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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Danger: Waiters Ahead

There is an article floating about on the Internet and the Facebook that has been brought to my attention by more than one person. (Two people.) It is a list of who you should and should not trust with your credit card. The list is only eight people long: your child, your loved ones, the hired help, virus protection (that's a person?), the debt collector, people who call you on the phone, your waiter and yourself. Basically, they are saying every single person in the whole entire world is someone that may try to rip you off. Doesn't that list sort of encompass all human beings? Even the Pope could be classified as "hired help." They did, however, leave off the cocksmacks who work at the Home Depot on 59th and Third Avenue who ripped me off four years ago, stole my identity and racked up some plane tickets to Puerto Rico. Here is what the article has to say about we horribly untrustworthy waiters:

6. The disappearing waiter. Anytime your plastic is swept away by another person, you have reason for pause. Unfortunately, some restaurant staff may be especially dangerous. "Many skimming networks operate using wait staff," warns Steve Rhode of GetOutOfDebt.org. "They will pay $50 or more for credit card information that can be swiped off your card using a small electronic device that reads the magnetic strip on the card. Skimming only takes two seconds." While you can't always control where they take the card, it's important to check your receipts and statements immediately.
Dangerous? In all my years I have never known any waiter who was being paid fifty bucks to lift credit card info from customers. Then again I never worked at BBQ's either so maybe it does happen. This article is typical fear-mongering in order to get more people to read it. It seems to me that swiping the info from a credit card at work would be way too easy to get caught and therefore not justify the federal credit card fraud charges that would soon be filed against the waiter. But there it is: DO NOT TRUST YOUR DANGEROUS WAITER. Not only will we read the magnetic strip, we will also take that gold Am Ex as soon as we get it and run to Macy's for a new black belt and shoes for work. As soon as I have that hot little Discover card, I am going to log onto Amazon.com and buy as many books as possible. If I see a platinum Visa card, I am immediately calling my cell phone to order a lifetime supply of Snuggies. That's right, I'm dangerous.

That's not to say that we should not be vigilant about our credit cards. In this world, you never know who will rip us off, but to specifically pinpoint waiters is wrong. If someone is so freaked out by the use of credit cards, they should look into this thing called "cash." It works too. I use it all the time. And since we are pointing fingers, why not point at the actual credit card companies themselves? They have the right to jack up their interest rate any fucking time they want to. They can rip you off and do it legally. Say you have credit card with a 6% interest rate but one month you pay your bill one day late and then all of a sudden the interest rates jumps to 27% plus you have to pay a $35 late fee. I'd way rather trust my waiter with my credit card than whoever the fuck runs the credit card company. Fuck them.



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12 comments:

egbkid said...

When i read that article yesterday, i knew i was going to see it here today! And i agree with you. But unfortunately all it takes is one article like that to scare off everyone. Meh, cash is easier and faster to process anyway.

VelaNoon said...

The TV show The Real Hustle had a waiter hide a device that gathered information from your credit card in their apron. The waiter would say that the magnetic strip was dirty and then he would pretend to wipe it on the hem of the aprons pocket, but actually swiped the card on the devce in the pocket. I don't remember what episode it was, though.

Scarlett said...

I remember people who insisted on following me into the side station, because they were SURE that I was going to steal their information. Ugh, and then management would get mad that we let customers into the side station, it was a no-win.

It'd always happen more often right after one of those 20/20 or Dateline specials about people ripping you off...I'd see them air, and then groan, knowing what was waiting for me the next day.

Kara Hoag said...

I've had a lady follow me to the side-station before to watch me swipe her card. She didn't want to give it to me in the first place but went that route instead when I told her that if we couldn't swipe her card then she couldn't use it to pay for her meal.

visions unto myself

Bouncin' Barb said...

There will always be a scam with credit cards. The criminals just keep coming up with ways to get your info. TJ Maxx was caught where I lived in CT. Some employees were targeted to help scam and they attached these little black stripe readers to the sides of cash registers. You just have to pay close attention to your accounts. Bank accounts too.

Practical Parsimony said...

The most important thing that makes people read an article like this is the number in the title. People are more prone to read and actually prefer numbered lists. Of course, no one will read something in it's entirety that is called 100 Ways to Scramble an Egg since we only need to scramble or make an omelet, mostly. With a list people feel that important, pertinent information has been gathered and condensed, saving them the trouble of reading a 600 page tome. I don't worry about waiters, but I do check my cc and checking accounts online all the time.

Mary A. said...

I'm with you -- I trust waiters more than credit card companies every day of the week.

cash rules

Anonymous said...

Really? Although Im positive it's happen before, I'm also pretty confident one could list any professional who accepts payment as a culprit. Ive worked in the restaurant industry and if you're concerned your credit card is being overcharged you should probably also consider what sub-standard food you just devoured because I can assure you you're not in a classy establishment.

Bunny said...

I just love that you used the word "cocksmack!"

Ester Jean said...

Holy crap! You were ripped off by D.Bags at a Home Depot too? WTF?? Mine happened in Alaska, and I am so glad it was after I enrolled for e-banking and was OCD about checking my accounts.... Frickin a. Although I have never suspected waitstaff (or anybody, for that matter), of stealing my card info, you did just remind me that I should really just start using cash. Silly bitch. (Me, not you. Well, you - kinda - in most cases, but in this case, it's not you, it's me).

Toni said...

This is retarded. People are fucking stupid. It reminds me of when I used to work retail and people would be such assholes about their credit cards.

zeebee said...

I saw the same episode of The Real Hustle that VelaNoon did, but I didn't think it was actually waiters cloning cards, it was people monitoring the restaurant, dressing similar to the waitstaff (normally a plain black shirt and pants) and acting like they had the authority to take the cards for swiping. Then they just took the cards.

The point wasn't 'don't trust your waiter' but more to make sure you knew roughly who the fuck your waiter was in the first place.