Credit card fraud is not only inconvenient, it’s a costly, frustrating and potentially life-altering experience. For those that have fallen victim, the impact can be significant – affecting many different areas of their life. A report out of the Identity Theft Resource Center revealed that 55% of victims had to miss time from work, 44% reported missing out on an employment opportunity, and 29.5% were pushed to the point of requiring government assistance to get through the days, weeks and months following the crime.
Scam artists are abundant in today’s society, continually coming up with new ways to fool unsuspecting victims into handing over their private information. From falsified emails, claiming to be sent by major companies, banks, and foreign dignitaries, to elaborate phone calls offering technical support – You can never be too careful!
A new scam has recently surfaced in hotels across the country, praying on hotel guests shortly after they check in. In most hotels guests are required to provide their credit card in order to check in, both for room charges as well as a necessary security deposit for potential damages. The card isn’t retained by the hotel at this time, however, they merely take the card information returning it to the cold holder.
After you check in and head up to your room, the scammers call the hotel requesting to speak with your specific room number. While many hotels will refuse to put random calls through like this unless they can provide the name of the person staying in the room, if the hotel in question is a little more lax on this subject, or if the front desk attendant is, the call may be put through to your room – to the unsuspecting victim.
When you answer the phone, the person on the other end is professional, stating that they are calling from the front desk. At this point, they explain that there has been an error. They may say that there was a problem with the card information, or that there was a glitch in the computer causing the information to be lost. Ultimately, they request your full credit card information including the security code on the back of the card. Unaware that this isn’t the hotel, the victim hands over this information in good faith, literally feeding all of their card information to the scammer directly.
Experts say that there are steps that you can take to keep yourself safe. If someone calls claiming to be the front desk asking for your information, refuse to provide it over the phone. Instead, offer to bring the card down to the front desk. If you do receive a call, ensure that you report the situation to the hotel manager ASAP.
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