Scam artists target hotels

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Crooks may be looking forward to your next hotel visit. Scam artists are randomly calling rooms phishing for your financial information. Here's something to keep in mind on your next hotel stay - if you get a phone call in the middle of the night claiming to be from the front desk, it may be a scam.

Katie Hellebush works with the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association. She says crooks are trying to collect your credit card information. They usually call in the middle of the night and claim to be from the hotel staff. A common theme is to tell you that hotel computers have crashed, and they need the information right away.

"Just always be alert. Whether it is at night or during the day, make sure you know who you are speaking with," Hellebush said

If you have any doubts about a call that you get while you are in your hotel room, remember never give out your personal information, hang up and call the front desk.

"Or better yet, just walk down to the front desk and ask them if they need your credit card information, and chances are they will say no if it's a scam," said Lori Darling with Shamin Hotels.

The company operates 29 hotels in the Richmond area. Darling says there are no recent reports of the crime, but says crooks have tried it in the past.

"We immediately send out a broadcast email to all of the General Managers and all of the front desk people so they know," Darling said.

The criminals can be convincing and some reports claim they will even try to offer discounts in an attempt to collect your financial information. Darling says don't fall for it.

"We would never disturb a guest like that and if we did we would put a note under the door and ask them to come down in the morning and see us before they left," Darling said.

Regardless of the reason of your next hotel visit - when your phone rings, don't let your guard down.

For more information on this scam click the link below.

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