Some of the most simple scams are also the most effective. Earlier this week a woman staying at a Double Tree Hotel in Skokie, Illinois received a telephone call purportedly from a clerk at the front desk of the hotel informing her that they needed her credit card information again because of a computer error in processing her card. She obliged and provided the information over the phone and the identity thief who had really called her promptly ran up $5,000 of charges. This is a common scam that occurs when a hotel guest gets called from someone who says they are a hotel employee and then requests credit card information under any of a number of different pretexts.
Whenever you get a telephone call, you can never be sure that the person calling you is who he or she represents himself or herself to be. If you are in a hotel and receive such a call, you should hang up and either go to the front desk in person or call the front desk at a telephone number that you know is accurate. Whenever you get a telephone call requesting personal information such as a credit card number for whatever reason, do not give the information to the caller. Rather, call the company or agency that purported to call you at a number that you know is correct and not a number that the caller gives you.