SCAM alert! College student’s pizza order makes him target of police raid
OAKWOOD, Georgia — Authorities are warning hungry people looking for discount pizza of a scam where they could unwittingly find themselves on the hook for stealing identities.
They do get pizza though.
Police in Oakwood, Georgia said a Twitter account, purporting to represent an insider at food chains like Domino’s Pizza, is ordering food for people using stolen credit cards and taking money from them about $10 at a time.
The real danger isn’t the loss of money to the customer, it’s the consequence of being implicated in a serious crime.
One student at University of North Georgia who didn’t think twice when he saw a deal advertised on Twitter to get $52 worth of pizza for $10. Even if he was skeptical, there were plenty of rave reviews and retweets from real people across the country who did the deal and were satisfied — mostly young people, just like 19-year-old Nick Thomas.
“I thought he had employee discounts, or connections with Domino’s because, where I work, I get 50 percent off food,” said Thomas.
But reality hit hard when undercover police showed up at his door dressed as pizza delivery drivers.
Describing the raid, Thomas said, “three police officers came up with Tasers pointed at me from those steps, then two more from over there with Tasers and guns pointed at me.”
Students like Thomas are asked to send money by PayPal, but what they don’t know, is the scammer doesn’t have any Domino’s connections — just stolen credit card numbers, and lots of them. The scammer orders the delivery online using one of those cards, and the way it’s set up at places like Domino’s, no one’s name appears on the receipt except the patsy who’s getting the pizza.
That’s what led Oakwood police to Nick Thomas.
“We were about to take him down and arrest him, but he was able to produce the texts he had with the real scam artist. That helped him out, otherwise he would have probably been in handcuffs and headed to jail that evening,” said Oakwood Police Sgt. Danny Sridej.
It was a huge disappointment to find out the real bad guy is probably in a different country, continuing to steal identities, frame gullible college students, and rip businesses off $10 at a time.
“That takes a lot of work for $10, but in a small, undeveloped country, $100 is a month’s pay,” pointed out Sridej.
Posing as a customer, CBS46 news reporter, Dante Renzulli, tried to order the deal from the Twitter account, and was told to send money to Paypal address: firstname.lastname@example.org. When Renzulli said his PayPal wasn’t set up, the nice guy that the scammer is, he offered to take his credit card number and do it for him.
Renzulli asked the scammer how he gets the advertised discount , and was answered with “It doesn’t matter, send money.”
Believe it or not, with all this publicity and police taking notice, as of Wednesday evening, February 22nd, the con-artist’s Twitter account is still up and running, ready to take more pizza orders.
Sgt. Sridej said he his agency want to alert people, especially college students and young adults, to be aware of the Domino’s scam on Twitter to prevent any future legal problems that may follow for participating in the scam.
At least one of the Twitter accounts mentioned has over 800 followers and appears to now also be offering deals on FootLocker apparel as well.