Those who enjoyed a meal at Abacus Inn during the past few weeks may want to re-check their credit card statements. Some customers say they received additional charges of more than $400 on top of their regular meal bill.
The Rev. Jack Lavino of Ahwatukee Foothills said he had lunch with his wife at Abacus Inn on May 29. They had a coupon so their meal ended up costing around $10. Lavino paid with his credit card, signed the receipt and left. He was shocked when he received his credit card statement last week.
Lavino had been charged the $10 for the meal but a separate charge had shown up on his card from Abacus Inn for $595.20. When he returned to the store to inform them of the problem he found the doors locked and the restaurant cleaned out.
Now, Lavino has to wait for his credit card company to send him some forms to try and get the charge reversed.
Jim Space says he went through the same exact thing on June 4. He went to lunch with a friend and paid for it on his credit card. Days later he received his credit card statement and saw the extra charge for $514.99.
"I thought it might be pretty prevalent," Space said. "I think they knew they were going out of business and thought they'd get a little extra money."
Tom Greninger said his wife purchased a $7 meal on June 1 and received a charge for $471.55 to her credit card soon after.
"We were really quite surprised and sad for Ben, the owner or manager, whatever he was," Greninger said. "He always seemed to be a rather friendly guy. He always remembered us when we came in. It was a nice place so it was surprising that he had financial trouble and went out of business."
All the extra charges have left recent customers scrambling to try and figure out who to call. The property management company, ACF Property Management, is not allowed to give any personal information about tenants.
Jerry Cobb, public information officer for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, said this does sound like something they might investigate but only after local law enforcement takes a look.
"We follow up with possible charges on law enforcement investigations," Cobb said. "If people feel that they have been charged fraudulently what they need to do is file a report with the local police. The first step has to be reporting it as a possible crime. Local law enforcement investigates and submits a report to us. Then if charges are warranted we move forward with charges.
"We can't get involved until law enforcement gives us something."
The phone number for Abacus Inn continued to ring on Friday afternoon but no one answered.
Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department urges recent Abacus Inn customers to check their credit card statements and dispute any extra charges immediately.
"The first thing they need to do is contact their credit card company and let them know about the charge," Thompson said. "That's truly where it needs to start. Then, call the Phoenix Police Department."
If you believe you may have been over charged, call Crime Stop at (602) 262-6151.
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