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Scams targeting hotel guests.....


THE SET UP: You arrive at your hotel and check in at the front desk. When checking in, you give the front desk your credit card. You get to your room and settle in.

Your hotel room phone rings. You answer and the person on the other end says the following, "This is the front desk. When checking in, we came across a problem with your charge card information. Please re-read me your credit card number and verify the last 3 digits on the reverse side of your charge card.

Not thinking that anything might be amiss, you give this person your information. After all, the call seems to come from the front desk.

THE SCAM: Someone calls from outside the hotel and asks for a random room number. If it's your room, then when you answer the phone, the caller asks for your credit card. They sound so professional that you do think you are talking to the front desk. They don't even have to leave home to perpetrate this scam. And now they have your credit card information and can create all kinds of havoc for you.

YOUR RESPONSE: If you ever encounter this problem on a trip, tell the caller that you will come down to the front desk to clear up any credit card problems. Then, go to the front desk and ask about the call. If the front desk in fact had not called you, tell the hotel's manager on duty that someone impersonating a front desk employee called and tried to trick you into giving out your credit card information. You can also perhaps save yourself a trip to the front desk by saying goodbye to the caller without revealing any information and calling the front desk to ask if anyone there is looking for you. If the front desk says that they want some credit card information, still go to the desk and discuss the questions in person.

Our sources tell us that properly trained hotel front desk personnel will never ask a guest to give credit card information over the phone but will always request that the guest come to the desk to resolve any such questions in person. If you receive a call asking for credit card information from someone who says he (or she) is calling from the front desk, assume that the caller is trying to obtain information that you should not reveal.

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