It's astounding that we have people in this town who are so dishonest that they would walk out of a restaurant without paying.
A local restaurant owner alerted this newspaper to the practice of dining and dashing and he fears it will only get worse as the Rugby World Cup nears.
On Saturday night, Latitude 37 owner Craig Cameron had three groups of patrons walk out without paying. By the looks of the security footage, one group of women was well aware of what they were doing.
Some people may make a genuine mistake, they may get caught up in the festivities of a night out on the town and forget to pay, but any decent person would return the next day and settle their bill.
Or has society forgotten the art of good manners?
On occasion, a diner may feel their meal was not worthy of paying but this gives them no excuse to be dishonest in the way they deal with it.
The right thing to do would be to raise it with the restaurant manager or owner - but it must be done at the time.
It is not fair to ask them to remedy the situation the next day, as is the case in a separate scam also hitting local eateries.
Mount Mainstreet manager Leanne Brown says this scammer operates by phoning cafes the next day complaining of finding a hair in food or coffee. The person claims the cafe was too busy to deal with a complaint so calls and asks for a refund to be put into a bank account. When offered a cash refund in person, the scammer hung up.
Already this sounds dubious but the woman says she found a hair in four separate coffees, which surely must be too coincidental to be true.
Common themes on all occasions led Ms Brown to believe it is the same woman targeting the businesses.
As World Cup visitors land on our shores, and with it increased restaurant patronage, business owners need to be on alert to scams and other dishonest behaviour.
If pre-paying for meals is what it takes, then patrons must be understanding.
Ripping businesses off is unfair at the best of times, let alone in a tough economic climate.
These scammers should be ashamed of their actions.