AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - A scam that preys on unsuspecting people in their hotel rooms is spreading, according to the Better Business Bureau in Amherst.
The agency has recently received about a dozen complaints of a scam targeting hotel guests in their rooms by phone.
Spokeswoman Peggy Penders said, "The scammers are really counting on you being caught off guard. Calling in the middle of the night, very, very early morning hours."
The person calling claims to be from the hotel desk downstairs, and may say his computer just crashed.
"Or they're just claiming there's a problem with your credit card and they just need you to give it to them once again," Penders said.
Lockport resident Claudette Caldwell said, "I would hope that if I got the call I would say, 'Well I'll bring the card down' and have them check on it. But maybe not."
Penders added, "We do have verified cases where they did fall for it."
News 4's George Richert discovered it's not so hard to be connected to any random room in many hotels. A couple well-known local hotels transferred him to a random room with no questions asked.
But two hotels News 4 called did the right thing. The Hampton Inn & Suites at Delaware and Chippewa, and the Hyatt Regency downtown. Neither would patch Richert through to a room if he did not know who the guest in the room was.
Penders believes most of the hotel industry is aware of scams like this, but it's up to the traveling public to be just as cautious about giving their credit card numbers over any phone.
"We don't always hear from the victims that are impacted by the scams. We really want to be proactive about educating consumers about this activity so that they don't fall for it," Penders said.
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