A Burger King customer in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is warning others to be vigilant after he was allegedly scammed out of $25.
Jeremiah Ortner (@jeremiahortner) posted a video on TikTok last month to share his experience, which has since gone viral and racked up over 1.6 million views.
According to Ortner, he visited Burger King for lunch and ordered a combo meal, paying with his debit card. Later that day, he found that instead of being charged by the fast food restaurant, his account had been charged for $25 from a tea company he had never heard of. Ortner immediately called his bank to report the suspicious charge and blocked his card.
“I don’t want them to spend more than they do [already] have,” said Ortner. “I call Burger King and let them know what’s going on and the lady who answered the phone was the same lady who took my order at the drive-thru.”
@jeremiahortner Long video, but please let me know if this happened to you! A Burger King worker cheated me out of $25, and there’s no telling who else she did it to. @burgerking in #chattanooga who do you work for? #scammers #scamalert #burgerking #didnthaveitmtway #fraud ♬ Original sound – Jeremiah Ortner
Ortner’s suspicions grew when he found out that the tea company’s charges had been approved. He called his bank again to report the problem and also spoke to the general manager of the Burger King location. “I definitely wouldn’t want anyone to do that in my restaurant, that’s not how things work here, I’ll look into it,” the manager reportedly said.
The TikToker believes the Burger King employee who took his order used a Square device to steal his card info. “What I think happened is the lady at Burger King on Saturday at the window. I think maybe she had a square on her phone and she swiped my card like she did on her phone and not the Burger King,” he said. “Because there’s no way Burger King came out and I’ve never shopped at a tea company. So I don’t know what kind of scam they are running at Burger King.”
Square is a mobile payments company that allows businesses to accept debit and credit card payments through a small, handheld card reader that plugs into a smartphone or tablet.
Ortner’s video sparked a heated discussion in the comments, with many users arguing about what really happened and offering their advice.
“This is not a scam by Burger King, this is the scam of the person who works there,” argued one commenter, defending Burger King.
A second commenter said: “That’s exactly what happened! She had a square and stole money from you.”
“Always ask for a receipt,” noted a third commenter.
This isn’t the first time Burger King has been embroiled in controversy or customer dissatisfaction. Over the past few months, a series of TikTok videos have exposed some of the issues and conflicts plaguing both customers and employees at various Burger King locations. From locked doors to fake advertising, these videos capture the drama and chaos that sometimes unfolds at the drive-through or counter. Some customers have even turned to online platforms like Etsy to buy Burger King vouchers or have come across signs that say, “We’ve lost everything.”
Since the incident, Ortner has posted several follow-up TikToks, with the last one being posted this week. In his latest video, he claims he received a call from the VP of GPS Hospitality, a company that operates over 400 Burger King, Popeyes and Pizza Hut restaurants in 13 states.
“He’s set to meet me in Chattanooga Thursday and we’re going to talk about my experience and what happened and take it from there and hopefully figure something out,” Ortner says in the video.
The Daily Dot has contacted Jeremiah Ortner via Instagram direct messages and Burger King via press email.
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*Initial publication: April 8, 2023 9:34 pm CDT
Vladimir Supica is a Serbia-based freelance writer for the Daily Dot. He enjoys traveling around Europe, reading non-fiction books and playing with his dog Max.