Crooks use new tactic to gain bank information from hotel guests

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Next time you check in to a hotel for work or vacation, make sure you're mindful of any strange phone calls.

Crooks are taking advantage of unsuspecting guests by calling their room, claiming there's a problem with the payment, and then asking for card information.

That happened to Mike Still, a regional manager for his company. Still says he travels all the time, and a recent call to his room changed his sense of security forever.

"It was a guy on the other end that said he was the hotel manager and they had a massive computer failure in the middle of the night," Still said. "They needed to get everyone's credit card number because they needed to reboot the computers and get everything up to snuff."

Being half asleep, Still gave the man his card number, but realized something was up when he asked for his 3-digit code on the back.

"I've probably checked in to 10,000 hotels and that number has never come up before. It's never even been mentioned," Still continued.

At that point, it was too late. By the time he called the front lobby, to confirm it was a scam, someone had already racked up charges. Just like that, he became the latest victim in a growing hotel scheme.

Houston Police Department says if you ever get a call like that, offer to go down to the lobby and handle it there.

This scam appears to be happening across various hotel chains and all over the country, so no area is safe. Still says all you can do is know the game and be proactive.

"Do not give them one bit of information. Walk down to the lobby and say 'ok, what do you need from me?'" he said.

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