Dry-cleaning services grew in popularity in the early 1930s due to a petroleum shortage during World War II. Scammers took advantage of companies by taking a bill from legitimate dry cleaners and making a thousand copies of it.

Scam trivia: Bogus Dry-Cleaning Bill Scam, the oldest scam
Scam trivia: Bogus Dry-Cleaning Bill Scam, the oldest scam

They would then send these bills to upscale restaurants and hotels, claiming that the victim’s restaurant spilled food, coffee, or wine on a guest’s expensive suit. Since the dry-cleaning bills were usually modest, the restaurants and hotels would usually pay it with no questions asked. 

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