Morning Cup O' Joe

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Restaurant Tip Fraud

I didn’t realize how rampant restaurant tip fraud is. Now that I know about it, I’m pretty sure I was a victim of it a few times. I’m pretty meticulous about balancing my finances, so when I’m off by a few bucks it bugs the heck out of me.

That being said, here’s a simple way to catch this type of fraud: a simple checksum strategy.


November 16, 2007 - Posted by | How-To, News

1 Comment

  1. Hah, timely post Mike. I’ve been dealing with a different kind of tip fraud in Costa Rica the last two days. We ate at the restaurant/bar that is conjoined with the hotel ( we are at. Last night, food and drinks came to $37.

    First off, Tips are usually included in the bill in Costa Rica, although it’s passed off as a tax. Impuesta Servicio at 10%. Anyhow, GR was paying and wanted some change so he gave the waiter $40 US. When the change came back it was a little light. Probably 1000 colones or so, about $2. We didn’t worry too much about it, a little extra tip. Besides, we’re on vacation so what’s a couple of bucks.

    So tonight, we decide to eat at the same place the food was good and it’s a 1 minute walk downstairs. Again we have a few drinks, an appetizer and some food. Total $35. Pay with $40 and when they return our change. 1200 colones. Less than half of the 2500+-. The bartender who’s tending the cash drawer is basically pocketing the $3 I’m guessing. Or splitting it with the other waiters/waitresses. I went to the bar asked to see the check again, told her my change was wrong and she takes the 1200 and returns with about 1800. No, no, no. One more time, she gets out the calculator and comes back with the correct amount 2550. Not that it will make a difference, but if I can find the hotel manager, I’ll make a complaint.

    The moral of the story. Know the exchange rate, do the math and don’t let people pull this shit on you.

    Comment by morgan | November 16, 2007

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