Scammers targeting Valley hotel guests

If you're checking into a local hotel, be careful of scammers who are preying on unsuspecting guests. Experts say they often target their victims during the holiday season.
October 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you're checking into a local hotel, be careful of scammers who are preying on unsuspecting guests. Experts say they often target their victims during the holiday season.

The check in counter at Best Western in Oakhurst stays busy. Many out of town travelers choose this hotel to rest after a long day at Yosemite National Park. But recently scammers have also used the area to steal.

"It makes me angry any time somebody wants to take advantage of our guests," said Bill Putnam.

Putnam manages the staff and is also a spokesperson for the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau. For several months they took calls from people asking to speak with a guest. "The person told the guest they were our front desk and something happened with the computers and they needed their credit card information again," added Putnam.

Soon staff members realized the callers on the phone were trying to steal credit card information. Putnam said they have conned customers out of cash at several local hotels.

The Better Business Bureau told us this is a crime they see around the holidays when more people are on vacation. "There are people who work hotel lobbies fabulously well, they wait till you check in and they kind of try and listen for what your name is," said Blair Looney.

Now front desk staff workers at Oakhurst Best Western have new policies in place to make sure all calls are screened carefully. They are reminding all customers no actual worker there would call and ask for personal information over the phone. "We will not call and ask for information. We will ask them to come to the front desk," said Putnam.


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