August 3, 2010

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Hotel guests’ credit card data is targeted more than any other industry, even with continuously evolving PCI Data Security Standards. Training staff that deals directly with guests and calls to the hotel is key to preventing security breaches. And, of course, updates on new scams.

A new scam involving lodging property gift cards was brought to our attention by WH&LA Associate Member Tom Haase of SaleSynergy:

Multiple gift cards were purchased over the phone for a stay at the property with what appeared to be a valid Discover card. All of the typical phone transaction safeguards were in place, including requesting the CVV number from tbe back of the card, address verification, etc. These safeguards did not prevent the fraud from occuring – it was discovered when the legitimate cardholder received the receipt for the transaction. The person on the phone placing the order was a scammer and had somehow acquired the card data.

The next level of protection that would have potentially prevented the scam would be to request a copy of the front and back of the caller’s Drivers License and the card being used to pay for the transaction. The copies would need to be faxed to the property before the transaction could be completed. Unfortunately, this is not a 100%-effective fraud prevention, but the additional layers of security will help deflect attempts at this particular type of scam.

Thanks for the head’s up, Tom!

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