PONTIAC, MI – Oakland County Health Division and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office are alerting restaurant and food establishment managers about a health inspection scam. Officials report that local restaurants have received calls from individuals claiming to be a health inspector and asking for pre-payment for a food inspection.
“Pre-payment is not required for restaurant inspections. If you are unsure the caller is a Health Division employee, hang up and call us at 248-858-1312,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “If you receive a suspicious or fraudulent call, please alert the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office or local police department immediately.”
The Sheriff’s Office has seen a variety of recent scams. One scam involved callers identifying as law enforcement and demanding money over the phone from individuals claiming they did not report for jury duty. Another included a fraudulent check scam involving vehicles for sale on the internet or in printed auto sales publications.
“Anytime you receive an intimidating phone call from someone claiming to be in a position of authority demanding money, always report it to local law enforcement,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. “Scam artists looking to dupe honest people out of their hard earned dollars are always hard at work trying to trick people. If you suspect you are being scammed, trust your instincts and report suspicious behavior to your local authorities.”
The Health Division does charge a fee for re-inspections of food establishments, but will not accept payment before or during the actual inspection. The facility owner or manager receives documentation of fees at the inspection and can arrange payment via mail, in person at Health Division offices, or pay by phone with credit card after the inspection.
Restaurant and food establishment operators are advised:
- Health Division employees will have unique identifying information regarding your facility when calling.
- If you are unsure if the person calling is from the Health Division, hang up and call Oakland County back at 248-858-1312. This will ensure that you are talking directly to an Oakland County Health Division employee.
- If someone arrives at your facility for an inspection, always ask for identification. Health Division food service sanitarians always wear a county badge and carry business cards.
- If someone arrives for an inspection and are not able to provide the proper Health Division identification, immediately contact the local law enforcement agency.
- The Health Division never collects money on site.