By Randy Hulce, VP Business Development HMG Hotels
Hotel Managers Group keeps in contact with general managers in the market areas where we operate, discussing common opportunities and issues. We learned recently of a credit card fraud scam that we had never encountered before. The fraud was committed by gaining access to the Express Checkout Folios tucked under hotel room doors.
Creatively deceitful individuals would enter a hotel in the early morning hours, after security had slipped Express Checkout Folios under guest room doors. If a portion of the folio was sticking out from under the door, the scammer picked up the folio, or used a tool to reach under the door and hook the folio and pull it out. After the folios were picked up, the scammer, posing as a front desk associate, would call the guest and state: "The credit card number ending in xxxx needs confirmation because the credit card processor did not process the payment. Could you please read the full number so we can process the payment correctly?" After fraudulently obtaining the full credit card number, the thieves would then make unauthorized credit card purchases.
As soon as Hotel Managers Group learned of this scam, we immediately contacted all our hotels to ensure that Express Checkout Folios were pushed far into the guest rooms so that they were no longer accessible to thieves. The protection of our guests' private data is a top priority for HMG. We are eager to share this information with our fellow hoteliers so that this type of scam can be stopped. Together we can ensure that our guests' confidential information is protected and avoid fraudulent charges.
Solutions: Remind your general managers and staff to:
a) Push any paperwork with identifying information far into hotel rooms, away from outside access.
b) Verbally and/or in print remind guests that no one from the hotel will call them on the phone for credit card information.
c) Guests should not give out their credit card information over the phone.
About HMG Hotels
A strong commitment by a team of highly skilled and experienced hotel professionals and an equally dedicated, well trained supporting staff are the foundation that has led to the success of the Hotel Managers Group (HMG Hotels). Since the Company was founded in 1985, they have been providing award-winning hotel operation and management services for properties ranging from small, individually owned boutique hotels to major chain hotels and luxury resorts in the United States.
Contact: Randy Hulce