Scammers are ordering food from restaurants then reporting the charges as fraudulent. Businesses are forced to eat the cost.

It’s not news that restaurants are struggling amid our unending plague: Revenue from in-person dining has plummeted, and most businesses have switched to takeout to stay afloat. But even that life raft may not be as reliable as it appears. Restaurants are facing a new crop of scammers, who are taking advantage of generous fraud reporting policies to obtain food without paying for it. Los Angeles eateries report fulfilling orders worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars, only to later find out through their payment processor or third-party delivery service that the purchase was reported as fraudulent. In such cases, businesses are expected to eat the cost. Restaurateurs are also noticing an uptick in reports of missing items and food, forcing many to take photographs of every order to guard against phony claims. The Los Angeles Times had the (enraging) story.