Identity thieves love to target the hospitality sector because there is a lot of secure records that are collected and stored which include - credit card information and personally identifiable information (PII).
Hotel guests may not even know that they are being targeted directly by these fraudsters.
Make sure to be aware of these 5 surprising hotel scams.
- Bogus Courtesy Call: Guests who have just checked in are often given "courtesy calls', to make sure everything is in order. Scammers are aware of this and may just do the same. Be leary of when the "front desk" caller is asking for your card information again because it was declined and needs to be re-verified. Avoid this scam: It is not common for hotel clerks to ask for your credit information over the phone. Be sure to go to the front desk yourself if this happens.
- Emergency After-Hours Call: At a Dallas, Texas Inn hotels guests were contacted by the "front desk" at 2:30 am, this happened a few years ago. They were advised that the computer had an unexpected error and credit card information needed to be re-verified before an audit that would happen at 3 am. Avoid this scam: Never give out your credit card information over the phone, especially in an urgent or unexpected situation. Go to the front desk to make sure this is happening.
- Room Service Scam: Do you ever want to have food delivered to your room? Fraudsters are making menu's that look very convincing and sliding them under the room doors. If you order off this menu, you must then pay with a credit card... but the food is never delivered. Avoid this scam: Contact the staff first to make sure this restaurant is at the hotel and you do an internet search to verify it's credibility.
- Booking Online: Identity thieves are making websites look just like the actual website you would book your stay at (fake phone numbers, hotel name, and pictures) - but are not the real thing. The hotel scammers are then able to get all of your confidential information, unbeknownst to you after booking your stay. Avoid this scam: Make sure to use sites that are reputable or contact the hotel personally. Always check the website's URL ('https://' and a lock symbol in the search bar will show that the site is secure).
- Free Wi'Fi Scam: Hotspots are usually in hotel lobbies and provided for the rooms. Beware of wireless internet skimming scams that appear to be "free Wi-Fi' or something of the same sort. While there is no password required and the connection is free, all your personal information is being routed back to the thieves computer. Avoid this scam: Contact the front desk and make sure to find out what their network is called for the hotel and how you should be able to access it. Verify that it is a secure connection and if at all possible use a virtual private network (VPN).
Be sure to always protect your personal information while traveling as well as your mobile device.
Start Protecting Your Business
To learn more about how Mobile Record Shredders can protect your documents and hard drives, please contact us to get a free quote.