Woman talking(l+r), Waiter taking card at restaurant(c)

Kamil Macniak @paretay/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I don’t mind you sitting there’: Restaurant customer says new scam is on the rise where diners try to split the bill with you

'I'm sitting alone for a reason.'


Beau Paul


Posted on Dec 13, 2023   Updated on Dec 13, 2023, 4:43 pm CST

Here’s the scenario: You’re eating alone in a busy restaurant, and a stranger approaches you, asking you to share your table. Do you assume they’re just trying to score a seat in a popular eatery, or do you think they have a more sinister motive?

One New York City diner found herself in that situation recently, and according to her recent TikTok post, she feels like she narrowly avoided being scammed. But did she do a good job of protecting herself, or was she being needlessly paranoid?

NYC resident and TikToker Taylor (@paretay) told her story in a video posted on Monday. In it, she describes a stranger who attempted to share her table at the popular Chinatown dim sum parlor, Nom Wah. Her description of the customer’s shady behavior has since picked up over 430,800 views and counting.

“I think I was almost scammed,” she tells her viewers. “I was looking super unapproachable—head in my book, sunglasses on, hat down—the whole nine.”

“This woman taps me on the shoulder and says, ‘Are you eating alone too?'” she continues. The woman then asked if she could sit with Taylor because the restaurant wouldn’t let her order tea since she would not be ordering food.

Taylor said the situation reminded her of a TikTok she had seen warning about a possible scam. She states that the video warned of a man approaching a woman in “a really fancy restaurant in New York City.”

“The guy ended up getting the girl to spend, like, hundreds of dollars where they’re gonna split it,” she says. “And then he ended up paying only twenty, and it was a huge scam.”

With that in mind, she told the woman attempting to share her table, “Yeah, I don’t mind you sitting there, but, you know, I’m not going to split the bill with you.”

“She goes, like, ‘Oh, that’s not gonna work, and she just scurries away. And I just couldn’t help but wonder, ‘What was the deal here?'” she concludes.

It is unclear how sharing the bill would have resulted in one party paying the majority of any bill— unless the woman was planning on sneaking out of the restaurant before the check dropped.

Nevertheless, most viewers commenting on the video felt that Taylor’s behavior was justified.

@paretay Story time #nyc #scams #fypシ ♬ Brunch (Lofi) – Muspace Lofi

“Yea you were definitely about to be scammed her reaction was sus. Glad you spoke up,” one viewer wrote.

“She doesn’t need to go to a restaurant to have tea. Surely there are cafes and even tea shops in NYC,” a second said. Another replied, “Dunkin even has tea and is cheap. She definitely wanted food lol.”

“Nah cause wym ‘that’s not gonna work’ she said she wasn’t gonna order anything,” another viewer added.

One viewer commented that the suspicious woman wouldn’t have gotten past her first question with her. “Nope. Heck no. No one’s sitting with me. I’m sitting alone for a reason,” they noted.

Another commenter stated that they also recalled the TikTok Taylor referred to in her video. Hailey (@haiesssss) wrote, “I saw that TikTok too she was at Don Angie and ordered their famous lasagna.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Taylor for comment via TikTok direct message. She stated, “I don’t have the original TikTok unfortunately.” The Daily Dot was unable to locate any TikTok about a scam of this nature in its research.

Share this article
*First Published: Dec 13, 2023, 5:00 pm CST