The most recent phone scam
Imagine you’re on vacation with your family, staying at a nice hotel and out of the blue you answer a call from someone claiming to be at the hotel’s front desk. They’re telling you that there is a problem with your credit card information and they need you to give “confirm” the information again to process the payment. While you may think this is no big deal, you would be wrong. This identity theft scheme is being called the “front desk scam” and is an easy way for thieves to get a hold of your personal information.
While this has been happening a lot recently, this isn’t the only scam that identity thieves are running over the phone.
What else should you be on the lookout for?
The Federal Trade Commission has released a list of some of the most common phone scams. They range from offering travel packages, to charitable causes to even offering extended car warranties, meaning the thieves know what kind of car you drive and already have more information on you than you would like them to have.
While there are some groups who are more susceptible to phone scams, identity thieves don’t care who you are and will go after anyone they deem as having resources that they want.
Just because these are common scams doesn’t mean there aren’t ways for you to protect yourself.
For the “front desk scam” in particular, while it may seem trustworthy to give them the information and move on with your trip, most hotel chains have reported that they will not call your room for payment issues, and that all of those will be addressed at check-in.
What can you do to keep your information safe from a phone scam?
- Do not give out your credit card, checking account, and social security number
- Ask questions… Who is calling and why are they calling?
- Pay attention to the time of day – telemarketers can only call between 8am and 9pm.
- Do your research, if someone is legitimate they will wait for you to make an informed decision