Z-Burger owner warns other businesses after he says scammer posed as DoorDash worker

The Z-Burger location in McLean, Virginia. (Courtesy Z-Burger)

The owner of popular fast-food chain Z-Burger says his company is out hundreds of dollars after falling prey to a scammer claiming to work for DoorDash.

Z-Burger founder Peter Tabibian, whose chain includes 12 locations in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia, said the McLean, Virginia, restaurant was bilked Wednesday evening.

“They said they’re from DoorDash, and said your tablet is broken, and you’re missing a lot of orders,” Tabibian told WTOP. The scammer said they wanted to provide a new tablet, which would connect with the DoorDash delivery service.

Tabibian said the caller was able to provide the McLean employee with specific information that he said seemingly only DoorDash would know, including the last three orders that customers ordered down to the toppings they’d ordered.

“He knew the last four digits of our account number, and said ‘For us to program this tablet properly, we need to verify your bank account number and routing number,” Tabibian said.

That misstep provided the scammers with the information they needed. “The next morning, we found there was a fraudulent charge on our bank account” — a $565 transaction.”

Tabibian’s company is now monitoring and closing bank accounts. “It’s such a headache to make all these changes,” he said.

Co-owner Kevin Ejtemai said he and Tabibian felt compelled to warn other business owners, “So that they won’t fall into the same trap as we did.”

Ejtemai and Tabibian said employees dropped their guard after scammers provided information that seemingly came from the DoorDash portal.

“Once they have their trust, then the door is open,” said Ejtemai.

In a statement to WTOP, a DoorDash spokesperson said the company has spoken with Z-Burger ”
“and at this time, we have not found any evidence of fraud or lost funds pertaining to their business on our platform. ”

The statement went on to say: “To further safeguard against unauthorized activity, we have implemented additional security measures on Z Burger’s account, effective immediately. If any member of our community identifies unusual activity with their account, we strongly encourage them to reach out to DoorDash Support urgently, however customers should not be alarmed by this incident.”

DoorDash said it has not been hacked and that scammers may sometimes use scare tactics, such as stating order details to restaurant staff, which scammers themselves have likely placed.

The company said DoorDash employees will never ask for sensitive information, such as passwords or banking information.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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