The hazards of hoteling

Booking a hotel stay for a summer vacation? Before you check in, check out how scammers try to take advantage of travelers.

The late night call from the front desk

You think you’re getting a late-night call from the front desk telling you there’s a problem with your credit card, and they need to verify the number, so you read it to them over the phone. But it’s really a scammer on the line. If a hotel really had an issue with your card, they would ask you to come to the front desk.

The pizza delivery deal

In another scam, you find a pizza delivery flyer slipped under your hotel door. You call to order, and they take your credit card number over the phone. But the flyer is a fake, and a scammer now has your info. Before you order, make sure you check out the business, or get recommendations from the front desk. 

The fake Wi-Fi network

You search for Wi-Fi networks and find one with the hotel’s name. But it turns out it’s only a sound-alike and has nothing to do with the hotel. By using it, you could give a scammer access to your information. Check with the hotel to make sure you’re using the authorized network before you connect. Read more tips on using public Wi-Fi networks.

Haven’t booked your trip yet? If you’re thinking of getting a vacation rental, take a moment to read up about rental listing scams. And check out these travel tips, including tell-tale signs that a travel offer or prize might be a scam.


Great tips! Thank you.

Wow, I never thought about these types of scams. It seems like it would be very easy to make these mistakes.

I am the CEO of an internet marketing agency and represent quite a few different hotels and I haven't heard of this being an issue at any of the hotels but I will pass the article along.

Thanks for the post.

01. Lock and 'alarm' your car
02. Leave nothing even remotely valuable visible inside the car
03 Try to park you car close to the front office and visible from it
04. Leave no valuables in your room unless there is a secure way to do it
05. Do not answer the door in the middle of the night. Rather call the front office

Thank you.==

make sure you check numbers like 717-447-7802 or 469-286-9841 and NEVER ANSWER RESTRICTED OR UNKNOWN CALLER UNLESS YOU ARE SURE WHO IT IS.

Check for erroneous charges charged by hotel staffr! On a business trip, company paid for room but hotel needed a credit card on file for any incidentals which I find is a common practice - a month later credit card company is calling asking about a bunch of charges at different department stores but all the items being shipped to a different address than mine - Thank Goodness my credit card company (Chase) has a great security program!!!!!!!

What hotel? I checked in to a Comfort Inn last night with my family. The room was prepaid in full. The asked for a card for incidentals which was fine, this is normal. She ran my card it came back authorized, I was sure to ask because what she did next had me furious. She made a photocopy of my card. I told her I didn't give her permission to do that. She said out was their policy. Funny two weeks ago I stayed at another Comfort Inn and they did not copy my card. I said I wanted it back she said how you gonna get it back? I said trust me before I leave here in the morning I'm taking that with me. Ig I have to call the cops I'm getting it back.

very good info. Please add the Pinterest symbol so we can alert many more.

Great info. Thanks

Thanks for the useful and helpful information. Another scam I think it was anyway: hotel booking website, an advertisement claimed that for booking a hotel room I could get a complimentary 50 dollars gift card from a known retailer. when I clicked on it, they were asking for credit card number and more. That's when I backed out.

You can file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at


Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.