SkipTheDishes denies wrongdoing as more billing fraud cases come forward

SkipTheDishes says app not hacked despite fraudulent activity
An Okanagan woman is recommending you skip this app after she was left with a fraudulent $800 tab overnight. While the company behind SkipTheDishes denies it’s been hacked, it does admit several users have reported their credit cards have been compromised. As Doris Maria Bregolisse reports, the company blames the fraud on a sophisticated scam that has nothing to do with the meal delivery app.

Numerous claims of fraud connected to SkipTheDishes credit card charges are being reported after Global News first wrote of the problems on Wednesday.

“I received my Mastercard statement yesterday. There were approximately $1,400 in SkipTheDishes charges,” said Lishe O’Kiely.

“I don’t even have an account with them,” she said.

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“This happened to me,” Mags Su said. “Over $300! Two separate orders on the same day. Orders don’t show up on Skip, just on your credit card statement.”

Kirsten Hermanson added, “this exact thing happened to me on Friday night! The hardest thing was finding someone to talk to. Online chat kept saying I didn’t have an account.”

Following the initial complaint to Global News from Lori Placide earlier this week, the Kelowna businesswoman found her credit card was charged an additional 18 more times by SkipTheDishes.

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“You can clearly see SkipTheDishes on emails and credit card statements,” said Placide.

BMO Mastercard ended up flagging her account.

A woman who wants to remain anonymous sent Global News fraud alert texts from her financial institution flagging SkipTheDishes charges.

“My Skip account had been inactive for almost a year, but they still let that transaction go through until TD rejected it,” said the fraud victim.

“Although I’m in Calgary, my information had been changed to what I believe was a Montreal number (514 area code) when I logged in to see what had changed.”

The woman continued, saying “TD Visa was great, but their support agent struggled to find how to contact Skip.

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“Skip has no phone number to contact them and emails to their help address bounced back. I was constantly referred to their online chat despite the serious nature of what was going on, and then one of their “agents” phoned me from a person phone number and kept insisting it was an encrypted communication line.

“Best practice would be for skip to have a number that you, the consumer, can reach them at instead of depending on whomever contacting you to be a reliable and safe source — fraud 101 and something TD Visa emphasized when I contacted them.

“You can’t do that with Skip because they have no phone number posted.”

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A SkipTheDishes spokesperson repeatedly told Global News the fraud reports were isolated and denied its systems were hacked.

“The protection of our customers’ personal and financial information is of utmost importance to SkipTheDishes,” said the spokesperson.

“We have multiple security measures in place to safeguard that information, and are continually monitoring our systems to detect and prevent attacks.”

The app spokesperson said it does not store complete credit or debit card details on its platform, but users dispute that claim, and have shown Global News saved numbers on their account.

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“We have identified isolated incidents where it appears that malicious third party attackers have attempted to, or have gained access to customer accounts through email addresses/usernames and password credentials that were obtained from an unknown, and unfortunately unidentifiable, source, not from SkipTheDishes.”

“No SkipTheDishes systems have been breached,” the statement said.

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Several people who told Global News they have fallen victim to the fraud said they have never used the app.

“I’m not signed up with SkipTheDishes and never have been, but yet I had two charges from them on my credit card a while back (and) had to change out my card,” Laurie Fulton said.

The spokesperson said the company is working with customers to help secure their accounts that have been compromised.

Placide said SkipTheDishes deleted her account permanently but it took numerous attempts and inquiries from Global News to get her help.

“They told me it never happened and they don’t have those order numbers on history,” Placide said.

The first meal order that alerted Placide to the fraud came from one in her own town.

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“This one was just weird, because it was for eight breakfast wraps and then next one came in, it was for 15,” Grateful Fed employee Jennifer Gatt told Global News.

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The Grateful Fed’s SkipTheDishes order number and information matched the email that Placide received.

Gatt said the order wasn’t followed up by an automated phone call from SkipTheDishes, which also seemed strange, she said.

Both orders were cancelled, again through the app.

“I’m definitely going to double check whats going on,” said Gatt, calling the fraud scheme troubling.

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BMO Mastercard said it could not comment on the situation due to privacy issues.

Placide and others who have been affected by the fraud scheme said they recommend not only deleting credit card information from the app, but deleting it altogether.

“Now I won’t even touch them,” said Placide.

The company spokesperson said they are not benefiting from the crime.

“In these cases, the third party attacker is making the purchase. SkipTheDishes is not making the purchase,” said the spokesperson.

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The app company spokesperson called the scam an account takeover.

“There are sophisticated organized fraud schemes, where a criminal third party would benefit from a fraudulent account takeover.”

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Global News reached out to Consumer Protection B.C., but were told they have no legal authority over possible fraud or privacy concerns.