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Watch Out for This Pizza Scam Plaguing Hotels

Terrible pizza is running rampant at hotels across the country — beware of flyers under the door.

Since the early 1990s, a pizza scam has been plaguing hotels across the country. Unsuspecting hungry tourists will find a flyer shoved under their door for a local mom-and-pop pizza place and decide to order dinner from there. But when the pizza arrives (often late), it’s rife with problems — everything from wrong ingredients to cold, tiny pies themselves. According to research by Chron.com, these pizza places are often under fire from local health departments for having bad ingredients and unsanitary conditions.

“They’re not well-established businesses, if it’s a business at all,” San Antonio police chief William McManus told Chron.com. “They try to fly under the radar, they try to keep themselves from being discovered.”

One man, though, is not hiding so well. Five businesses in San Antonio who participate in this pizza tragedy are linked back to Michael Yetter, a retired Army veteran who now lives in Michigan. But he’s far from the only conspirator. Restaurants in the bogus pizza ring rotate phone numbers and restaurant names, and use disposable phones so they aren’t easily tracked. Oftentimes the restaurants don’t even have a physical location.

“We’d really like for this to end. It’s bad for the reputation of the hotel. It’s bad for business,” Dusty Smith, general manager of a Residence Inn in San Antonio, told Chron.com. “This just gives everyone a black eye.”

All attempts at stopping the racket have been unsuccessful, everything from suing them, reporting the businesses to the authorities, increasing security in hotel halls, blocking phone numbers, and warning guests.

[Photo: Getty]

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Gregory Nelson December 23, 2015

??? Not really a scam - just poor quality pizza. The REAL pizza scam works like this: 1) Scammers create and distribute flyers for a phony pizza place that doesn't even exist, using a burner phone number. 2) Unsuspecting tourist calls and orders pizza, using his/her credit card to order. 3) Credit card number is immediately used and abused by scammers. 4) Pizza never arrives. Tourist goes hungry; may or may not figure out the scam in the moment.

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AlwaysFlyStar December 23, 2015

So, subpar restaurants advertise by fliers in hotel room? Seems more like a business plan than a 'scam'.