4 Scary Hotel Scams

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


No matter where in the world your wanderlust (or career) may take you, one of the best things about traveling is staying in a hotel. There are so many beautiful hotels around the world with great service, amazing amenities, and striking architecture – and we’ve written about many of them. Even so, hotels can be a breeding ground for thieves and scammers. Here are the four top worldwide hotel scams:

4 Scary Hotel Scams

Don’t let your credit cards get cancelled while abroad because of theft

Fake Menus

Great! A local pizzeria slipped their flier under your hotel room door, now you won’t have to look any further for dinner. False. You’re about to hand over your name and credit card info to an identity thief posing as a pizzeria. This run of the mill scam is so popular, it’s even seen at Disney World of all places. If you want some low-key food to order in, ask the hotel for a recommendation instead. Before ordering anything, always check with the front desk to see if these are legitimate restaurants, or use Google to find local restaurants, and pay in cash. Never use your credit card over the phone.

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Avatar of Sarah Woodstock

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: 134 Comments

  1. Avatar of kristina Ulitka

    Is this for real? Some of it are very obvious that it’s a scam. Anyone who is smart enough will recognize that it’s fake. How many idiots can get scammed with these things? I easily suspect scams whenever it includes CC details. I would never give anyone my CC details especially when traveling. Even the front desk doesn’t even ask these things because they’re safety protocols. Anyway, I just really hope that nobody gets scammed now because this article says it all!

    • Avatar of Dixie Hawall

      Dixie Hawall

      This is for real. Believe it or not, people actually get scammed.

  2. Avatar of Cora Watson

    Cora Watson

    I hate these desperate scammers. Why can’t they just make a proper living instead of leeching on someone else’s money.?

  3. Avatar of Johanna Fletcher

    Johanna Fletcher

    I don’t want to be scammed in a country where I don’t know other people because I’m on a vacation. I would literally not be able to come home if that happens to me.

  4. Avatar of Tasha Daniel

    Tasha Daniel

    Hahah, the hotel bottled water. Always the easiest scam to fall for. The price list is a lie too because it usually comes with a huge service charge.

  5. Avatar of Laura Mendoza

    Laura Mendoza

    I always travel with friends because I can’t be trusted alone. I don’t know, I guess I trust people too easily.?

    • Avatar of Miriam Love

      Miriam Love

      That will seriously be the death of you.

  6. Avatar of Catherine Hogan

    Catherine Hogan

    Bottled waters in hotels really are crazy expensive. I always sneak bottled waters from convenience stores whenever I would travel because I definitely don’t want to spend so much money over bottled water. There was this one time that I accidentally drank the bottled water from the hotel instead of the one that I bought outside and I had to pay x10 of the amount of the actual water bottle. It even has service charge that I don’t know where it came from. I was so pissed!

  7. Avatar of RUTH


    That is really scary. I also don’t think that you should withdraw money in places that look unsafe. There can be credit card scanners in the area. Maybe using money changers are better.

  8. Avatar of Inez Huff

    Inez Huff

    If anyone gets scammed by something like this, it would be their fault. Seriously, be careful. Unless it was a really tricky scam, I don’t think it would be very easy to fall prey to.

  9. Avatar of Colleen Mcbride

    Colleen Mcbride

    You’re supposed to be safety conscious when you travel. Don’t be such an unsuspecting traveler that hopes for the best. Secure your belongings and this includes your card and your cash.?

    • Avatar of Eloise Hines

      Eloise Hines

      Exactly. I don’t trust everything that gets handed to me. I ask a lot of questions and do a lot of verifying. If something seems too good to be true, I disregard it.

  10. Avatar of Judith Estrada

    Judith Estrada

    Geez, of course hotels won’t do inspections of your hotel when you’re checked in. Those are obviously scams. As you can see, most of these scams are because of credit cards, so make sure you avoid using your card wih unecessary purchases that can be easily purchased with cash. While it looks very classy to keep bringing your credit card out, you don’t want to get scammed in a foreigh country and you don’t want to end up being broke because of that.

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