Created: 07/16/2014 10:00 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
When people have problems with businesses they can turn to a website to post about the issues they've had, but an Albuquerque catering company says a scammer is taking advantage of that website to extort money from small businesses.
Gail Jacobs says Gourmet To Go takes pride in serving food to the community. In fact, they even donate hundreds of meals a week to the homeless. So, when someone emailed the business saying a client got food poisoning from one of their orders they panicked.
“We wouldn't let anything like this go. We've never had a complaint about food poisoning or anyone being ill,” said Jacobs.
The thing is the sender wouldn't say who got sick then threatened Gourmet To Go. The sender said they were a "complaint editor" for ripoffreport.com and that if the business didn't pay a $50 "mediation fee", the site would post a bad review about the alleged food poisoning.
“That's when Sharon and I decided hey, this is a scam, it has to be… they're asking for money and they're not willing to give us the information,” she said.
That's when they called KOB. We contacted rip off report about this. They say they don't even have complaint editors and that the emails were not from Ripoff Report.
Gourmet to go was relieved it was a sham, but angered that someone is trying to intimidate businesses for quick cash.
“We love our customers and we try to treat them like they're family to us and we want to give them the best of what we have,” Jacobs said.
Gourmet To Go says they contacted the state attorney general's office to report the scam. They were told to file a complaint with the federal trade commission, which they've done.