Whitehorse restaurants have been hit with a rash of phone calls by someone posing as a public health inspector in an attempt to gather confidential business information.
It’s a scam that’s been reported in other Canadian cities, such as Toronto and Vancouver. Eric Bergsma, manager of environmental health services, advises restaurant managers to not be fooled.
His office had received seven reports of such phone calls as of Monday. All follow the same pattern. The caller identifies himself as a public health inspector and says he wants to schedule a visit.
That usually sets off warning signals, and rightfully so. “We do our inspections unannounced,” said Bergsma. “And, of course, we always carry ID with us.”
The caller then leaves a “secret code” for the restaurant manager to later repeat. In at least one case, a restaurant manager received a later call, and, being told the restaurant code was incorrect, was asked for confidential business information.
“At this point the person became suspicious and challenged them,” said Bergsma. “And the person hung up.”
Any restauranteurs who receive similar calls are advised to call the RCMP.