Growing scam and a costly hotel visit - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Growing scam and a costly hotel visit

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CHARLESTON, SC -

It's a trick on a traveler that is becoming more familiar inside the tourism industry. It comes by way of a quick and seemingly, harmless phone call to your hotel room, but it doesn't take long to discover you've been duped.

It was last week on April 15th; a visitor was staying at the Marriott on Calhoun Street in Charleston.  A not so suspicious call came from the front desk to the victim's room.

Knowing his name and room number, they told him that because of computer issues, he will have to give his credit card information again over the phone and he gave the numbers to the caller.

In a matter of minutes he found out it was not the front desk calling and the hotel had nothing to do with it, the call was from outside. Police in the City of Charleston say this is not the first time this type of phone trickery has happened in the local area.

As they have done in the past, police told this victim to quickly cancel the card but it was too late. The card already had a charge on it for $302 in the state of Missouri.

Police also say the money from the card was put into a commonly used service to deposit credit into a jail inmate's canteen account.  The police report said the service is named Access Security Deposit.

News 2 gave the service a call and they would not comment on a specific case but said they have strict guidelines on how card numbers are used. Police are still investigating and there is no evidence yet on how this latest number got through or who first used it. 

Meantime travel industry experts like Lori Jo Simmons from AAA of the Carolina's, says it's a growing move by scammers. "This is the most prevalent one that has been going around for probably the last two to three years maybe longer. If the hotel wants your credit card information go down and speak with them in person."

 

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