Some scams are just so simple and effective that they remind us why scam artists are indeed the only criminals we refer to as artists.  An old scam that is still being used effectively by scammers involves a flyer under your door in your hotel or motel room that purportedly is an advertisement for a local pizza parlor or in a case last year of one family that lost $6,000 taken from their debit card, a phony room service menu slid under the door.  The flyer gives a telephone number for the pizza parlor which conveniently delivers to your room or, again in this particular case the phone number for the hotel’s room service.

All you need to do is call the number, give them a credit card and they will promptly send you your fresh pizza or other food.  Unfortunately, it is a scam.  There is no pizza parlor and this is not the real room service telephone number  The scammers have merely gone through the hotel and put their flyers under the doors.  They then just wait for the telephone calls, steal your credit card number and use it to make charges to your card.


A good rule to follow is not to order any food from a restaurant that puts flyers under the door of your hotel or motel room and don’t trust a room service menu that has been slid under your door.  In regard to the pizza parlor or other restaurant you can confirm online or even with a quick call to the clerk at the front desk as to whether the particular restaurant described in the flyer is legitimate and whether indeed the telephone number is their actual number.  Sometimes the scammers will use the name of a real restaurant, but substitute their phony telephone number.  Never order or provide your credit card unless you have independently confirmed both that the restaurant is real and the telephone number is accurate.

As for room service, you can easily access them through the appropriate button on the room landline or through the number indicated in the booklet found in the room containing information about the hotel.

Finally, as I have often warned you, the protection you get from fraud when using your debit card is far less than what you get when using your credit card so you should never use your debit card for anything other than an ATM card.

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