The local health departments do not charge facilities an "inspection fee" and would not request credit card information.
Hamilton County Public Health has received reports from some food service operators it inspects and licenses, as well as from around the State of Ohio, about a scam relating to food service inspections. A caller contacts a food service operator, claims to be with a health department and asks for credit card information to cover the cost of inspections.
“We will never ask for credit card information,” says Hamilton County Health Commissioner Tim Ingram. “Our inspections are part of our service to the more than 2,800 food service operations we license and we do not charge operators for inspections. In addition, all of our field personnel have county-issued identification, assuring operators that they are with Hamilton County Public Health. Don’t hesitate to ask to see identification and never give your credit card information to anyone claiming to be with a health department,” Ingram adds.
Food service operators approached with this scam should contact their local police agencies. You may also call the Ohio Attorney General at 800-282-0515.