Anchorage police are warning today of a phone scam targeting hotel guests. Here's the announcement sent to reporters:
Hotel Credit Card Phone Scam
The Anchorage Police Department has received 2 complaints regarding a new scam which targets hotel guests. The scammer calls a hotel guest and tells the guest that there was a problem running his credit card number when checking into the hotel. The scammer then asks for the guest’s credit card information over the phone. Obviously the scammer just wants the information to use to run up charges on the victim’s credit card bill.
One potential victim got a call from his credit card company on his cell phone while he was speaking to the “manager” on the hotel phone. The credit card company asked if at that moment he was trying to purchase groceries in Buffalo, NY. The scam didn’t work that time but there may be other victims out there who need to contact police.
The public is urged to never give out personal information to anyone with whom you have not personally initiated contact and of whose identity you are not certain.
If you get suspicious message such as this, check it out with the hotel personnel face to face. Travelers especially need to be wary and keep an eye on their credit card statements.