October 29, 2013- Your BBB serving Central California is warning consumers who are or might be doing some early Holiday traveling to safeguard their credit card information from people claiming to work for the hotel where they are staying.
The "front desk scam" is especially popular during peak travel times. The scam itself is simple.
You arrive at your hotel and check in at the front desk. While checking in, you give your credit card information to the front desk clerk for all the charges that will be applied for your room.
Once you are in your room settled in, you receive a call from someone at the front desk asking for Room 260, which happens to be your room. Once they have you on the phone the person on the other end says, "This is the front desk."" When checking in, we came across a problem with your credit card information." They ask you to re-read your credit card number so they can verify the last 3 security digits on the back side of your credit card.
The caller is NOT the front desk, the caller is actually someone calling from outside of the hotel/front desk.
Most hotels will not transfer a call to a room unless the caller can supply the name that matches with the room. However, slick talkers have been known to slide past even the most attentive hotel operators, especially if they are busy at the moment.
If you ever encounter this problem on your vacation, tell the caller that you will go down to the front desk to clear up any problems. Then, go to the front desk and ask if there was a problem. If there was none, inform the manager of the hotel that someone called to scam you out of your credit card information by pretending to be a front desk clerk.