Restaurant operators around the country are being warned about people posing as health inspectors who may trying calling them asking for personal information and seeking an in-person restaurant inspection.
Officials in California and Washington say the scam involves a series of phone calls, including threats of a fine for lack of cooperastion, designed to pry personal information out of the restaurant owners.
Washington State Department of Health officials say they've heard from local health authorities that businesses in several counties have recently received calls. They say some of the callers may have requested personal information such as cell phone numbers. They don't believe any of the callers have requested Social Security numbers or bank account information. However, one business owner reported that a caller threatened to fine his business $5,000 unless he provided personal information over the phone.