BBB warns tourists of common hotel scams
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - With summer travel coming back, the Better Business Bureau is warning the public of five common hotel scams to be aware of Friday:
- Fake Websites: When making online hotel reservations, make sure the website is legitimate. The BBB says scammers are famous for creating look-alike pages to lure consumers into providing credit card information.
- Fake Food Delivery: Make sure menus left in hotel rooms are authentic. One could end up ordering from a restaurant that doesn’t exist. Scammers will distribute fake menus to rooms with phone numbers that connect the caller to them instead of the hotel or a real business. The BBB urged customs to confirm restaurant recommendations with the front desk.
- Fake Front Desk Calls: Hotel guests may receive late-night phone calls from someone impersonating the front desk. The BBB said in some cases, the caller may ask for credit card information claiming there’s a problem with the current information on file. They may say a card was declined, they need to re-verify payment information, or that they lost all of the financial information and need to run an audit by a certain time. A real staff members will never ask for your credit card information over the phone.
- “Free” Wi-Fi Connections: Wireless Internet “skimming” targets travelers with the promise of free Interest access. This usually appears in the common areas of the hotel. The connection is free to access but it’s not safe. Most of the time, a hotel scam artist is controlling the connection through their computer, collecting all the data the traveler transmits. Before joining a network, the BBB said to make sure the Wi-Fi connection is secure and hosted through the hotel.
- Checkout Scam: When checking into a hotel, the front desk always asks to give a form of payment to keep on file, such as a credit or debit card, for incidentals. However, at checkout guests can decide to pay with another method, such as cash. No matter what payment method is used, the BBB warns customers to get a receipt. This provides a record of all charges during the stay so if the payment changes from credit to cash, you can dispute any charges to the credit card on file if that should happen and have the receipt to prove it.
If you encounter a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker at BBB.org/scamtracker.
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