4 Scary Hotel Scams - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog

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4 Scary Hotel Scams

How to avoid getting conned by these common scams, while at your hotel.

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4 Scary Hotel Scams

Don’t give info over the phone, go down to the front desk

Credit Card Issues?

Another scary way to get your credit card information stolen is this common scenario; you give your CC info to the front desk to apply any room charges to, as always. Later, you get a call from the concierge asking to confirm your credit card info over the phone (a huge no-no), as there was a problem when they entered it. In reality, you’ve been contacted by someone who called the front desk and asked for a room number that happened to be yours, and they’re pretending to be the front desk to get your information and steal your identity. There’s no way to tell that the call is coming from outside the hotel, because the perpetrator puts on a professional front. To avoid this disaster, tell them you’ll come downstairs to confirm it in person. Then go down or call the front desk directly to make sure it’s legit. You may be half asleep and not in the mood, but it’s better than having your identity stolen.

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Sarah enlightens us on a daily basis with the newest trends as (and often before) they transpire. She is the consummate globe trotter. Having traveled to over 70 countries, she earns her living writing, blogging and modeling while on the road. In her spare time she gets manicures, suntans on yachts in Greece, shops for even more shoes, and lives in the limelight. She loves photography, elephants, sailboats, bangles and ballet flats.

Reader Discussion: 114 Comments

  1. Helena Lowson

    Wow, some of those scams look unrealistic, that’s just crazy how people are unscrupulous. Most of my hotel experiences were good but sometimes I had issues with TV or bathroom and the front desk didn’t want to hear about it…And they still charge you for these services!

  2. Emma Blackwood

    Good advice about scams that I have never heard of before. I’d like to add one thing though, what about the daily charge scam to use the hotel Wi Fi in the room that you paid for while the lobby access is free?

  3. Carol Warren

    I always avoid mini bar charges by asking if the items are free or chargeable. Overseas, many items were free. When I check out, I always ask for the clerk to check the mini bar so that there are not surprises on the bill.

  4. Evangeline H. Lopez

    I can agree with the water paragraph. I actually did that and didn’t see the little card on the table that said 5.50. Really? $5.50 for a bottle of water. Okay so I went to the gas station and bought the same exact one for $0.89 and there you have it. I’m sure that $4.61 mark-up is worth not having me back……EVER.

  5. Joyce McClendon

    If you are staying in an area where the water is not safe, buy your bottled water BEFORE you get to the hotel. Buy it at a grocery store, that way it’s cheap.

    • Good idea! I think some hotels fill their own bottles with minimally-filtered tap water and sell it, so better to get spring water.

  6. Sharry Lennon

    The front desk demands a credit card. The next day a call comes from the credit card asking if I used the card at a big box store 100 miles away. So I’m fearful of giving the credit card to the motel, but i have no choice.

    • You’re not responsible for those charges, but it’s a pain for sure. It’s hard to get a replacement card while you’re traveling!

  7. Sonja Fallow

    Would it be so hard for Disney to have a person check the hotel room after the cleaning staff has been in there. If the flyers are there… fire that cleaning person.

  8. Sydney Nowak

    Some good advice but I can never understand why people are so willing to give their credit card info over the phone! Bring some cash and pay for the pizza with cash!

  9. If the hotel needed your credit card information, they would have gotten it at check in. I have never paid for a pizza over the phone. I have always paid cash to the delivery person. I wouldnt have it any other way.

  10. Berna Goodwin

    Two things I always do when I get to a hotel: unplug the phone and unplug the clock. For an emergency, I have my cell phone, for the time and an alarm, I have my cell phone. If the hotel has a problem with something, it can wait until morning – and, come to think of it, they have my cell phone number.

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