Hotel Phone Scam

As many of my readers know, Studly Doright, my husband of 43 years, travels often for business. This past week he traveled west to Mississippi for work and then continued on to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to attend a celebration of life ceremony for a colleague’s stepmother. When he arrived home last night he had an interesting story to tell, and I wanted to pass it along.

On his return trip he stopped for the night in Saraland, Alabama, a place he’s familiar with from previous business trips. Since this was an unplanned stop he hadn’t made reservations at his preferred hotel and had to make do with a different place

After he had dinner and checked in Studly went right to bed and fell soundly asleep. At 10 p.m., his phone rang. The male voice on the other end said, “This is the front desk. Our computers went offline and we lost all of this evening’s transactions. We’ll need your credit card information in order to close out our books for the night.”

First of all, one doesn’t wake Studly up from a deep sleep and expect a happy camper. “I’m not getting up tonight. You’ll just have to run my card in the morning.”

“No sir. We need the numbers right now so we can reconcile our books.”

“Let me speak with the manager,” Studly said.

The voice replied, “I am the manager. And I’m going to send security up to get your information.”

“What’s your name?” Studly asked.

The man rattled off a name that Studly couldn’t quite catch. “I’m calling your corporate office as soon as I hang up,” and then Studly did just that.

He fished out his Hilton Honors card and talked to a customer service representative. He told her what had happened and asked for the name of the manager at that location. It didn’t come close to matching the name the caller had provided. He asked for the manager’s number and dialed it immediately.

The front desk picked up and a clerk put the manager on the line. Studly relayed what had happened and asked if the computers had been down.

The manager told him that nothing had gone wrong, and assured him that his payment had been duly recorded. She said his was not the first call they’d received on the matter that night.

Studly finally went back to sleep, and when he left the hotel in the morning he noticed several signs posted warning people of a phone scam.

I had to wonder if I’d have given out my card number under similar circumstances. Awakened from a sound sleep in an unfamiliar room, I might’ve been groggy enough to have given up the goods. So, this is a warning to myself and to you. There are some nasty people out there, and the good guys have to look out for one another.

Peace, people