Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Front Desk Trick

Just wanted to alert you all to a new travel scam that's becoming quite wide-spread apparently. Here's how it works:

In the middle of the night, the phone rings in the hotel room. The person at the other end says that they're from the front desk. "We're having difficulty processing your room payment, " he says and then requests that the guest give him his credit card information once again over the phone so that he can check that the hotel has it down correctly. Usually the guest, not wanting to get dressed again to go downstairs (and often half asleep) complies without question.

As you may have guessed, the phone call isn't from within the hotel. Its an outsider randomly calling rooms, phishing for information.

What to do if this happens to you:
  • Tell the person that you'll call them back at the front desk, hang up and call downstairs to make sure the call was legit. Often that's all it will take to suss out this scam.
  • Or, better yet, get dressed and head down to the front desk just to make sure that everything's okay. You want to keep your credit card in your sight as much as possible when on vacation, so this may be the better approach.
Safe travels all!