HAMILTON COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) is warning food service operators of a potential scam of people claiming to be health inspectors.
Ohio Department of Health officials say the scam is occurring throughout Ohio and has been reported in Hamilton County.
The individuals identify themselves as health inspectors, request to schedule an inspection of the food service operation and attempt to collect personal information from the operators. According to recent reports, businesses are targeted to both extort money and allow the scammers to set up fake identities via websites in order to fraudulently sell goods and services, possibly on Craigslist.
Hamilton County Public Health's inspectors will always identify themselves with an ID badge and uniform clothing bearing the HCPH logo. Regular restaurant inspections are conducted unannounced and facilities are often familiar with their HCPH inspector.
"We recommend food service operators verify credentials of anyone representing themselves as an inspector," Tim Ingram, Health Commissioner, said. "Do not give out any personal, private or secure information without confirming the person's identity."
Any restaurant or food service operation who has received suspicious calls should contact the police. For questions about food service inspections in Hamilton County, please contact 513-946-7800.