Published on Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Beware the dangerous pizza menus

Those restaurant fliers in hotel rooms are a threat to visitors in tourist-dependent areas such as Orlando and some want a crackdown on the practice, says a local newspaper.

Danger of pizza menus?

“The handouts are really said to be a ruse by criminals to convince hungry tourists to give out their names, credit-card information and hotel room number,” say proponents of a new law proposed in the state legislature.

Powerful Disney World is sponsoring legislation designed to stop the “dangerous” practice.

The proposed legislation would make it easier for police to arrest people who illegally distribute these fliers in hotels. It would allow police to seize the workers' cars, as is allowed in drug-related cases.

“It would not affect the distribution of materials from legitimate companies such as Pizza Hut that have contracts with hotels and permission to be on the property,” said the Orlando Sentinel.

A year ago, the St. Petersburg Times quoted State Rep. Kevin Ambler, R-Tampa, as describing the pizza flier ruse as a “problem of epidemic proportions.”

Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, however, called it "ridiculous" to jail people for passing out fliers in hotels, particularly when the state faces a nearly $4 billion budget shortfall.

By David Wilkening

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