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We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider. 

Scam Targets Pierce County Food Establishments

Communications Specialist Steve Metcalf
by Steve Metcalf08/29/2018 12:56 p.m.
Updated: 08/29/2018

Several food establishment owners have contacted us about a phone scam. If someone calls your restaurant and demands cash, it’s not the Health Department. The scammers use a similar approach and target non- or limited-English speaking food establishments:

  • Someone calls the restaurant and claims to be a customer with a food safety complaint. The customer threatens to report the restaurant to the Health Department.
  • Later, a person who claims to be a health official calls the restaurant to demand cash for the violation. The bogus health official threatens to close the restaurant if the owners don’t pay.

The Health Department does not call food establishments for cash payments of violations. When a restaurant has a violation, we send invoices by mail.

If your food establishment receives a scam call, report it to the authorities:

Communications Specialist Steve Metcalf

by Steve Metcalf

Steve helps share timely and relevant public health information.