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Travel Scams

The New Credit Card Scam That Preys on Hotel Guests

Don’t be a victim of this new trick.

Reports of a new credit card scam targeting hotel guests have been making their way around the Internet, and it’s worth getting the lowdown on it so you don’t end up a victim.

Here’s how it works. You’re in your room, maybe lounging in bed or watching TV after a long day of travel, when the phone rings. It’s the manager or a front desk clerk, they know your name and room number, and they just need to clarify a few details (like your credit card number) because “the system crashed.” Maybe they’ll even offer you a free perk like a late checkout for the inconvenience.

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Do not fall for this.

If the front desk is calling to ask for your credit card information, offer to walk down to the front desk and give it to them in person. If it’s a legitimate request, they’ll have no problem with this. If they insist that’s not necessary, insist that it is.

Because it’s probably a total scam.

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Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer who is always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.

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By Jamie Ditaranto

Jamie Ditaranto is a traveler in a love triangle with writing and photography. Follow the drama on Twitter @jamieditaranto and Instagram @jamieditaranto.

Ditaranto joined SmarterTravel in 2015. She loves ecotourism, cities with history, and discovering local hangouts. Though she likes all the continents equally, she holds a special place in her heart for rainy little islands.

Her work has also appeared online at USA Today, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and other publications. You can check out her photography on her website.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "My instant camera comes in handy for giving instant gifts to new friends."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Befriending penguins in Antarctica."

Travel Motto: "You have to get the hard places out of the way first."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "On short flights, the window. For long flights, the aisle."

Email Jamie at editor@smartertravel.com.