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Terrible Check-out Scam!

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by V.C., Aug 22, 2014.

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  1. V.C.

    V.C. Tourist

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    I'm not sure if you folks have already heard of this scam as it was written in the hotelChatter.com website on March 10th of this year but I thought that it would be a good idea to put it up for your information...

    1 BIG THING TO AVOID

    This terrible check-out scam that a VegasChatter writer encountered at Planet Hollywood. Here's what happened:

    Prior to departing this Sunday, the phone in our friend's room rang. A woman on the line asked specifically by name for one of the guests in the room. When he wasn't available, they asked, again by name, for the other person staying in the room. The latter was the person who made the reservation, checked in first with their credit card and happened to be the one answering the call.

    The caller explained she was from the front desk and apologized that the hotel systems crashed that morning and automatic checkout would be unavailable. The caller further stated that, to expedite checkout, she would need to obtain the credit card used for the room. She went even further to state her "employee number" and put a male manager on the phone. All while keyboard clicks and "lobby noise" in the background added up to making the call sound pretty damn official. But, it didn't stop there. To further reassure this guest, she offered to hang up so that our friend could dial zero to call back and be connected to the front desk to complete the transaction. Scammers wouldn't do that, right? But wait, there's more! The "employee" offered a 50% discount on the room for the inconvenience. (We would've asked for the resort fee to be waived, too!)

    After, unfortunately, providing his credit card number, the caller then asked for the three digit security code on the back of the card. Luckily, a red flag went off at this point and our friend provided an incorrect security code. After hanging up, he dialed the front desk who confirmed that, yes, he had been scammed and would need to come down and fill out a police report. Both the officer on the scene and Planet Hollywood security admitted this is a scam happening all over town and they have no idea yet how the scammers are getting guest names and matching them to the correct room numbers.

    Kinda scary that they can do something like this! :grrr:
     
  2. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    And that's why i like comped rooms. I will be staying at PHO this Sunday. I booked online a few months ago and since i'm comped there is no CC info whatsoever. When i check in, all i really need is my ID. Maybe $20 in cash if i want to be upgraded.
    Upon checking out, i have a choice of paying cash, doing both, or just leaving it on the CC, which allows me to avoid the line. But this is done in person.
    Even if God called and wanted my CC number, i wouldn't give it to her/him. God has enough to worry about with the Kartrashians.

    That's why i pay cash for almost everything. If i don't have the cash needed at the moment, i'll wait till i get some. Plus, i use a secured CC at the Credit Union, my balance is tiny, and it's paid off immediately. So if someone wants to rip me off, well, it's just pocket change.
    Addiction is a disease, gambling, alcohol/drugs, food,..........and debt.
     
  3. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    The talking heads on the TV news were telling of a similar scam the other night. Apparently they phone and say to give the CC or else vacate the room. I really don't see how anyone falls for this, unless they are unfamiliar with how hotels work.

    Another scam they reported on was the pizza flyers. You know, those ones under your door when you get back late at night. Apparently a bunch of them just take your CC and run. No pizza!
     
  4. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    This is actually a pretty old scam.

    To be clear: this is a real scam and it does actually happen, but that the poster on hotelChatter says it happened on the day their friend was checking out has me more thinking that this instance is more a case of they read about the scam and are recounting it as something that happened to their friend because it would be extremely rare to actually happen on the day somebody was checking out.

    How the scam works is: when somebody is checking to the hotel the scammer would try to get in the check in line behind them and listen in to their checking in to try and get the customer's name and room number. Then when the guest goes to the elevators and up to their room they wait a few minutes and then call the room from the house phone in the lobby (to get lobby noises in the background), ask for the guest by name and then tell the guest they are from the front desk and there was a problem with their credit card and they need the number again.

    To combat this what the hotels have been doing for a few years now is they write the guests room number down on a piece of paper as part of the check in package and give that to the guest and don't say the guests room number out loud while they are checking in.
     
  5. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    good thing i'm old school and wait in line at the desk to check out
     
  6. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    I am very suspicious and would have said I would come down to the lobby to handle it. But with that being said I can see how it would be easy to get scammed like this. It is very elaborate and the only real red flag is the security code.

    This is why I like using a credit card versus a debit card. Although a debit card scam victim can be reimbursed the process takes forever.
     
  7. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    IRS called me and said I had to pay some taxes via credit card or they'd issue an arrest warrant for me.

    Never give your credit card number to anyone that calls you.
     
  8. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Another tip

    If you call in to do something where your SSN is needed to confirm your identity and you happen to be in public just tell them that you cannot give that number out at the moment and to use another identifier for you.
     
  9. RiddickBull

    RiddickBull VIP Whale

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    I'm curious how they got the guests' name on the reservation. Maybe an inside person is giving out that info.

    There's a problem when Vegas is offering a discount if you haven't gambled or loss a lot.
     
  10. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Another similar scam they have reported on locally is the scammer pretends to be from the local electric utility, explains that their bill is past due, and extracts the CC number under threat of power shut-off.

    The manager of a local bar claims to have fallen for this, and their power was subsequently shut off for failure to pay the real bill to the real power company.
     
  11. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    Hotels are being very cautious right now. In April Paris gave me the number on the key folder - I had an BAD migraine & I couldn't even focus my eyes to read the dang number. I asked her to tell me the number and she said they weren't supposed to do that. I explained and we both looked around and no one was anywhere near us so she put her hand up by her mouth so no one could read her lips & quietly told me the number. (Thank goodness or I might still be wandering around looking for my room 4 months later lol).
     
  12. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    You mean that I didn't inherit 10 million dollars?


    Not sure about not giving out the room number at the front desk thing, when I checked in the clerk said out loud what my room number was and what elevator bank to take that was closest my room. I think some hotels are hard to navigate so they have to direct the guest to the right elevators to get to your room.

    As others have mentioned, don't give out your cc (or ssn) number on the phone. That doesn't guarantee 100% that you won't be scammed anyway, since you give your cc out at stores, rental agencies and hotels there is always a chance that someone could take down your information and use it anyway. I agree with the other poster, best to use a cc instead of a debit card, you use the company's money (not the money in your account) and if it gets stolen then you won't lose your money or have a hard time getting it back (since a cc doesn't touch your saving or checking accounts).
     
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