Last night, I posted on a troubling website that was trying to sell reservations to some of Atlanta’s most notable restaurants. Well, a lot has happened since then. Thanks to some amazing internet word of mouth, 911Reservations.com went offline within a few hours. Then, the owners tried to get another scam site up under a sub-domain at mybigcommerce.com, but that too was soon killed off. Not be be deterred, the owners still have a another site up, but it’s thin on the reservations (see below). However, the story isn’t done there.
Though a swirl of emails and a few comments on that post, we’ve learned a lot more. According to Rathbun’s co-owner Cliff Bramble, who helped alert people to the situation, confirmed to me that Kevin Brown was the first person he knew to id the shenanigans. Brown, who serves as the general manager of Chops, then alerted Andres Loaiza, Brown’s counterpart at Aria. Loaiza tipped off Bramble.
After alerting several others, Bacchanalia owner Anne Quatrano chimed in with some bogus reservations at her establishments. From there, the flood gates opened. Don Hart of JCT Kitchen & Bar has been actively notifying people. Additionally, I’ve received information from SoHo Atlanta, and a slew of other Atlanta restaurants.
Most disturbing is that the reservations have been showing up on books way outside of our fare city. We’ve now heard from several restaurants in and around the San Francisco area as well as from Elizabeth on 37th in New York City (their website).
Meanwhile, Bramble then went on to try and track down the source of this scam. After a shortened conversation with someone at one of the fake reservations, Bramble received a phone call (that’s the id shot to the right). Last but not least, AJC super blogger John Kessler threw up a great post early this morning. He has taken the time to update it as well.
Lastly, both Fox News Atlanta and the local affiliate for CBS News have gotten in on the story and the Nation’s Restaurant News has followed up with Bramble and posted their own note on the story.
Most importantly, You can find a complete list of the reported numbers and people over on my original post about 911 Reservations. Please keep the information coming in so I can keep it updated. If you work for a restaurant or know someone, please let them know what is going on.