If you have been trying to snag a reservation at Chicago’s famed Alinea recently, be forewarned: there is a new phishing scam out there that could cause some serious trouble. According to a Facebook post created by the restaurant, individuals posing as restaurant employees have been emailing and Facebook messaging would-be Alinea customers with reservation ticket openings. The scammers then ask victims to wire or Moneygram funds to secure the dinner reservation.
All reservations at Alinea are made through an extensive online ticketing system, where diners buy a reservation time slot months in advance. Owners have explained that the phishing accounts have been using fake email addresses that are one letter off from real Alinea staff email adresses.
Grant Achatz and co-owner Nick Kokonas wrote in a Facebook message to guests, “If someone posts tickets for sale most of the time they are real and we encourage our Facebook community to contact them... then contact us at email@example.com to confirm that they are actual tickets. Then, use the ticket transfer feature on our ticket site.So far most people have figured out the scammers and we have done everything we can to root them out. But anyone can send a fake email... so be careful!”
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi