A CHANCER has been fooling restaurants up and down the country by pretending he’s a reviewer – in order to get free meals.
Calling himself Dan Reynolds, the imposter has already scammed a Michelin-starred restaurant and attempted to secure a private jet trip over recent months.
The brazen opportunist claims to be deputy managing editor of “DR Media Group” – a company that doesn’t even exist.
He approached The Stockbridge Restaurant in Edinburgh last month trying to blag a complimentary meal and drinks promising to name drop the fine dining eatery in travel magazine, Shanghai Travellers’ Club (STC).
But the luxury travel magazine claimed the “imposter” had nothing to do with them and added that someone using the same name had also tried to scam restaurants elsewhere in the country.
Pierre Gervois, editor-in-chief of STC said: “I confirm this is a case of fraud and impersonation.
“It’s not the first time we heard that a company called ‘DR Media Group’ and an individual called ‘Dan’ or ‘Don’ has tried to pose as an executive of our company and request private jet trips or lunch at restaurants allegedly to review them.
“I did some research and the name of the company does not exist.”
Jessica Sneddon from communications firm Charlotte & Joseph, who handle PR for The Stockbridge Restaurant foiled the fraudster after growing suspicious when he had no online presence.
She said: “In the first instance he looked quite genuine and there was a media pack attached so we contacted him for a bit more information.
“But after we followed up with him and heard nothing back I looked up his company DR Media Group to see if there was a phone number on the website.
“However, a quick Google search took me to a completely different site saying DR Media had moved.
“I then looked up a copy of STC magazine, which was available online, and there was no connection to DR Media and his name was not on the list of editors or contributors. By this time I had definitely smelled a rat.
“Scams like this aren’t always obvious and he had clearly gone to some lengths to look convincing. He’s pulled the wool over a lot of people’s eyes.”
The website for DR Media Group redirects users to a page for Bee Internative LTD – a web design firm.
They confirmed nobody named Dan Reynolds has ever been employed by them.