Scammers are getting smarter and scams are getting more elaborate by the day. It was only not too long ago that our Singapore Food Blog wrote about a friend of ours who suffered a case of credit card fraud and had his life savings wiped out when he was out of town (Read 9 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fraud & Identity Theft when Traveling).
While scary, these are very real threats that travelers and tourist alike face on a day to day basis whenever we travel. Livelaughtravel.net recently came to hear about the latest Hotel Scam and it just seem so smart yet so cunning at the same time.
The hotel scam works like this:
Like how each time after you arrive at your designated hotel, the hotel staff would usually ask you for your credit card details and/or for some, block out a certain amount of charge on your credit card. You oblige, allow them to swipe it, get your room key and head back to your room as per normal.
While in your room, you hear your hotel phone ring, you pick it up and the person on the line explains that they are calling from the front desk. They explain that there has been some error in processing your credit card information and would need you to verify your credit card numbers and the last 3 digits on the back of your card. Slightly panicky at the error, you read it out to them as requested, afterall, it is the front desk.
Nothing seems wrong till a month later when you actually get your credit card bill and see a whole bunch of stuff you did not sign for.
Truth is, the person that called you was never the front desk. All the person did was call the hotel’s concierge and had them redirect the call to a random room number, and it so happens to be yours. But because we don’t get much calls in our hotel room, we blindly believe it was from the front desk and gave all that information that is enough for someone to do some credit card fraud and pay for things with your details.
While this has never personally happened to our Travel Blog and we cannot verify the accuracy of this scam, it does sound very possible and very likely. This scam is supposedly being spread by someone who have had this happen to them and is now in the midst of clearing the aftermath.
What we do recommend people to do if you ever receive such a call is to tell the person on the other line that you have noted the issue and would instead personally head down to the front desk to clarify and clear up any issues there might be with your credit card. And when you do get to the front desk, explain to them and ask if there was indeed a problem with it. If there wasn’t, let them know that a scammer tried to call you for your information whilst acting like a hotel employee. Work with them and report this to the local authorities if need be. We are sure that neither you nor the hotel would want other people to fall prey to this.
We have did our part in sharing this with you and should help do the same. Share this article & spread the awareness about this hotel scam with all your family, friends and loved ones to warn them about this very real danger and teach them what they should do if it ever happens.
They will be so thankful you shared this article with them.