FBI investigating incidents of QSR phone-in vandalism
QSRweb.com has reported on incidents of phone-in vandalism at quick-serve restaurants, including aKFC in New Hampshireand aWhataburger in New Mexico. Employees and a manager at those restaurants followed instructions from phone callers pretending to be from the corporate office, resulting in destruction from the testing of the store's fire suppression system as well as broken windows.
Last week, The Baytown Sun (Texas)reportedthat a store manager of an Arby's was duped by a caller claiming to be from the fire department ordering him to test the store's fire suppression system.
It appears these calls are the work of a group called PrankNET — as well as copycats,according toFox News. The pranks have extended to hotels as well, with families following instructions to smash windows and walls. The FBI is investigating the pranks as well as Dex's identity and said the pranks do not represent a trend.
From Fox News:
"The head of PrankNET, who goes by the online name 'Dex' and has been behaving badly since 2000, leads an online chat system where he and fellow merry pranksters collaborate. Members of PrankNET chat online, stream their calls live on an Internet radio show and post their greatest hits to a YouTube page, a popular breeding ground for more pranks.
During their calls they often drop the name of a security corporation or say they are phoning from a hotel's front desk to lend themselves an air of credibility — and to get their victims to do surprising things."
These incidents do not seem related to a 2004 case in which an employee at a McDonald's in Kentucky was strip searched after a manager was duped by a phone caller. In 2007, the victim was awarded $6.1 million in a suit against McDonald's.