Thursday, February 01, 2018

A New Kind of Phishing

We are traveling by car—actually truck—to Colorado, staying in motels. Wednesday we were at the Comfort Inn in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  After checking in, we never left the motel.

At a little after 11 pm, the  room phone rang.  What could that be about?  We were both sound asleep. John handed the phone to me since he wasn’t wearing his hearing aids. The man on the other end identified himself as the hotel manager and said their computer had crashed.  They are required by law to keep information on the adult registered in each room, their address and the credit card on record.  I refused to give out the information over the phone and said we would come to the front desk with the information.

“Oh, no, there would be a 45 minute to an hour wait.  Give it to me now.  We will bring you a receipt in a little while and a refund of 40% of our hotel charge.”  Again, I refused and said we could come to the desk first thing in the morning. Again he said no.  “Forget it then.  I am hanging up,” I said.  And I did.

I called the front desk and they were appalled.  The clerk said the man had called the motel and asked for Carol in our room.  That is why they put the call through.  She said they would not put any calls through to us that night and she would report it to the manager in the morning.

It was really eery, someone knew what room we were in there.  We hadn’t told anyone.  We were in a place we had never been before, no one but Expedia and the motel knew where we were.  How did that happen?

It must have been someone on the hotel staff who gave out the information.  The caller wanted our credit card number. You can bet we will never stay there again.  But it still feels like we were in the midst of some thriller novel.  And it wasn’t a good feeling.

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