The world of ‘hotel scams’ is surprisingly sophisticated. And unfortunately—scammers abound.
Travelers are often seen as easy targets by scammers—and this post will demonstrate that.
In fact, you may be surprised to learn just how deep and thorough some of these devious scams can be (and how dangerous they can be for your personal information and bank accounts!).
Nobody wants to get scammed out of their money.
And when you are traveling for work, the last thing you want is to be forced to deal with some kind of unscrupulous criminal activity.
So in this blog post, you’re going to learn about 4 of the most devious hotel scams that people actually fall for.
Hey, it’s not pretty—and it’s not pleasant.
However, being aware of the danger is really half the battle.
And if you can spot some of these devious scams before you become a victim—well, that’s a pretty major victory!
Let’s dive into it.
1. Fake Hotel Websites
Yes, this may sound difficult to believe—however, whenever you make a hotel reservation, you always want to double-check and make sure that the website you’re using is actually legitimate.
Some online criminals will create fake look-alike hotel websites that can lure you into typing in your credit card number—and thus, getting scammed in the process!
2. Food Delivery Scams
Yes, this is another one of those hotel scams that can be difficult to believe.
But, it actually happens.
To orchestrate this scam, criminals will leave fake menus with fake phone numbers in hotel rooms.
When unsuspecting victims use the menus to try to order food, they’ll actually be calling the scammers—who will then collect their payment information and steal their money.
It’s a huge scam, through and through. Plus, you don’t even end up getting room service out of the deal!
3. Front Desk Scam Calls
Some travelers will receive fake front desk calls late at night by scammers who are just impersonating the front desk clerk.
In these cases, scammers may ask for your credit card information based on the claim that your current card has been declined, or that they need to re-verify your payment.
Sometimes, this scam can sound very real—so it’s always better to actually visit the front desk yourself if you receive one of these calls.
4. Fraudulent Wi-Fi Connections
This scam can be especially problematic to travelers who need to access the internet for business or financial purposes.
To orchestrate this scam, criminals will basically offer free Wi-Fi connections that look like authentic hotel guest connections.
However, once you connect to these connections, the scam artists will collect all of the data you transmit— which could include sensitive personal information and/or credit card numbers.
For best results, always make sure that your connections are secure before you send any personal information. If for some reason you can’t find a ‘secure’ connection, you should disconnect and check with the hotel lobby.
How To Avoid Hotel Scams
Learning how to avoid hotel scams can be challenging.
But with a bit of practice, you’ll find that staying safe while traveling isn’t really that big of a deal.
Here are some tips that you can use to help you spot scams in general.
- Learn how to spot them and what to look for
- Beware of requests that seem designed to gain access to personal files or payment information
- Beware of anyone asking you for payment
- Before using your credit card, always double-check the URL of the website to make sure that you’re using the proper web address (and not a fake)
- Beware of ‘strange characters’ in website URLs, and always double-check addresses
- If in doubt, always check with the hotel clerk if something seems off.
Oftentimes, a quick check-in with the front desk will let you know if what you’re seeing is legitimate, or if you may be running into a larger problem that demands some attention from the business.
At the very least, taking these tips into account can help to protect you from getting scammed while you’re traveling and doing business—and that’s actually really important.
Nobody wants to get scammed. It’s definitely no fun!
There you have it.
Hopefully, these tips have helped to give you some pretty worthwhile information about how you can avoid getting scammed while traveling and staying in hotels.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. But following these tips should definitely help you to stay safe and protected to a certain extent.
Be careful out there, and stay safe!