Credit card scheme targeting Hawaii hotel guests

Vacationing in Hawaii can be fun unless a thief tries to steal your information.

An incident happened to Prince Perreira, when he and his wife checked into a hotel on June 2.

“He said that he needed my card number off of my credit card. I said what the reason for he said in case the room get damaged there’s a secure way they can charge it off the card,” Perreira said.

Perreira says the caller introduced himself as Jonathan and claimed to be calling from the hotel’s front desk.

“I thought it was legit, it made sense to me. So I gave him my card number,” Perreira said.

As soon as Prince hung up the phone, he and his wife had a funny feeling, that something was not right.

“I suspected something was wrong because he didn’t ask my name, my first name,” Perreira said.

So, Prince and his wife went to the front desk and asked them if they called his room for his credit card information.

He says hotel management told him “no” and that’s when he called his credit card company to cancel his card.

But in the time it took him to do that the thieves were fast at work.

“When I went to the bank that same day there was all kind of withdrawals,” Perreira said.

Experts suggest these tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Always verify with the front desk
  • Never give out personal information over the phone
  • Contact credit card company immediately if you gave out your information and,
  • Make a police report

Jerry Dolak, the President of the Hawaii Hotel and Visitor Industry Security Association says the scheme has decreased in recent months.

“Your guard’s down a little bit and its not unusual for a visitor to think that a hotel will call you in the room and ask for this information,” Dolak said.

Dolak says hotel managers never ask for hotel information over the phone. They usually handle everything at the front desk.

He says, since the scheme began, hotel staff who answer the phone now ask for more specific information when people call to be transferred to rooms.

“Like the first name where they’re from some sort of detail that might let them know that you do know these people,” Dolak said.

Perreira says he’s learned his lesson.

“I’m going to the front desk from now on, i’m not going to give no card numbers,” Perreira said.

It’s been two weeks but the charges are not yet fully removed from Perreira’s account.

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