A popular York restaurant has fallen victim to a phishing scam and is warning customers to be on the alert for fraudulent calls.
The Star Inn The City on Museum Street has a simple message: “If you are called by anyone claiming to be Open Table and The Star Inn The City asking for card details, please under no circumstances give out these details,” said restaurateur Andrew Pern.
“We will never call you and ask for your card details over the phone.”
The fraud, which compromised the restaurant’s booking system, was rapidly closed. As soon as it became apparent last Thursday, the restaurant reported it to the police.
It then started contacting all customers and recent bookings and the online reservation platform Open Table.
“Our crisis team have been calling and emailing customers and recent bookings to warn them of the scam,” said Andrew.
“If you have been affected by this scam, please contact us immediately on 01904 619208 or through our social media channels.
“All customers’ full card details are stored securely through Stripe which is separate to Open Table and have not been affected.”
Invasion of privacy
Customers have been warned that one of the numbers being used by the scammers, 01904 619308, is not the Star Inn the City’s number but a very similar number to the restaurant’s real number of 01904 619208.
“The calls are quite convincing, with customer names, booking times and number in the party, plus the last four digits of customers’ cards,” added Andrew.
“This is something that none of us needed just before Christmas with customers looking forward to putting firmly 2022 behind them and feels like an invasion of privacy, all our customers and us included.”
The hit to the Star Inn the City and its customers appears to be part of an industry-wide increase in third-party phishing scams posing as online booking sites, including Open Table, which works with 60,000 restaurants around the country.
The Star Inn the City is part of the Star Group of Restaurants, which includes the Michelin star-listed The Star at Harome, The Winter Hütte, York, and the new Refectory Restaurant, which is due to open at York Minster in 2023.