Topeka woman using experience of fraudulent tipping, as a warning for you

Local News

Every time you don’t double check that dinner receipt from your favorite restaurant, it could be costing you.

That’s exactly what happened to one local woman when buying pizzas for her sons birthday party. 

Josephine Salzer is using her experience as a warning for you. She claims employees at a Topeka restaurant changed the tip amount on her check, adding more than what she authorized. 

“I ordered online for pizza for my sons birthday party, so I called my mom to see if she could go pick it up and bring it to the party,” Salzer said.

Submitting her order for $65. Checking her bank account later and seeing the total charged $80.

“I called my mother immediately and asked if she left a $15 tip and she didn’t know what I was talking about, and I told her, you know there’s a tip line on there?” she said. “So she only signed the bottom of the receipt.” 

Experts at Kansas Better Business Bureau say to keep this from happening to you:

  • Always keep your receipts. 
  • Be sure to fill out the tip line on a bill, no matter the amount your leaving.
  • Frequently check your bank account, because sometimes restaurants will first bill you for the amount not including your tip.

Salzer says it’s not even about the money anymore, she just doesn’t want it to happen to anyone else

“I’m wondering now if this has happened before and I just hadn’t noticed,” she said. “I will definitely be keeping an eye on it from now on.”

There’s a difference between an automatic added gratuity, or a service charge, and a tip. In Salzer’s case, she says there would be no service charge. Which means the only way the $15 could’ve been added would be by the tip line.

According to the IRS:

  • A tip must be made free from compulsion.
  • The customer must have the right to determine the amount.
  • The payment should not be negotiated or made by the employer.
  • The customer has the right to decide who receives the payment.

Click here for more advice on making sure this doesn’t happen to you, or what to do if it does.

Click here to file a consumer complaint. 

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