Fake food inspectors trying to scam QC restaurant owners

DAVENPORT-- Nassr Muhammad is the owner and head chef at Nally's Kitchen.

"We're increasing and getting better everyday. It's been almost three years now," says Muhammad.

Muhammad knows hard work is what it takes to start a restaurant from the ground up. He's done it.

But there's a new scam in town targeting businesses like his.

"We've had to deal with certain fake inspectors in the past, and it's been a few years. But now it's coming back," says Scott County Health Department specialist Karen Payne.

Here's how it works. Someone calls a restaurant, typically an ethnic one, impersonating a health inspector. The scammer claims for five dollars and your credit card information, they will renew a restaurant's license over the phone. The caller will then use that credit card information to steal money from the business.

One Scott County restaurant has fallen victim to the scam, and even more have called in to report it.

Leaders in the county want local restaurants to be on high alert.

"They're just taking advantage of people. It's irritating. You don't want to see anybody taken advantage of," says Payne.

Payne says there are some sure fire signs you're being scammed. One is that the department will never ask for credit card information, especially over the phone. Another sign is that the caller is pushy or pressures the person on the other end of the line.

Scams are frustrating for everyone involved, especially those working hard for every penny earned.

"We feel really bad because we work so hard here. I start at six in the morning, and I never go home until eleven every night," says Muhammad.

Real inspectors advise restaurants, if they think they're being scammed, hand up, and call the health department and the police to report it.

"Don't give in. Do your homework, and make sure you get the information you need," says Muhammad.