Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On the Road: Credit Card Fraud at Hotels

Credit card
Credit card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sometimes people who are employed at a hotel desk are working there for just a temporary job and not a career. If they can make an extra buck, they will. When my friends drove to Florida and stopped at a hotel on the way, the young desk clerk took their credit card, left the front desk and went into another room. The next week unauthorized charges for thousands of dollars appeared on their card. The clerk had stolen the credit card number.

I attempt to avoid this situation by trying to put different charges on different credit cards. For example, one credit card will handle gas charges while another will deal with hotels. At least that method will narrow down where the fraud occurred. When I travel, I try to avoid putting charges from the trip itself on my main credit card which has several monthly accounts on it. Changing credit card numbers on accounts while I am traveling is a hassle.

Another thing I do is take time to look over my credit cards while I am at the hotel desk. I make the comment to the clerk, "Well, I guess I'll use this card since it doesn't have anything on it." Although I carry just a couple credit cards, the clerk does not know that. I like to draw attention to the fact that the hotel charge will be the only one on that card, so the clerk knows if a problem comes up with the card, that hotel is the only place where the fraud could have happened. I know that might seem silly, but if it prevents someone from stealing my credit card number, it is worth a try.
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