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Adam Levin spoke with ABC World News Tonight and Nightline Host Linsey Davis at New York’s Hotel Beacon about common hotel scams targeting travelers this year. Summer travel season is winding down, but before it’s over scammers will be staying busy targeting tourists whose guard is down. While you’re thinking of rest and relaxation, bear in mind the host of scams that could leave you high and dry.
Hotel guests especially need to be on high alert for these 3 scams:
1) “The Middle of the Night Phone Scam”
Hold the phone! A guest is resting in their room and is startled awake by a call in the middle of the night explaining that there is a problem with their credit card and they must provide updated information over the phone or risk losing their room. The first instinct may be to immediately comply, but stop! Never give out credit card information over the phone. Go downstairs to the front desk and verify that a hotel rep called you, because more often then not it’s a crafty scammer on the other line.
2) “The Pizza Scam”
Room service is expensive and the hotel kitchen closes early. A guest may have a taste for a pepperoni pizza and call the number on the flyer left under their door. To complete the order, they provide credit card information over the phone, but the trick is the pizza is a now show and now the guest is out a lot of dough. Even if the flyer looks legit, to be on the safe side, it’s best to request menus from the front desk.
3) The Fake WiFi Scam
Free in room WiFi is usually one of the perks of staying in a nice hotel. A guest may login to check their email on what they think is the hotel’s WiFi, when really it’s a rogue network set up by a hacker in the lobby or across the street who now can log their key strokes and gain access to confidential personal and financial information. Double check to see that the login information has the correct spelling of the hotel name and that the network is secure. This is doubly the case when using hotel business centers, which can be harboring malware.
We are all guilty of being distracted while on vacation, isn’t that the point? But don’t be so caught up in lounging by the pool with umbrella drinks that you become the prey of these predatory scam artists. They can clean out your bank account in the blink of an eye and their version of hospitality definitely does not come with a chocolate on your pillow.