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SEND PHOTOCOPY OF ID and CREDIT CARD for hotel booking??

SEND PHOTOCOPY OF ID and CREDIT CARD for hotel booking??

Old May 22nd, 2014, 05:44 AM
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SEND PHOTOCOPY OF ID and CREDIT CARD for hotel booking??

I am posting this here instead of on the Mexico forum because it will be seen here by more of you. This could happen anywhere, so is not confined to Latin America.

I recently booked a hotel in Puebla, Mexico. Going against most of the sage advice here, I sent them my credit card to confirm the booking. I do not use a debit card, by the way, so I see the charges before I pay the bill.

All well and good, so far. But with the confirmation of the room, the hotel is now asking me for a photocopy of both my credit card, and my I.D. I have had to send these before only in instances when I was making a large payment to a travel agent in South Africa, who had booked game lodges and flights for me, or to Burma when I booked a river cruise and a few hotels with another travel agent. But I do not remember any hotel ha ving asked me to provide these copies.

My first instinct is just to ignore the request, but I do not want them to cancel the booking. I've already written to them indicating that I do not have a fax and would have to send, if at all, by postal mail. Have not heard a response yet to that e-mail.

The hotel in question is very well reviewed, and they already have my AmEX details including codes.

What would you do? (Travel partner told me to find another hotel, but I want to stay in this one!)
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 05:58 AM
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No lectures from me.

You ask what I'd do:

I'd find another hotel.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 06:14 AM
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<i>What would you do?</i>

Find another hotel.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 06:14 AM
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You should also post on the US forum.

I don't understand the reason for asking for a photocopy of your CC and ID. I agree with tedgale.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 06:16 AM
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You might give your credit card issuer a call and find out what they think about your situation. Could be fraud.

Stu Dudley
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 07:07 AM
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Let's get real here: you asked the question because you already KNOW "the answer" and I don't think it is going to change no matter how many forums you post it on and whether you call your CC issuer or not.

A copy of your CC..and I suppose they want both sides so they can use the security code on the back, too.

Get a different hotel.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 07:11 AM
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Ditto StuDudley. Depending on the answer, ditto tedgale.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 07:14 AM
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Thanks all, for the responses. I did wrote to the hotel and ask them why they needed this. And will call Amex today and report back..
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 07:19 AM
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I have stayed in hotels in Miami that photocopied my drivers license as well as taking an imprint of my card. Maybe it is a Latin American Thing.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 08:37 AM
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Doesn't seem that weird to me, obviously you could have the numbers of a card but not the actual card. It's for verification. And some stores ask for ID with a credit card now, in fact, there is a Kmart near me in the US who does taht, but several stores in Europe have asked me that.

I don't understand why you won't give them the copies but you will give them the info? What exactly are you afraid of, I'm not clear on that.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 09:31 AM
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>>What exactly are you afraid of<<

I would be leery of FAXing or mailing a copy of my ID card (DL/passport) with a picture of me, description, birthday, ID#, etc. Identity theft perhaps? You never know who gets to see this "hard copy" at the receiving end if you FAX or mail. It could just be "sitting around" for anyone to see (janitor?). They get to keep the copies - whereas if you show "the original" to the cash register clerk at your local Kmart - they won't make copies that they could keep for themselves or perhaps hand out to their friends.

Stu Dudley
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 10:00 AM
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Chsristina: Surprised it is not obvious to you….many people are leery even of sending cc details by e-mail. Obviously they want it for "verification." But since they will not actually use the card until I check in, why do they need the back-up info now? I've written to ask the hotel but not received an answer--they have taken up to a day to respond to questions I've asked before this.

As I mentioned, I've had to send these details beforehand, but usually for large charges and in instances in which I asked the hotel to buy me train tickets, for example, asking Shanghai hotel to buy me luxury tickets for the Shanghai/HK sleeper.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 10:18 AM
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Christina...Credit card fraud, for the most part, is really not a big deal to us as consumers to be quie frank about it. It can be traumatic, true but it almost never has any real bad consequences. US law (and that in most other countries) prohibit issuers from charging a card holder more than $50 for fraudulent use of one's credit card and there is not a single bank I know of which even bothers with the $50. In effect, we all in the USA have zero liability for credit card fraud. Period. You call the bank if it happens, they ask which charges are not yours, they're removed from the account, they issue a new card with a new number. About the only inconvenience is notifying your billers who automatically debit your credit card of the new number but then again you have to do that whenevr the expiration date changes. Done. Problem solved.

Identity theft is a horse of a different color and can take years to straighten out. Identity theft rings thrive on collecting data and then doing terrible things like opening up new accounts in your name. Buying cars. Getting a duplicate driver's license, getting tickets and they come after you, the police I mean. Mere theft of a credit card is absolutely not identity theft. So...

It is a big mistake to show any identification when using a credit card. Some ignorant fools write on their credit card signature panel see id and it is a dumb thing to do. First of all, technically it invalidates the card. You are required to sign in. Secondly showing additional ID might subject you to some clerk who is working for these identity theft rings. As a matter of fact, mc and visa regulations in the US quite clearly state that a merchant can ask for ID but may not refuse to complete the transaction if you refuse to show ID. The merchant is required to check the signature (and yes I know that isn't really a great protection because some 18 year old cashier is not going to get involved even if he or she notices the signature doesn't match) and if it matches, that's it. I walk around folded neatly in my wallet a sheet of paper with the appropriate regulation from mastercard and will not show ID. I had quite a hassle a couple of months ago at the grocery store over this. Finally the so called manager muttered under her breath and said she would allow this once.

Bottom line, the store had signs up saying id was required for all credit card transactions. I wrote a letter when I got home to the store with a copy of the mastercard complaint form telling the store that the next time they ulled this garbage on my, this form would be filed. Interestingly enough, two days later I went back to the store just to check and the signs had come down.

Bottom line. You never show ID to validate a credit card purchase. NEVER NEVER NEVER. You don't write on the signature panel, see ID. It is for your protection.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 03:39 PM
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UPDATE: Heard from the hotel in response to my questioning e-mail.

They told me that they had asked for the photocopied documents to verify the info on the credit card, but that it was "not really necessary" for me to provide them.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 04:05 PM
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Sounds fishy to me.......

Stu Dudley
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 04:25 PM
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How is this so different than leaving your passport at the hotel desk when checking in at every hotel in Italy?

But seems now to be a non issue so nothing to worry about.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 05:17 PM
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I'm guessing that there are a few more people "watching things" at the hotel check-in desk to make sure the janitor isn't "up-to-something", than there are around the FAX machine in the corner of the room - late at night when staffing is at a minimum. Actually, it makes me quite nervous to leave the passport at the desk.

Stu Dudley
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Old May 23rd, 2014, 10:01 AM
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xyz, the fact is, if you don't show ID to validate a credit card purchase in some stores, you won't be buying anything. I really don't understand where you are coming from to say one shouldn't do that. Of course I wouldn't write "see ID" on a credit card, that is stupid (and no one here but you brought that up), but many stores require you to show it to buy something and if you want to buy stuff, you show it (like FNAC in Paris and Corte Ingles in Spain). Even my local KMART does that because they are in a high crime area, frankly. This is a store policy, the clerk isn't making it up. So you have your own ideas about stuff but others have their own. Heck, lots of museums ask people to leave ID as collateral for an audioguide and tons of people do that, you have to. I always leave my drivers license, actually, but others leave passports or credit cards.

My point about the photos was if you are willing to give them all the info, I didn't understand why the actual photo of it would be what someone objected to. They have the info either way.

It doesn't sound "fishy" to me at all that they said, okay, you don't have to, this implies the entire hotel is in some illegal business to have that as a hotel policy. I think they just may waive it for some customers if they given them flack, they want the business more. And maybe this customer didn't seem fishy to them.
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Old May 23rd, 2014, 10:21 AM
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Sorry Christina. Just reporting the facts. MC/VISA merchant agreements clearly state that a merchant cannot refuse to complete a visa/mc transaction for failure to show identication for the reasons I said (possible identity theft). Period. If you want to show id, that is your perogative. I refuse to do so and have reported merchants for pulling this garbage on me. You disagree? Fine. After showing the merchant the appropriate regs in the mc and visa merchant agreements, I have never been turned down.

Like I said, you're entitled to your opinion on this. This is mine. (And yes, there are people who invalidate their credit cards by writing see id on the signature panel.

Sorry if you disagree!
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Old May 23rd, 2014, 10:39 AM
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Just for the record, I am using Amex. I feel fine about this now.

And my only worry about leaving my passport at a hotel desk would be that, due to my own forgetfullness, it will remain there after checkout! But almost all hotels give it back as soon as possible; I don't think they want to be responsible.
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