East Yorkshire MP, Sir Greg Knight is warning restaurant and pub customers not to part with their credit cards when setting up a ‘tab’.

Sir Greg said that recently, on asking to open up a tab at a pub restaurant, an East Yorkshire constituent was told he must leave his credit card behind the bar in a wooden box, which was then placed underneath the bar by a member of staff. He was told he would only have the card returned to him when he settled the account.

“In this case the box itself was not locked, could be accessed by other members of staff, and was out of sight of the customer”.

The MP adds: “This is a high risk procedure and one which most card companies would disapprove of. I am concerned that this practice is happening in East Yorkshire and I would strongly advise anyone who wishes to open a bar tab not to part with their card. Allowing it to be used for a swipe and later for settling the bill when the customer is present throughout, is acceptable, but allowing an unknown person to take your card away from you and then keep it in an unlocked container behind the bar, is risky and clearly open to abuse and fraud.’

Sir Greg concludes: “If anything goes wrong, it is likely the card companies will blame the cardholder -and not the bar -for failing to take reasonable care, leaving the customer out of pocket.”

“If any restaurant or bar asks you to leave your card with them in an environment which is not secure, then there is only one of two answers: pay cash or go somewhere else!”