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Criminal Scam Targeting Hotel Guests Known as 'Barry at the Front Desk' 
Plagues Ft. Walton Beach, Florida Region

By Justin Heinze, Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton BeachMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

July 16, 2012--The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office is warning of a new criminal scheme targeting hotel guests that aims to collect personal and billing information.

One local guest reported a phone call from a would-be scammer one evening at 9:30 p.m. The caller reportedly said, "This is Barry at the front desk. The computer system in our hotel crashed at 7:30 p.m. and we just got it back up again. We lost all of our guest information and are in the process of contacting all the guests to re-enter your names and billing information. It is required by the local fire code to have the guest information back in the system in case something happens at the hotel. All guests will receive a 25% discount for this inconvenience. I just need your name and credit card number to update the system."

Law enforcement has urged individuals to remember to never give out personal or credit card information over the telephone or computer.


(c)2012 the Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.)

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