The Better Business Bureau of Houston, Texas, has issued a general warning to consumers and card issuers about a new wrinkle in the credit card number scheme.
According to the BBB, computer card thieves have begun hacking into hotel phone systems and calling up consumers in their rooms.
The bureau says a voice on the phone explains that the hotel has had some sort of administrative or technical problem completing the credit card transaction and needs the number again. As a further incentive the voice, which often calls in the middle of the night, offers a substantial discount on the room to compensate the consumer for the “inconvenience.”
“While we eat, sleep, go about our lives, they’re thinking, ‘What new ways can I come up with to steal?’” the BBB’s Dan Parsons said of the card scammers.
“Getting you when you’re not prepared, not thinking, is an attractive time to catch people unaware, it’s the whole goal,” Parson added.
The bureau said it cautions consumers never to give credit card information out over the phone, no matter how convincing the person on the other line is.
“It boils down to your role as a consumer to be, frankly, skeptical,” he added.