[Alert] Credit Card Scams travelers fall for….

Credit Card Scams when Traveling
Credit Card Scams when Traveling

So who’s in your wallet?

Hotel credit card scams are now back in vogue.

Your credit and debit cards are not safe.    Scammers are using smart technology and sophisticated ploys.

In A Nutshell:  With people traveling again, the scammers are back in action.   Here are a few ways that scammers sneak off with your credit card info when you are traveling.

1. The Front Desk calls because there is a problem with your credit card.

You check in, provide the front desk with your passport and a credit card for ‘incidentals’.

Within a few minutes of arriving at your room you get a call from the front desk saying there is a problem with your credit card – and could you please ‘verify’ your credit card info including the CCV digits.

The caller claiming to be the front desk employee has actually called from outside the hotel and asks to be transferred to your room number.

Avoid this scam by NEVER giving your credit card or personal information over the phone.  Even if everything seems legit.

Hang up, call the front desk and verify they have a problem with your card.   If they say yes then walk down to the front desk to take care of the issue.

EVERYONE should pay attention to this scam.  The callers are so professional you would be surprised at how many people fall for this ploy.

2. Scanning QR Codes.

When COVID was raging most restaurants or entertainment venues started using QR codes so you did not have to ‘touch’ menus  or brochures.

You have to give a thumbs up to the scammers.  They jumped all over this new way to collect your data.

Scammers or unsuspecting staff will give you a QR code to scan.  Scanning the QR code not only transfers information from your phone but it can download malware that allows scammers to monitor your device.

The FBI advises that you know where your QR code came from, check each QR code to see if it is a sticker that could be placed over a valid QR code (this is a simple way to hijack a menu)  and that you don’t download a QR code scanner app that you don’t know is legitimate.

This problem is driving banks crazy….. Because it is hard to track back to where your personal data was collected.

3. Free Wi-Fi.

We all want free internet access when we are traveling.   And there are lots of airports (and scammers) that provide free internet.

It’s easy.

I can call my internet anything I want.   What if I called it –  Free_LAX_Airport_Wifi   – and it pops up on your phone or computer.

The connection appears to be safe, – but its an unsecured network and your passwords, credit card info and banking data can be snatched up in micro-seconds.

The only way around this scam is to be a geek who knows how to setup a VPN on your device (a virtual private network).

If you can’t be very careful – then travel with a burner phone you can trash when you’re done.

4. Fake food delivery.

This is NOT a huge problem at an all-inclusive resort.

But if you have traveled and stayed in a small hotel without a restaurant you have all seen the menus they leave behind in your room in case you want food delivered.

After a long day of traveling you arrive to your room starved and exhausted.

So you grab the GitFood menu and call the number at the top for room delivery.

The polite person on the other end of the line takes your order, asks for credit card information and tells you it will be there in 30 minutes or less.

Well, 2 hours later your still starved, thirsty and now you’re violated.

My suggestion after years of being on the road is to never order off a menu – unless – the front desk of the hotel gives you the menu.

Be on the lookout for these (and other) scams.

They happen a lot more often than you think.   My teammates and my past experience indicates that resort policy is to never ask for credit card information from visitors over the phone.  They have you come down to the front desk for a face to face discussion.

Hell, if your willing to send your cash to a Nigerian Prince – scammers can get you to place a fake food order – or scan a QR code.

That is how it looks from the BackSeat…

I’ll keep your wallet warm for ya…..


P.S.        Don’t miss 1    Lose your Credit Card at an All-Inclusive Resort?

P.P.S      Don’t miss 2  The Top Travel Scams – and how to avoid them

“Do not feed the Phish.”

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About Jake Johnson 242 Articles
Jake Johnson is a full-time travel bum, who prefers warm climates where the women wear less clothing. We've tried to teach him things like manners and diplomacy, but we've given up and simply rely on our editors to remove the most offensive bits from his articles. We take no responsibility for his inane ramblings opinions - they are his own.
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