July 17, 2024

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Upscale restaurant Gotham in New York City was forced to close after falling victim to a $45,000 cyber scam

Upscale restaurant Gotham in New York City was forced to close after falling victim to a ,000 cyber scam

A fine Greenwich Village restaurant was forced to close its doors after a $45,000 online scam, and now the co-owner is warning other businesses to beware.

Brett Sinkitz, co-owner of Gotham Restaurant, said they made the difficult decision to temporarily close the restaurant after it was tricked into sending money to a “nefarious actor.”

“We couldn’t keep paying our salaries, and we didn’t have enough money, so we’re taking a pause,” he told The Washington Post in a recent interview.

Brett Sinkitz, co-owner of Gotham, told The Post that he decided to close the restaurant after falling victim to a payroll scam. LB Media

The saga has begun fancy restaurant On May 10, a Friday, when a thief pretended to work for a company that Gotham uses to manage payroll, he emailed Csencsitz and his human resources staff to tell them that the company was changing banking information due to “internal issues.”

A human resources employee called Csencsitz to take a look at the application. He combed through previous emails and they appear to be from the employee they usually talk to from the payroll company.

“I then transferred the money to this new account in the company’s name and address,” he said. “It wasn’t until several hours later that we realized something seemed a little strange.”

He said the scammer copied the email format that would normally come from an email provider, but upon closer inspection — which came too late — the email address had an extra K in the URL.

“We were victimized by someone who managed to insert himself into an ongoing dialogue between us and the payroll company,” Sinkitz said.

Csencsitz said a “nefarious actor” called the restaurant pretending to work for the company Gotham uses to manage payroll. Lorenzo Siniglio/Independent

“When you look at it, you wouldn’t notice it normally,” he added. “But in the end, when we really looked into why this was happening, we found a difference.”

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He contacted his bank, but so far the financial institute has not recovered the money. He’s surprised banks aren’t doing more to protect their customers’ money. He said.

And Gotham City, which serves New American cuisine, doesn’t have an electronic insurance policy, which would have cost a whopping $5,000 a year.

He has filed a report with the FBI and is in contact with the agency.

The restaurant lost $45,000 in the scam. Elliot Fine and Christopher Lovy

With a loss of money and a noticeable decline in expected customers between June and August when people are away, Csencsitz made the “difficult” choice earlier this month to close for a few months.

He sent a message to employees informing them of the temporary closure at the beginning of this month. According to Eater NY, Which first reported on the mystery.

“Please know that this was a difficult decision and was not made lightly. Business levels and a recent cyber fraud incident that resulted in a significant loss made it necessary for us to pause operations to consider our options,” Sensetz told workers.

“Please know that I greatly value every employee, and I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. I hope everyone will consider returning to Gotham at the end of the summer.”

Csencsitz reported the scammer to the FBI. LB Media

The restaurant, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary and was previously referred to as Gotham Bar and Grill, has faced uphill battles before.

It was closed for nearly two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and when it reopened, with Csencsitz as the new owner after being general manager, the restaurant struggled to attract enough staff.

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But Chinsitz was not deterred by the final hurdle.

“We are fully planning to reopen. We have committed capital, we haven’t received it yet but we will. “We have very strong commitments and we will adjust some things and come back with a new place and a slightly modified dining room,” he said.

His warning to other restaurants is to get cyber insurance and “you can never check enough.”

“Don’t trust any change in banking information,” he advised. “I would initially be very skeptical of that and check it by multiple means.”