‘Absolute idiot’: Coronavirus prank sparks outrage
A teenage prankster who stole customer details from a Noosa takeaway for an "idiotic joke" has sparked calls for more consistency around contact tracing.
Fiona Noakes, who manages the Red Emperor Fish and Chips on Gympie Terrace, said a teenage boy took details from a paper form and called a customer telling them the restaurant "had COVID".
"I got a message that a customer had called (the restaurant) and that someone had rung him and said we had coronavirus, and we had to close down," she told the Sunshine Coast Daily.
The quick-thinking customer kept the caller's phone number and immediately called Red Emperor to confirm.
Ms Noakes said she called the prankster back and demanded an explanation, but all she got was an excuse that the teen's cousin had stolen the details.
"It's just a young person being an absolute idiot," she said.
Ms Noakes threatened to involve police, but told the boy she would leave authorities out unless she received more calls from customers.
She said she'd heard of other Coast businesses having customer details stolen from contact tracing forms, but this was the first "prank".
"In my day, (pranks) were a lot more innocent," she said.
Ms Noakes said she understood contact tracing was essential but businesses and customers should be aware of the risks.
She also said there needed to be more consistency around how long details should be kept.
"People also need to give the correct details," she said.
"We just have to keep it up so we don't end up like Victoria."
Red Emperor is now trialling a QR code-based system as a safer method of keeping customers' details.