- You arrive at your hotel and check in at the front desk. When checking in, you give the front desk your credit card (for all the charges for your room). You get to your room and settle in.
- A thief outside of the hotel calls the front desk and asks for Room 620 (an example) - which happens to be your room. The phone rings in your room. You answer and the person on the other end says the following: "This is the front desk. When you were checking in, we came across a problem with your charge card information. Please re-read me your credit card number and verify the last 3 digits numbers at the reverse side of your charge card."
- Not thinking anything is devious, you might give this person your information since the call "seems" to come from the front desk. But actually, it is a scam of someone calling from outside of the hotel / front desk. They ask for a random room number. Then, the thief asks you for your credit card information and security code information. It sounds professional, so you think that you are talking to the front desk.
If you ever encounter this problem on a vacation, tell the caller that you will be down at the front desk to clear up any problems. Then, go to the front desk and ask if there was a problem. If there was none, inform the manager of the hotel that someone called to scam you of your credit card information, acting like a front desk employee.
You can imagine the mess this could cause for an unsuspecting victim, instant ID theft. I was thinking too, how a version of this scam could be used in RV Parks as well, although a scammer would need to have your cell phone number, not as in the case at a hotel. This could be obtained if a registration slip was carelessly left on the counter or a scammer was standing close to you when registering. Being aware of your surroundings would most likely prevent this situation. I'm probably being overly paranoid but I DO know from experience, how debilitating ID theft of any kind, actual or internet, can be.
Just a word of caution.