Oswego (WSYR-TV) – The Oswego County Health Department is issuing a warning to restaurant owners regarding a scam.
According to the department, they were notified last week of a scam in which a caller contacts a restaurant in an effort to schedule a bogus inspection. The caller claims to be the new health inspector for the Oswego County Health Department.
The owner who was called in turn contacted the county health department. According to the New York State Association of County Health Officials, restaurants in six states have reportedly received telephone calls of a similar nature. The intent is to gain access into the restaurant to collect money for "unacceptable restaurant practices" and to gain identity information.
The Oswego County Public Health Director noted that inspectors do not announce their visits.
"We have strict standards that we follow when doing all restaurant inspections," said Oswego County Public Health Director Dr. Dennis Norfleet. "One of the things we don't do is announce our arrival. Our health inspectors do not contact restaurants in advance of routine inspections."
There are other measures restaurant owners and managers can take to identify restaurant inspectors:
- Every health department restaurant inspector always carries an "Oswego County Health Department" photo identification badge with them to inspections.
- Every health department restaurant inspector leaves a signed "Restaurant Inspection Report" with the restaurant operator.
- The Oswego County Health Department does not issue fines or collect money on site as a result of inspection findings.
For more information about restaurant inspection standards contact the Oswego County Division of Environmental Health at (315) 349-3557.