Scam Artists Target Houston Area Hotel Guests

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HOUSTON, TX – Whether you’re traveling this Spring Break, or having guests in town, know an old scam is rearing it’s ugly head.

The Hotel Derek slipped a note under their guest’s doors overnight letting them know that someone is directly calling guests’ rooms at their hotel and other hotels in the area, posing as a hotel employee, and requesting credit card numbers.

This is something the Better Business Bureau has seen for a long time.

Leah Napoliello, Senior Director of the BBB of Greater Houston & South Texas explains, “We have seen this type of scam before both here in Houston, and across the country.  So we want to urge anyone staying in a hotel to be aware of it.”

Officer Eric Mehl, with the Houston Police Department Major Offenders Division’s  “Swindle Squad,” says it’s an old game, and only the technology changes.

“…with all the numbers on a credit card they can make online purchases, they can clone your card, they can make physical purchases with it, it just depends on how technological the suspects are,” says Mehl.]

The Hotel Derek issued a statement saying:

“Hotel Derek takes guest security and their privacy as our utmost priority, and we are working diligently with local authorities to ensure this situation is resolved as quickly as possible.  Seeing as this is not an isolated event for Houston hotels, we would like to remind all travelers to be cautious when giving out private information over the phone.”

That’s something echoed from both the BBB and HPD.

So if you or someone you know has been victimized, or has any information on these scumbag scammers, you’re asked to call HPD Major Offenders at 713-308-3100 to report it.   Let’s make the next phone call they make, the one phone call they’re allowed from jail.