Dinner with a Side of Fraud

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There is nothing like a nice dinner out. You gotta love good food, good service, good company and identity fraud. What’s better than dinner and a show? According to a Yahoo! News article, a Colorado chain restaurant witnessed a unique show when one customer’s dinner began with a margarita amongst friends, and ended in handcuffs. Cheers to stopping fraud!

Have you ever lost your wallet? Panic usually arrives to the scene quickly – you are sweating as you wonder where it could be, chalk full of personal identification information and credit cards. While an apocalyptic madness may ensue as you begin your search, others may take a more nonchalant approach to the situation. (By ”others” I mean those who aren’t aware of the piece of gold they’ve laid down for any mining fraudster to snatch with greed!) A waitress for a chain restaurant enjoying a night off of work with friends found herself in the infamously regretful, ”where did I lose my wallet,” situation. Although the wallet contained her driver’s license and credit cards, she brushed off the loss and continued about her life. A short while later, she received information from her bank stating that someone had been issuing checks in her name. Still, nonchalant, the waitress continued with life.

As the young lady began an evening shift at her job, she approached a table of four in her section of the restaurant. Politely taking their drink order of margaritas, she asked to see identification to verify ages. (Let me guess, they are all underage? How original…) Much to her surprise, one individual presented the ID she had lost in her wallet a short time ago. (Let the smack down begin.) Without panicking, the waitress politely handed back the ID, put the order in and called the local authorities to report a stolen identity. Upon arrival, the police arrested the 26-year old fraudster on suspicion of theft, identity theft and criminal impersonation. After searching her, they discovered narcotics in her possession. (She probably ordered the margarita that came free with handcuffs) What started out as a pleasant gathering of food and fraud ended in justice.

If this is the kind of show you get at a chain restaurant these days, I’ll be sure to order a margarita next time I visit one. The one thing I’m questioning is? when they fraudster handed the waitress the ID, didn’t she seem to notice the waitress and the picture were identical? Observance must be lost amongst the young and the frauding.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Applebee’s Waitress Asks Patron for ID, Gets Own Stolen Driver’s License in Return,” written by Dylan Stableford and published by the Yahoo! News on March 7, 2013.

Imagine you’re a waitress, out with friends on a night off, when you lose your wallet. Cash, credit cards, driver’s license—all gone. Your bank later informs you that checks are being issued in your name.

It’s a pain, but you carry on. Two weeks later, you’re at work when four people walk in and sit in your section. They start ordering drinks. You ask to see their IDs. A woman in the group hands a driver’s license to you. You look down, and it’s yours.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.