March 5, 2007
Restaurants Take On Scams

I've been lucky. In 18 years of reviewing restaurants, I've never been a victim of credit-card fraud, and not just because in the early days I customarily paid with cash. No problem simply has arisen, though at times I've had qualms about handing over a credit card to a perfect stranger who then disappears with it for several minutes. The credit cards I now use when dining out for a review are in names other than my own, incidentally. But this raises another concern. Hardly ever does a server ask for identification. Once, when one did, I uneasily produced my driver's license just to see what would happen. She looked at it, looked at the credit card with another name, looked at the license again, and then said, "OK."

Now restaurateurs are getting proactive about safeguarding guests from credit-card fraud. According to an article in today's USA Today, chains like Ruby Tuesday and Hooters are installing purportedly safer credit-card systems to reassure their clientele. Be sure to also read the comments that follow the article.

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