Health authorities are warning restaurant owners in the Lower Mainland to watch out for scammers posing as restaurant inspectors, likely to steal personal information.

According to Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Fraser Health, shops are receiving phone calls from phony health inspectors threatening fines for not scheduling inspections.

“All we know is (the scam) is obviously to circumvent something,” said Richard Taki, regional director of Health Protection for VCH. “It’s been going on in various provinces.”

Taki said Environmental Health Officers don’t schedule inspections, which are almost always unannounced.

Tim Shum, regional director of Health Protection for Fraser Health, said unless there’s an immediate health hazard, restaurants have a chance to rectify a violation before being ticketed.

“We do not issue a violation ticket to a restaurant operator for failing to schedule an inspection,” he added.