Press Release -- Health Division Warns about Restaurant Inspection Scam

Health Division warns about restaurant inspection scam

Pontiac, Mich., Nov. 23, 2015 – Oakland County Health Division and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office are alerting restaurant managers about a health inspection scam. Some local restaurants are receiving automated calls claiming to be a health inspector and scheduling inspections. Legitimate restaurant and other food establishment inspections, however, are routinely unannounced and are never scheduled through an automated telephone system.

"All Health Division restaurant sanitarians carry an official Oakland County photo identification badge to food safety inspections," said Kathy Forzley, manager/health officer of the Health Division. "We urge restaurant staff to ask for identification from any sanitarian. We also advise them to alert the Sheriff’s Office or local police department immediately of any suspicious or fraudulent calls."

"There are criminals and scam artists who seek to extort and steal money in a variety of ways," Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. "Don't fall prey, and remember, actual government officials never call and threaten, or try to extort immediate payment over the phone."

Here is what restaurateurs need to know:

  • If someone arrives for the purpose of completing an inspection, always ask for identification. Health Division food service sanitarians always wear a county badge and carry business cards.
  • If someone arrives for an inspection and is unable able to provide the proper Health Division identification, immediately contact the local law enforcement agency.
  • Health Division does not collect money on site as a result of a restaurant inspection.

For more information about health inspections and determining whether a health sanitarian is legitimate, call the Health Division at 248-858-1312. For immediate response to suspicious activities contact local law enforcement.

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES ONLY: Contact George Miller, director of Oakland County Health and Human Services Division, at 248-858-1293.