Expert says look out for this new Miami tipping scam

@cantcancelrob/TikTok SASITHORN/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘You don’t really think about it’: Expert says look out for this new Miami tipping scam

‘You’re tipping double.’


Vladimir Supica


A TikToker has recently gone viral for exposing a “tipping scam” at restaurants in Miami’s South Beach area that allegedly has guests unwittingly tipping double.

“Let me put you on to the Miami restaurant scam,” TikTok user Rob Smith (@cantcancelrob) begins in a video posted on Sunday that has over 232,700 views as of this writing. “Let me tell you, this is what they do. So if you go to one of these South Beach restaurants, say, you’re a tourist from out of town, you’re just sitting and having a meal, you don’t know that they automatically charge a 20 percent gratuity, which a lot of these restaurants do.”

Smith says many tourists, unaware of the automatic gratuity, end up tipping twice. “So, say you get the check. You don’t really notice that there’s a gratuity on there, and you throw it on your card; you’re not thinking anything of it. Like, you know, you’re on vacation, you’re chilling, you’re having a good time.”

The “scam,” as described, hinges on restaurant guests not paying attention to the details of the check. “When they bring back the credit card receipt after they have run your card, they will not bring back the original itemized check,” Smith continues. “So you do not see the gratuity has already been added on that check, and you actually add gratuity on to your credit card receipt. So you’re literally not tipping 20 percent or 15 percent or whatever it is that you tip … But you’re tipping double.”

@cantcancelrob Beware THIS Miami restaurant SCAM that has gotten me and MANY others! #Miami #MiamiBeach #miamirestaurants #miamilife ♬ original sound – cantcancelrob

While Smith’s warning was limited to Miami, viewers from across the country shared similar experiences. One of them wrote, “They do the same thing almost everywhere in Atlanta.”

A second added, “That’s pretty common all over this country.”

“Not only in Miami. Here in Dallas as well,” a third remarked. “But I was one step ahead of them. Disputed the charge, the company never responded. I was issued a full refund.”

Although automatic gratuity is legal and a fairly common practice, the issue arises when it is not transparently communicated to the customer. According to an NBC Miami article, “Florida law says restaurants that add an automatic gratuity or service charge to the price of the meal shall include on the food menu and on the bill, a notice that an automatic gratuity is included.”

The issue of double tipping was also discussed in a Reddit thread dating back to 2022. A user posted a picture of their receipt, which included gratuity but also had an “ADD TIPS” section. The Redditor warned others to check their receipts.

Infuriating! Double tipping (automated gratuity + tips) – check your restaurant receipts!
byu/Rough_Original2973 inbayarea

“This is scummy. They need to at least circle the gratuity already paid,” one redditor commented.

“Odd, that’s usually where we’d see taxes and not gratuity. That receipt would have fooled me into tipping more as well,” another added.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Rob Smith via TikTok comment.

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