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Credit Card Number stolen from hotel booking

Credit Card Number stolen from hotel booking

Old Jan 31st, 2014, 02:06 PM
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Credit Card Number stolen from hotel booking

I booked only 2 hotels, 1 in Rome and 1 in Athens. Shortly after my credit card number was used to try and book a flight to Australia, declined through Expedia and booked a day later through an airline and ultimately charge was reversed as it was deemed fraudulent. Has any other person had the same experience with a card number theft? I have a new card now and am fearful to give the 2 hotels the new number in case it is stolen once again leaving me without a card for a period of time. If I had the luxury of more than 1 card I would give each hotel a different card. Do hotels in Europe accept prepaid Visa cards for booking and holding a room? Can I refuse to give the 3 digit pin on my credit card to the hotel while it is only holding my reservation? I do not want to jeopardize my reservations. What are some of the ways others use to hold reservations that might be beneficial for me? Any help is welcome as I am a first time traveler.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 02:20 PM
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hi lodging,

the difficulties you describe are why I use sites like booking.com. They appear to be pretty secure and i have never had a problem with security using them. plus they often have very useful free cancellation terms usually up to 48 hours before the booking is due to begin.

I can't help with whether hotels will accept pre-paid cards to secure a reservation -IMO they are a pretty poor deal for the consumer but they might have merit in this situation.

BTW it sounds as if the system worked well - you were unfortunately the victim of fraud but that was accepted and you got your money back.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 02:21 PM
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I once e-mailed my cc# to a hotel in Nice and the next day someone charged 2000e on it to a French online photo retailer, as well as 500e to a shop on the Rue d'Angleterre in Nice. The hotelier was probably legit, but had a leaky ship somewhere (either an employee or unsecure internet).

I haven't had a problem when using www.bookings.nl though, which I do all the time. Were you using an online agency, or booking directly through the hotel? I've never had a problem when booking using a major online retailer.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 02:26 PM
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"If I had the luxury of more than 1 card I would give each hotel a different card."

I would never, ever travel with only one credit card. Anything can happen. Lost, stolen, denied... Then what do you do?
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 02:33 PM
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dfourh: <i>I once e-mailed my cc# to a hotel in Nice and the next day someone charged 2000e on it to a French online photo retailer, as well as 500e to a shop on the Rue d'Angleterre in Nice. The hotelier was probably legit, but had a leaky ship somewhere (either an employee or unsecure internet).</i>

Actually, emailing your CC number to ANYONE is extremely risky and not a secure thing to do, no matter what the hotel's security situation is. The email system still in use today on the internet is decades old and unencrypted, generally. Your email message traverses a long network of internet devices, any one of which could simply snap a copy of your credit card in transit if some bad person has tapped into it.

Of course, your hotel's email computer could get infected and hacked; their email account could get hacked; there are all kinds of reasons emailing your CC number is a risky thing to do.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 02:37 PM
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I would NEVER, EVER email a credit card number to anyone. Telephone the hotel abroad or FAX the information.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 02:37 PM
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>>>Do hotels in Europe accept prepaid Visa cards for booking and holding a room?<<<

Why would you think that would be any more secure?

>>>Can I refuse to give the 3 digit pin on my credit card to the hotel while it is only holding my reservation?<<<

That's not a pin number.

There is no way of knowing your card was compromised by one of the hotels. It could have been compromised when you used to get gas or groceries.

In future bookings with small businesses where you e-mail the credit card info, send half in one e-mail and half in another.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 02:58 PM
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I think faxing a cc number is very risky as well.

I have emailed my credit card number, but I have always broken up the number and expiration date in multiple emails.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 03:24 PM
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>>I have emailed my credit card number, but I have always broken up the number and expiration date in multiple emails.<<

That's what I do also.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 04:19 PM
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I've encountered several people who break up the numbers in three emails. I've been advised by fraud experts in banking not to do it.

Three emails also assumes the recipient will know what to do with the numbers. What if one set of numbers arrives at a different time and there's no way to tell the emails apart?

Some people say Skype-to-Skype calls are safest, and the cheapest way to talk to someone in a foreign country. Many hotels have Skype accounts. Even if you make a Skype call to a land line, supposedly the Skype user's conversation is encrypted.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 04:58 PM
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Unfortunately, even shopping at Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels has proven to be risky in recent months. Nothing is truly safe and there's no way to know where a card number was snatched. Our CC company (Capitol One) told us gas stations are a likely suspect. Friends of ours don't trust restaurant servers, but who knows?

Breaking up numbers in separate e-mails protects somewhat against the data getting sniffed en-route. But that is high risk behavior since one has no way of knowing when the recipient finally deletes them.

The way it is.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 05:35 PM
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Agree never to travel without 2 or 3 different credit cardss and 2 ATM cards - because you just never know.

Are you SURE that these hotels are the only place you used the card - that it couldn't have been another online purchase or through a store you shopped in? (B&N has been hacked a couple of times and I had to replace my AmEx as a result.)
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 06:05 PM
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It's part of modern life unfortunately. The only way to avoid theft of credit card numbers is not to use them and even that doesn't always work as the vermin running these credit card theft rings have the ability to generate valid credit card numbers at random.

Would you rather have to go through the hassle of getting an international payment vehicle in the currency of the hotels? And then what's to say it won't be stolen in the mail or whatever.

Credit card theft happens no matter how careful you are. Just accept it as part of 21st century life. But I absolutely agree with those who tell you never leave home without at least 2 or 3 credit cards just in case one gets compromised.

Even if the USA adopted chip and pin, it wouldn't prevent this kind of fraud. But really don't let it annoy you (I know that's easy for me to say). There are millions of others who have suffered the same fate. It isn't worth the aggrevation.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 09:51 PM
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Something no one has yet mentioned - exactly how did you give your account # to the hotels? Never, EVER enter your digits unless the web page url starts with "https://" indicating a secure transaction. If it is simply "http://" then it is non secure and much more vulnerable.

In terms of with holding the 3 digit CVV code (what you referred to as "PIN") you can try but some sites will not complete the transaction.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 11:16 PM
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I call, or fax, when someone wants my credit card number. Emails are notoriously dangerous and it doesn´t matter how many emails one uses to send the number; if one is vulnerable, so are three.

While it is true that credit card theft can happen to anyone no matter how diligent he may be, there is no point in making it easy for thieves.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 11:54 PM
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This could have happened anywhere...think about restaurants...your credit card is taken by the waiter where it could be copied etc...any business you give your card to has a record of it where the number can be taken quite easily!
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Old Feb 1st, 2014, 01:36 AM
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I agree this could have happened anywhere. I think you are jumping to a conclusion that the hotel is the guilty party here.
Skimmer work without you even noticing unless you pay really careful attention to the card slot at an ATM or petrol pump. If you hand your card to someone and it is out of your sight it can be skimmed or cloned. That is far more likely than that a hotel leaked you information.

Also never, ever leave your card details on an online store site, such as Amazon. It might be convenient to do so, but it is also convenient for hackers.
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Old Feb 1st, 2014, 03:07 AM
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I always understood that 3 digit code to be proof that the party trying to place that transaction had the card in their hand. (If I'm wrong on this I'd appreciate the correction.)

As dfourh points out, major hotel chains (Accor, Marriott, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, etc. etc.) generally have secure booking sites. Independent hotels, maybe not. This is why as annhig says, using booking dot com for independent hotels is a good idea.
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Old Feb 1st, 2014, 04:12 AM
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The news networks are reporting this morning that credit cards were hacked for many chain hotels (multiple brands - Marriott, etc.). They evidently contract with a processing system that was hacked.
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Old Feb 1st, 2014, 05:01 AM
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Like I said, this is life today. You just can't let this annoy you overly so. If it happens, namely if your credit card info is stolen and the card is either cloned or used in an online transaction, you deal with it. In the United States, and most other countries too, on a scale of 1 to 10 of life's problems, it's about a 3. US law limits your liability in any event to $50 for fraud on your credit card and I don't know of any bank that even bothers with the $50. You call the bank, you tell them which charges are fraudulent, they take them off your bill, they issue a credit card with a new number, you notify the merchants who you have authorized to automatically debit your credit card account (but then again you have to do that when a card is issued with a new expiration date) and it's resolved. The first time it happened to me, I was besides myself and while it is not an every day occurance, you deal with it. What you don't do is decide not to use your cards for the purposes they were intended namely to make your life simpler when travelling or at home. I read of advice such as don't use the card for small purchases as the more you use it, the more you open yourself up to this sort of thing. Rubbish. Use your cards everywhere they are taken for every purchase no matter how large or small.

Of course we can always go to a system where you have to verify who you are with a retina scan. I can just imagine several yeaqrs down the line that all computers will have an attachment that you have to look into to verify your retina scan matches when submitting a credit card via the internet. I would think it would be very hard for the vermin to compromise such a system!
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