Eating out at a posh New York City restaurant? Check your credit card statement daily!

I’ll bet Warren Buffett checks his credit card accounts

Diners at some of New York’s most popular restaurants had their credit card details stolen by waiters working for gangs who targetted American Express black cards then spent millions of dollars on luxury clothes and vintage wine…

The cards of wealthy customers at Smith and Wollensky’s, Capital Grille and Wolfgang’s steakhouses were allegedly “skimmed” and used to buy Rolex watches, Jimmy Choo shoes and Chanel handbags.

Almost 30 people have been charged with crimes including racketeering, conspiracy and grand larceny, after the alleged fraud ring was broken by police in Manhattan. Seven waiters at the restaurants are alleged by prosecutors to have been recruited by Luis Damian “D.J.” Jacas, the 41-year-old alleged ringleader, and equipped with card-copying devices.

They were instructed to focus on customers with premium credit cards including the American Express black card, so that large purchases would not trigger alerts to customers…

Police seized $1.1 million in cash and $1 million worth of designer watches, as well as 100 designer handbags and 35 cases of expensive vintage wine…

To protect the alleged scheme, Jacas is alleged to have only allowed purchases up to $35,000 and to have ordered that the cards be used for three days before being ditched.

His alleged second-in-command, a 51-year-old convicted killer called Gregory Portacio, 51, remains at large. All the defendants deny the charges. They each face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Not a new practice. We all know that. But access to top-shelf clientele and high credit lines makes the scam more profitable than ever.

Top-rated restaurants had better check their hires with more accuracy. Consumers should be using accounts which allow a chance for you daily to check on illegal charges. It’s in your own interest, folks.

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