Beware! 3 Hotel Credit Card Scams

Let's be clear about this: Hotels are NOT trying to scam you.

But creative con artists who target hotel guests may try to scam you by stealing your money or your identity or both, so you best beware these three scams uncovered by the Federal Trade Commission and reported by Consumer Reports.

1. "Sir, this is the front desk. May we verify your credit card number?"
The telephone rings in your hotel room. You pick it up. It's the clerk at the front desk, informing you there is a problem with your credit card information. You are asked to provide it again. Don't do it! It could be a scammer trying to get your credit card number, expiration date and the all-important three-digit security code on the back.

  • What you should do instead: Never provide billing information over the hotel room phone.. Go to the front desk and take care of it person.

    2. Are you hungry?
    Scammers can troll the halls of a hotel, slipping food delivery flyers under the door. But these are fake. The con artists are luring you to order a pizza or carry-out sandwiches and give your credit card info over the phone. The result? You're still hungry and you just lost your credit card.

  • What you should do instead: Check with the front desk to make sure the restaurant is legit and insist on paying upon delivery of the food.

    3. Beware a "sound-alike" wireless network.
    After you get to your room and unpack, chances are you'll search for the hotel's wireless network on your laptop or mobile phone. Be careful! You may find a network with the name of the hotel or something similar, but that network may not belong to the hotel at all. Instead, it's a scammer trying to steal your information that it intercepts over the rogue connection.

  • What you should do instead: Ask at the front desk for specific information on how to log on to the wireless network. Even then, use caution since public Wi-Fi hotspots can be used by scammers to collect user information.

    --From the Editors at Netscape

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