Chinese restaurants in Las Vegas, Nevada have been warned of a scam targeting them over WeChat. According to KTNV, the scammers call a Chinese restaurant and ask for take-out or delivery. Shortly after, the restaurant receives angry messages from the scammers claiming they found a metal scrubber in their food and that it injured their child. Photos are sent and the scammers demand they pay for medical costs over one thousand dollars.
A local Chinatown restaurant owner, Jun Ren said she was almost scammed but fortunately she was suspicious. She checked with other local Chinese restaurant owners and they said they received the same messages and pictures. Ren said one of the owners actually paid them $1,500.
“With business hard to come by right now, we’re afraid. We’re afraid they will spread the word and say my restaurant did this and that,” Ren said. Ren believes the Chinese restaurant owners were targeted because of their limited English.
The owner of the Chinatown Vegas website, Shannon Yan said six Chinese restaurants got the messages and threats this past few months. She believes the scammers are Chinese because the messages were sent in Mandarin.
After KTNV reached out to the FBI, the agency did not confirm or deny that an investigation is ongoing.