When you staying at a hotel, you have to hand over your credit card to the front desk. So if you get a room call asking for additional credit card details, you might not think much of it. But chances are, this is a scam.
Photo by (vincent desjardins).
Here’s how it works: thieves call hotel rooms pretending to be hotel managers and ask guests for credit card information. One Redditor shared this particular experience:
Sunday morning at 10:30 my hotel phone rings and it’s the manager letting me know their computer system is down at the moment…He lets me know that because the system is down they’re a few hours behind on recovering data. He confirmed my room number and offered me an extended checkout (which sounded great from the hangover) and also offered to comp our least expensive night’s stay for the inconvenience. He mentioned there were 30+ people in the checkout line and offered to check me out via the phone and said I could leave my keys as I left. He asked me to confirm my credit card number and I got a little hesitant and said I would feel more comfortable providing that in person.
Consumer Affairs reported on a variation of this scam recently, too. But instead of a free room comp, the scammer tells guests their cards aren’t working and asks them to give their info over the phone. Consumer Affairs suggested this general rule of thumb for avoiding scams like this:
Whether you’re getting scammy phone calls in your own home or hotel room, or checking messages in your email inbox, always remember the anti-scam rule “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” If you want to call the hotel front desk because you think there might be some problem with your payment card, go ahead and call them. But if someone claiming to be from the front desk calls you — don’t believe it.
And the bottom line: at a hotel, you should never have to give this info over the phone. Check out the full post for more detail.
Hotel guests: be on guard for the “front desk scam” [Consumer Affairs]