McGraw warns of phone scam targeting travelers
Chris Dickerson Sep. 20, 2012, 2:25am
CHARLESTON - West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw is warning travelers to be on guard due to a scam making an increased appearance in the hospitality industry.
Travelers are experiencing convincing calls from scammers attempting to obtain credit card information.
This scam is targeting guests staying in hotel rooms. Individuals receive a telephone call from the thief who claims to be an employee of the hotel. Guests are being told that their personal information was not processed correctly and the credit card number needs to be given again to fix the problem. To accurately complete the transaction, hotel visitors are being tricked into revealing their credit card number and other personal information.
It has been reported by the Alabama Department of Corrections Security Threat Group that in some instances the scam artists are inmates and there has been one arrest related to this illegal activity. If the scammer successfully receives all the necessary information from the hotel guest, he proceeds by either forwarding the information to an outsider to deposit the money into the inmate's account, or the inmate makes the transaction himself using a smuggled cell phone.
McGraw encourages travelers and consumers to never give out personal information over the telephone. In this particular situation, a guest should first refrain from providing such information and should instead make a trip to the front lobby desk to ask about the problem.
"Scammers will do and say anything to trick consumers into giving personal information over the telephone," McGraw said in a statement. "In fact, when the situation presents itself, it is best to withhold this information and follow up by calling back or making a visit to an office for clarification."
This scam has been reported at various hotels across West Virginia and surrounding states.