back to article 'McDonalds' burger-lers making millions

Greater Manchester Police are warning that scammers claiming to be ordering computer kit for burger chain McDonalds have already tricked £2m in hardware from sales departments at "high-profile electronic companies across the UK." GMP say the fraudsters use various 0845 phone numbers and email addresses to persuade gullible …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    burger-lers? please!

    Never heard of the hamburgler? Pun fail!

  2. John Parker

    "tarnish the good reputation of McDonalds"

    Ha ! Yes they have a very good rep...

  3. Annihilator Silver badge

    Nature develops a better idiot

    I can only imagine there have been similar scams before, but question:

    "After starting out with computers, TVs and laptops the scammers are now also ordering food, wine and spirits."

    McDonalds stocks wine and spirits? (and a more cynical one, food?)

  4. Peter Clarke 1

    We're Lovin' It ....

    ... NOT!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    While this is very unfortunate for the suppliers involved, they could have used a little bit of common sense.

    If you receive a large order from a free email address, asking for expensive goods to be delivered to nondescript rented warehouse space, with 30 days credit, and that doesn't ring any alarm bells in your head, maybe you need it checked.

    Then again these are salesmen we're talking about, they probably thought they were being clever by sweet talking the scammers into ordering more stuff than they actually asked for.

  6. Paul 87


    Anyone who accepted an order from "" must *really* be gulliable..

  7. nickrw

    Title title title

    You think people might stop and think when they saw "".

    Guess they're the same ones falling for the 'facebook login' article.

  8. Marcus Aurelius

    Sounds like

    McDonalds have been well and truly burgered.....

    Surely the phone numbers and email addresses and with some of the domain names have an audit trail, or were they set up with false info too.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Dear <hi-tech supplier>

    I can assist in recovering the goods fraudulently taken from you. Please forward £4000 towards my costs..

    Uve Been-Had


  10. Harry

    For an 0845 number to have been used ...

    ... then some company has taken those calls and passed them on to another number, which ought to be traceable.

    If the companies operating the 0845 redirection are too stupid to have permanently recorded the numbers they have forwarded the calls to, or have forwarded to a mobile without positively verifying the identity of their customer, then those companies really ought to be prosecuted for aiding and abetting -- because that's exactly what they have done.

    1. Charles Manning


      If they did record the transactions you'd be squealing about privacy issues.

  11. Khyle Westmoreland

    No such thing...

  12. Andy C


    Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

    "tarnish the good reputation of McDonalds"

    You owe me a new keyboard... Good reputation my ar*e!!

  13. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    "good reputation of McDonalds"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!! Good one DI Colburn - you're wasted in the police, a careers in stand-up beckons!

    PS any sales department OKing 90-day credit to "someone at McDonalds" who's using an email address to place the order deserves all they get....

  14. Anonymous Coward


    I presume the whois details on these domains are faked?

  15. Nate Phillips

    Looks like...

    ...the Hamburgler has bottomed out after his career high in the 80s.

    Maybe we'll see an assassination attempt on Ronald, next?

    Robble Robble!

  16. Anonymous Coward


    McDonalds? Good reputation? Who are they kidding? The only time I ate one of their burgers was when caught on a very late night delivery on an industrial estate and one of their drive through stores were the only ones open. The container, literally, tasted better than the burger!

    Their sign also said, "Doughnuts, 99p" (or some similar price) but when I ordered doughnuts, I was given two and charged £1.98. Apparently they were priced individually but advertised pluraly.

    I've never treated my stomach and taste buds to such horrific torture since.

    1. Brian 6

      @Michelle Knight

      "The container, literally, tasted better than the burger!" Literally eh ? So u actually ate the container ?? Are u what they call "Special"

      "Doughnuts, 99p" "Apparently they were priced individually but advertised pluraly." That is the CORRECT way to advertise them. If u saw a sign that said "Lottery tickets £1.00" U wouldn't expect to get 2 for a quid would you ?

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Each, or the original use of the @ symbol

        ""Lottery tickets £1.00" U wouldn't expect to get 2 for a quid would you ?"

        Yes I would, unless it said LT £1.00 *each*, or LT @ £1

      2. No, I will not fix your computer


        "Doughnuts, 99p" - Wrong

        "Doughnuts, 99p each" - Correct

        In the same vein as, "Everything £1" outside Poundland is wrong, it should either be "Everything £1 each" or "Anything £1", what is correct and what you expect isn't always the same thing.

        "Lottery tickets £1.00" - How many do I get for £1.00? without the magical "each" it should be multiple, it should read "Lottery ticket £1.00", while your mind logically adds the "each" it doesn't actually mean it's there, yes, logically they mean each, but that's not what it says.

      3. Jez Caudle

        Do you work in IT?

        If I see "doughnuts, 99p" I expect more than one doughnut. If I see "doughnuts, 99p each" then I expect to pay 99p for each one.

        Do you work in IT Brian? Do you deliver what is expected of you? Or do you wallow in ambiguity?

        1. Brian 6

          @No, I will not fix your computer

          The "each" is implied. Yes your mind logically adds it. Any one who doesnt understand that should not be let out on there own. And its plural because there IS more than one of them. You wouldn't ask "How much do lottery ticket cost" well unless you were Chinese :) Its "How much do lottery tickets cost"

        2. Brian 6

          @Jez Caudle

          So your not bright enough to buy stuff from MD's never mind work there. Yes I deliver what is expected of me. If the client implies something then that is fine, I'm bright enough to work out what they mean I wont just blindly follow what they said.

  17. lglethal Silver badge

    Is it really that easy?

    To register a phone number in the UK? I know that to get a mobile number required me to show ID, and provide credit card details when i did it in the UK 6 years ago. Have things really changed to be that much easier?

    Additionally, if the goods are being delivered to an address, even if that address changes each time - how difficult can it be for the cops to track down who's behind those addresses? Laptops and such would never be shipped without needing to be signed for (one would certainly hope!), so whoever signed at the other end must have some connection or be able to point the finger...

    And finally lets face it, anyone stupid enough to accept an order from a yahoo, aol, hotmail, etc account for any company bigger then a dozen staff is a moron. They should have all access to the internet (both corporate and private) removed because they're the sort of idiot who would answer spam or fall for a 419er email...

  18. Anonymous Coward

    @aol, @yahoo emails? Ordering wine?

    FFS, some people just _deserve_ to be conned!

  19. An nonymous Cowerd

    a previous MacD scam

    was based on the Franchise, the fact that MacD University had required identical layout on each McPatty outlet created in the UK. Once a particular gang had worked out where the overnight cash safe was located then cue many identical 'take-away' attacks with a big yellow digger and forklift and, lo', soon the layout was randomised.

  20. Si 1

    I have to ask...

    Have the police questioned Hamburgler yet?

  21. Shadowraven


    they don't need to pay using credit card when ordering? What kind of stupid sales people are those?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This cannot be real but...

    Domain name:


    Sharon Norton

    Registrant type:

    UK Individual

    Registrant's address:

    1-17 Robshaw Close


    PE15 9ET

    United Kingdom

  23. McCroskey


    Can we have the names of these companies please? I would like to call them and ask for some free stuff before they go out of business (as they surely will)

  24. Uncle Slacky Silver badge


    That is all.

  25. Anonymous Coward


    Anyone selling anything to anyone with an AOL email address should be fired.

  26. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Do you want fries with that?

    Since the police have now made it public that they are using the McDonalds name in the scam and to be wary of anyone ordering goods using that name I suspect the scammers will just start using another high profile company name instead. It so easy to set up a 'landline' number for free using a VOIP provider and then all you need to do is hire some office space and storage in a fake name to get all the goods deliveried too. Don't these people watch the real hustle?

    1. Michael 28

      @ Do you want fries with that?

      .... in the context of the article.. should be .. " do you want chips with that?"

      ...hat .. coat ... i'm here all week!

  27. Bardlee



    Seriously. Why would you ever think this is a legit McDonalds rep?

  28. Jerome 0


    "The email and phone details used by the clown-conners include..."

    Those sneaky bastards! I think I've had emails off of these people too. I haven't shipped any high-value computer equipment to them yet though.

  29. Rob
    Thumb Up

    I'm sure I won't be the first...

    ...."tried to tarnish the good reputation of McDonalds" best laugh I've had all day.

  30. Bilgepipe


    "they have also tried to tarnish the good reputation of McDonalds. "

    Yeah. Not that hard really.

  31. Anonymous Coward


    "they have also tried to tarnish the good reputation of McDonalds."

    "Good reputation" - that'll be right.

  32. Pete 43

    Since when?

    Did McDonuts have a good name?

  33. Martin 19

    Somebody pulled this stunt on us, rozzers uninterested

    We're a forklift dealer, and some clown pulled the "order from $ReputableCompany for the hire of x_forklifts, delivered to $AnotherLocation". We contacted the supposed ordering company via their published phone number and they'd never heard of the order.

    We then got in touch with the Met Police (the delivery address was in London) who told us to call our local force (in the Midlands). The clown who intended to nick the forklifts was still expecting them to be delivered on monday morning, where he or his associates would be stood there waiting to be cuffed.

    The police were singularly uninterested in arresting anyone or following it up in any way. The company whose name the scammers used reckoned it'd happened before and would again, still nothing.

    Do I suspect that the Law are only bothered if a high profile company is involved?

  34. Simon Langley
    Thumb Down


    Anyone who sells even a newspaper to someone on credit using an AOL or Yahoo! address deserves to lose their money. This is nature's way of weeding out the stupid.

  35. Michael 10

    @aol and @yahoo

    Seriously? I understand the other ones, they kind of make sense. But who would fall for a global corporation using free webmail accounts to do hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales?

    Can't you spoof an origin anyways? (it sounds like the receivers aren't the type to check headers)

  36. Adam Williamson 1
    Gates Horns


    "Not only have they left these businesses seriously out of pocket, but they have also tried to tarnish the good reputation of McDonalds."

    Did he say that bit with a straight face?

  37. Richard Cartledge


    Better move onto saying the Bodyshop.

  38. MattMarcSmith

    Good Reputation?

    "...but they have also tried to tarnish the good reputation of McDonalds."

    Bwahahahahahahahahahaha... *cough* *sputter*

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Cards of the Britards

    So when I, not living in the land of the Britards, want to pay for things remotely using a genuine European top table credit card with all the codes and digits, the average Webshop of the Britards tells me that they only take UK cards with UK cardholder addresses. Yet UK-resident scammers can have people turn up with gear at some random address, all ordered on credit, having just dropped a name and presumably shown some paper with a nice letterhead?

    Way to go: we finally have "security" puppet theatre with maximum inconvenience for all legitimate parties and with a loophole bigger than a big truck carrying not-paid-for gear!

  40. Anonymous Coward

    If it's that easy...

    ... to impersonate a multinational corporation (didn't they need some kind of, I dunno, ID? "Hello, I'm calling from Mcdonalds, I'd like loads of pricey shit for our restaurants" - is that really all it took!?) and the companies are stupid enough to allow this kind of thing to happen then what can you say!?

  41. richard 69

    and more..

    my girlfriend works for a spirits company and these fuckers tried to get a large amount of popular spirits delivered to a warehouse in london. it looked very credible apart from the domain used for the emails which were registered to some woman in norfolk...a simple netnames check......needless to say, the police did fuck all....

  42. Trev 2

    Erm credit checks anyone..?

    Would love to know who these companies are as presumably no one bothered with the usual set up a credit account, credit checks and all that gubbins. Yeah it's a big company, but you don't know that the person asking for the stuff is actually authorised to make those purchases....even if it had come from within.

    Other question being - no CCTV around this warehouse...?

  43. Anonymous Coward

    I hear....

    Ronald wasn't too happy with the pension they gave him when he was retired so maybe this is his revenge.

    AC because I don't want the McLawyers after me.

  44. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "tarnish the good reputation of McDonalds"


    McDonalds have been tarnishing the good name of food for decades!!

  45. Dana W


    As Americans, we have to things to truly apologize for, The Bush family, and McDonald's hamburgers.

    I'd trade every McDonald's in the state for ONE good, decently priced chip shop.

    Or you could just take the McDonald's anyway. Please, pretty please?

  46. Raspy32


    McD's have a good rep? I don't know anyone with tastebuds who would even consider eating there. I'd actually prefer to mop up a plate of cat sick than to eat one of their burgers - it's not that I'm completely against fast food but in McD's case you have to take the word "food" out of the equation.

    I'd love to know what it is that they count as "the best cuts of beef" that they put into their burgers, because it tastes nothing like any good quality minced beef I've ever had. Come to think of it, the meat doesn't even compare to the cheapest "Value" mince you can get from a supermarket.

    I don't see how this is any different to the 419 scams ( has a few good examples) in the fact that they've picked on people who are evidently too stupid to check basic details before shipping goods out on an account they've received no payment for.

  47. Harry
    Thumb Down

    "That is the CORRECT way to advertise them"


    "Doughnuts, 99p" is (possibly) just about fine if it is a statement on its own -- but I'd still argue that it could more properly and more honestly have been stated as "Doughnut: 99p" or as "99p each". It most certainly is not, by any sensible interpretation, "correct" to misleadingly list them in the plural without making it perfectly clear that the price was for the singular.

    However, if the "Doughnuts, 99p" statement was made alongside a photograph of more than just one doughnut, or if the 99p price is conditional on ordering more than one doughnut, then that surely ought to constitute "advertising a misleading price to a consumer", which is a CRIMINAL offence and ought to be brought to the urgent attention of both the ASA to prohibit the practice and the local Trading Standards Office for prosecution "in the public interest".

  48. Adam, Kent

    Police not interested?

    For all those saying the police aren't interested - I had this before myself where a scammer on eBay tried to get stuff from me.

    Contacting the police with an address where I knew he'd be waiting, I got told it's a civil matter and to take it up with the bank who would reimburse my card!

    I then escalated the case straight through complaints procedure at the local station, making it clear that I was happy to involve the IPCC if necessary and also an email off to my local MP made sure that the guy was swiftly arrested.

    It shouldn't have to take all this, however, for the police to be forced to do their jobs. Of course, if I'd told them I'd just seen a granny speeding by doing 31 in a 30 then there'd be the whole force, including helicopters, out looking for them............................

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not as simple as was made out

    I was previously the Head of IT at one such company that went bust as a result of this. The article skimps on details, but it wasn't as simple as goods being shipped out blindly with 90 days credit (at least not in our case). We had a supply contract with McD's and large orders of this nature being shipped directly to supplied addresses were normal. The thief that sent in the order had knowledge of the ordering process (i.e. the order was sent directly to the account manager, had the corresponding order numbers and part codes in sequence from previous genuine orders leading us now to believe that someone gained insider knowledge at McD's).

    With-hindsight the only thing that appeared out of the ordinary was the email address that the order came from. Had the order come to the IT dept we'd have spotted the misspelling (but who sends orders to a suppliers IT dept :p) . As it was, the order went to the account manager, who seeing it was "more of the same please" simply processed yet another order for McD's.

    Anyone who has worked as a supplier for a chain-store type company would know this is how business is done. You win the contract, you agree a purchase order-supply procedure then keep people out of the process. Some of the larger companies like Walmart (who we also supplied) up front give a list of all their UK stores which can't be deviated from. Others insist that you deliver as per the purchase order, and others such as a certain scandanavian cheap supermarket, have as a matter of policy no IT systems at all (the thinking is that their database can't be stolen if it's stored in a thousand filing cabinets :p ), and do everything with handwritten faxes and an agreed format.

    Unfortunatly all this is agreed with between buyers and salesmen. The IT dept are not consulted, because we'd just get in the way :p

    As for things like etc, again with large companies this is perfectly normal. The PLC I'm now working for doesn't use the brandname in it's emails. We use generic,, per department, and we even have an office that uses all email addresses. Tho once I did get the job here, first thing I did was send round a memo asking that although it's not an IT issue, they really need to look at order verification procedures with large orders.

  50. Egons Proton Pack

    I wonder if

    The salesperson got a nice bonus for giving lots of equipment away?

  51. D H B

    Somebody actually got taken in by this? Seriously?

    The sheer gullibility of some people, and the sheer nerve of those who would exploit them, never fails to appall me.

  52. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Not as simple as was made out

    a certain scandanavian cheap supermarket?

    Lidl is actually German, you know that right??

  53. Anonymous Coward

    There seems to be a problem (web)

    There seems to be a problem

    Nothing new there is it Greater Manchester Police.

    URL is down

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