontonfood #exploreedmonton #highlandsedmonton #brunchqueen
  • Soup is my most comforting of comfort foods but I’m also totally comforted with any potatoes. 🤤🙏🏻 like the fried potatoes from @tzin104 - They are packed with flavour - garlic, onions, smoked paprika salt, with “angry” aioli. 😍 (While at Tzin, you also NEED to try chef @corndoghatfire’s bacon dish). What’s your go-to comfort food?? 🍽
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #yegdt #edmontonfood #potatoes #patatas #patatasbravas #comfortfood #comfortingfood #aioli #tzin #tzin104 #104street #friyay
  • #DidYouKnow: I record a monthly #socialmedia podcast called @DontCallMeAGuru with my good friend and fellow social media specialist @tylerjackbutler? 🤓🎙 We’ve actually been doing it for an entire year! 🎉 
To commemorate the milestone, I’ve written about and shared the podcasts over on my blog (link in bio 📱💻). Thanks to our listeners and to the great guests we’ve chatted with over the past year! 🙏🏻 We’re excited for another year of social media strategizing (🤓🤓🤓🤓)
photo credit: @brivideos 📸
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegsocialmedia #socialmedia #socialmediamarketing #edmonton #exploreedmonton #yegpodcast #albertapodcast #albertapodcastnetwork #abpodnetwork #podcast #podcasting #socialmediatips #dontcallmeaguru #yegPR #yegcomms

LINDORK