Scammers Apologize Vietnamese Restaurant With 1-Star Reviews For Gift Cards

Chicago’s Vietnamese restaurant Sochi Saigonese, named to Michelin’s 2022 Bib Gourmand list, is the latest target for scammers threatening one-star reviews unless they receive a gift card.

According to a employee who posted to a private Facebook group for members of the Chicago hospitality industry, Sochi has been inundated with a flood of one-star Google reviews over the past 10 days.

Last Wednesday morning, the employee wrote that owners Chinh Pham and Son Do had received an email from an individual requesting a $75 Google Play gift card to end the storm of negative reviews.

As Eater reviewed, the email read, “We sincerely apologize for our actions and would not want to harm your business, but we have no other choice.”

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They added: “The fact is that we live in India and see no other way to survive.”

Other restaurants allegedly defrauded include the Bien Trucha Group, with four restaurants named after it in the western suburbs. In June, scammers hacked the group’s Facebook page, changed it to look like an investment service, and charged cryptocurrency ads running on the social media platform for a total of thousands of dollars at the restaurant.

Mexican restaurant Ocaso, located in Chicago’s Logan Square, also experienced chaos when its reservation system was forced to shut down after being hacked.

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Image selected via Scambaiter (left) and Eater (right)

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