How Safe is Your Credit Card while you're in your Hotel Room?
Published On March 2nd, 2008

Most would answer “very safe” because the card is right there with you, either tucked securely in a wallet or locked in the safe. But beware…it might not be as protected as you think. There’s a scam lurking about hotels, and it’s not coming from hotel employees–it’s from people outside the hotel altogether.

Here’s how it works:The phone in your room rings and the person on the other end identifies themselves as someone from the front desk. They say there is a problem with your credit card and the number needs to be verified. You cooperatively pass along the information, and don’t think about it again until the monthly statement arrives with a slew of charges that are not yours.

Suddenly you realize while on vacation or caught up in an important business trip, you were scammed! So how do these people get to your room if they don’t know your name? They simply call the hotel and randomly ask for room numbers until they can get through to a person in the room, or they ask for a hotel guest with a common last name like “Smith” until the connection is made. One way or another, they get through and scam hotel guests.If a call is ever made to your hotel room requesting credit card information, taking just one precautionary step will confirm whether or not the call is a legitimate one. Simply ask for the hotel employee’s name and tell them you will come down to the front desk and provide the credit card information. Asking for the name may cause the scammer to panic and hang up–but even if a name is given, take the time to go to the front desk and confirm the call.According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, hotels never ask for credit card information over the phone. So, chances are good that receiving a call like this is a scam, and taking the time to walk down to the front desk will confirm whether there really is a problem with your card.

Be on guard for anyone asking for your credit card number over the phone, and ensure that you can enjoy your vacation or focus on that business trip with the peace of mind that you are not getting scammed.

 

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