Another Hotel Scam

By | Category: Travel rumblings

© Dan Sperrin

Twice today I have had e-mails supposedly from the Ritz Carlton and Hyatt chains. Both purport to want to refund me money. Both want me to download an attached form. Avoid these scams and just delete them.
The e-mail says that the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale – it’s in Arizona in the USA – incorrectly took from my credit card some money, in this case $1474, although in the case of the Ritz Carlton is was over $11,000. They want to return the funds and the form they want you to download will no doubt have a line for credit card details to be added. Except there is no form. It downloads a virus which doesn’t necessarily run straight away. When it does it acts like a password stealer and then launches a programme called “Personal Shield pro.” Your computer is infected and what is concerning is that two anti-virus software packages didn’t spot it.
How will you recognise this scam other than by refund information? They mention a service contract between the Moverick Company -which doesn’t exist – and Hotel Melia Deviana, which also doesn’t exist. No doubt the scammers will vary the copy in a little while so be aware
Neither the Ritz Carltons (this one was in Kapulua in Hawaii) nor the Hyatt hotels have anything whatsoever to do with this and CD-Traveller has sent them the e-mails so that they can add it to their investigations.
This sort of scam is one many of you will recognise. The problem comes if you ever receive an e-mail from a hotel that you might have stayed at. Would you be likely to open it? Hopefully not, but that is why scammers use the names of hotel chains. The name might ring a bell and you may not notice which particular hotel in the chain they mention.
The scammers rely on greed. The greed of people who think they might be able to get some quick money. This is also the appeal of fake lotteries and fake tax refunds. If you genuinely believe that you are owed a refund from a hotel, contact the hotel via the e-mail address on the receipt you have or their website.

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