I got this information from Fat Wallet Finance Forums about restaurant
servers stealing their way to higher tips on credit card receipts. I actually
know a person who got ripped off for $200.00. That person left a $2 tip but the
dot did not show and so the server made sure it was a $200.00 tip! Be careful
Let try to explain this easily. here is an example:
That was easyÖ
The sure fire way to protect yourself is to keep all of your receipts and
check them against your credit card statement. But how many people actually save
them and then remember to check them?
There is another way called check sums. Basically you are checking the sum of
several digits to make sure they equal a number
that you have predetermined. There are lots of systems but I will explain the
one used over at FatWallets.
Step 1: Look over
Before you ever pay a bill look over the receipt. Over charges are actually a
more common rip off than tip tampering.
Step 2: Calculate
the appropriate tip
Lets use the numbers below. The bill was $47.16 and the service sucked so 10%
is the tip. Figure out the tip.
Step 3: Apply a checksum
Notice that the tip can be changed easily to 14.71 and the 51.87 becomes a
61.87. Thatís not good! Adjust the amount of the tip so that the numbers in
the final total to the left of the decimal point add up to the right-most digit.
In this case, the total has a ď51″ to the left of the decimal point (A).
5 + 1 = 6, so the final digit should be six. Adjust the total to $51.86 or
$51.96 (B) by adding nine or subtracting one from the tip (C).
Step 4: Check your credit card
statements each month
While the receipt will help you ensure no fraud was enacted upon your dining
bill, you only need the statement to verify the checksum. For this example,
simply locate the dining transaction, add the numbers to the left of the decimal
point, and confirm that they add up to the right-most digit. If they donít,
youíve been scammed.
This technique is not foolproof. If the scummy server had added nine dollars
to the totalómaking it $60.86óthe checksum calculation would still come back
okay. But because itís harder to turn a ď51″ into a ď60″ than
a ď61,Ē itís unlikely your server will do this unless theyíre wise to
this particular checksum technique.
Step 5: Deal with the theft
If you hit a checksum that fails, dig out your copy of the receipt to confirm
it doesnít match the total on your statement. Next, do three things:
- Call your credit card
issuer. It should be fairly simple to get a credit for the difference
between your actual bill and what you were forced to pay due to this fraud.
- Call the police. You
were the victim of a crime, so you should report it, even if itís just a
few dollars. If the stealing server has multiple victims who report his or
her behavior, the police will likely take action against the server and/or
the restaurant. Hopefully a few thieving restaurant workers behind bars will
set enough of an example to discourage similar actions in others.
- Call the restaurant
(optional). At this point, youíve likely got your money back and given
all the information you can to law enforcement. You can try calling the
restaurant to report the theft, but it might not do much. In the best case,
the manager will recognize the serverís name on your receipt and confirm
he or she has been suspected of wrongdoing. Maybe youíll even get a free
meal out of it for your trouble. Worst case, the restaurant does nothing.