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Hotel Reception Phone Scam: Read This if You’re Taking a Vacation Soon



30 Oct 2015

There have been reports around the country of scammers calling vacationers in their hotel rooms and asking for their credit card information. We'll go over what the hotel reception phone scam is and how to avoid it.

Hotel phone

How the Hotel Reception Phone Scam Works

These scammers pretend that they are hotel staff and that there’s been an issue with the computer system. The call will usually come in the early morning hours to try and catch the person off guard.

If the call wakes the vacationer and they pick up, they are told that the computer systems are malfunctioning and that the hotel has lost their record of their credit card. They are then asked to give their credit card information via the phone or come down to the lobby to give the information. Most guests choose to give their information via phone as they’ve just been woken up and don’t want the hassle.

Oftentimes, the caller will be very apologetic for having bothered the guest at such an inconvenient hour. They will also usually offer the guest a discount on their stay for the inconvenience.

The “receptionist” will be very polite and very convincing. However, in reality, the hotel’s billing system hasn’t gone down, nor has a hotel employee actually even called the guest. Someone outside of the hotel looking to steal some credit card numbers.

The reason the “receptionist” is calling might vary, but their end game will always be the same, to get your credit card info.

How to Avoid the Scam

The Better Business Bureau has come up with a few tips to protect yourself from this type of scam. In our opinion, the best way to avoid the scam is to go down to the lobby if you get a call to your room from reception, and remember to not give out personal information if someone calls and asks you for it.

Another way to avoid this scam is by spreading the word and telling friends and family members. The more people who know about it the less likely that the scammers will succeed in pulling their con off. You can do this by downloading CallerSmart's iPhone phone number lookup app and leaving your feedback on scam numbers, or buy running an unknown number lookup on our website. 

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