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Sending credit card number to hotel through email--okay or not?

Sending credit card number to hotel through email--okay or not?

Oct 23rd, 2004, 10:11 AM
  #1  
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Sending credit card number to hotel through email--okay or not?

I'm wanting to book a room with Hotel Panda in Rome, and they've said to send my credit card number. I would feel fine sending it through their website, if they had a way to do that, but they don't, so it just has to go through email. I was wondering, is this safe and secure to do? What do you do if you don't do this? I know some places will let you send a check to hold your place, but that seems like a hassle.
saraallison11 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 10:18 AM
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I've sent my credit card through email before, but only from a home computer that no one else uses. I've heard of other people, though, sending the credit card number in multiple emails--first 8 numbers in one email, next 4 in the second, expiration in a third. Others on the board may have differing ideas, though.
zeppo2 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 10:20 AM
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Places that do not have a secure websites often accept communication by 'Fax' as well.
suze is online now  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 10:26 AM
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You really think fax is more secure than email? Have I got a deal for you. Good beachfront property in Florida.
bob_brown is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 10:30 AM
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You could call them on the telephone with the information? Or does Bob above think our phones are tapped too?
suze is online now  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 10:39 AM
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Standard email is not secure and one should assume that it can and will be accessed by anyone out there. also, the information sent can remain on various computers around the world for a long time.

Sending any sort of personal information is not recommended.

if necessary, sending it in various pieces is better but i don't think i would do that either.

Fax is not 100% secure but certainly much more so than sending an unencripted email!!
walkinaround is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 11:44 AM
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I recently emailed my credit card number to reserve a booking in Italy, just sent the last 6 digits in a second email. This worked fine. The hotel confirmed right back. Have read that hackers screen for emails with a certain number of digits in a row so it is best to send your number in two emails. Don't know if this is true, but it made me feel better.
LAwoman is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 11:49 AM
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What about just plain old mail?
Underhill is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 11:50 AM
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I have a daughter who is head of computer security for a very large county court system.

Her advise is never never send anything that is financially personal via e-mail
(such as credit card info). So personally I wouldn't.

I would make a phone call to the hotel.
But I tend to be perhaps overly cautious.
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 11:55 AM
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Tell them in an e-mail that you will call them. Just make sure the time difference is convenient for them. I usually call first thing in the morning, they're seven hours ahead from where I live.
platzman is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 12:08 PM
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I have for years made my initial contact by e-mail and then provided my credit card info by fax and, if no fax, by phone. Fax is infinitely more secure than e-mail.
joegri is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 12:21 PM
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Email is not secure and no personal info such as CC #s or SS #s should ever be emailed. That is *not* the same thing as saying that something bad will always happen if one does not follow this guideline.
socialworker is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 01:11 PM
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The hotel may have a secure online booking system, it's web address will be https insted of the standard http.
Garfield is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 02:14 PM
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Melissajoy
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I also recommend contacting them by e-mail but sending your credit card information by fax when they ask for it.
 
Oct 23rd, 2004, 02:27 PM
  #15  
jgg
 
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I had to do this for our hotel in Florence, as they did not have a secure website. I just called them on the phone. Actually, it was kind of fun to talk to them on the phone. Made me even more excited to be there in person.
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Oct 23rd, 2004, 02:37 PM
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Fax is more secure than email. However, the method I use is with Citibank's virtual account number program. It generates a fake account number that is tied to your real account number and only can be used once. Therefore, with each online transaction you have generate a new number. I get the account number on their website, send it via email, immediately confirm that its been received and processed. I always let the recipient know its only a one time thing. Of note, this feature cannot be used for online transactions such as airline tickets where you may have to show your credit card at check-in because the account numbers won't match. Here's Citibank's website with more details:
http://www.citibank.com/us/cards/car...advice/van.htm

Other credit card companies may have a similar service, do inquire.
Traveler863 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 03:12 PM
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I should also point out that this method also will not work for situations where you provide a credit card number to just simply hold a reservation such as many hotels and car rental. There has to be a transaction such as a deposit, they cannot simply just store the virtual account number to bill you at some later date.
Traveler863 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 10:20 PM
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I wouldn't say fax is infinitely more secure than email. I get two or three misdirected faxes on my home fax machine each month. I've even gotten other people's medical test results and once the psychological write-up on a school age child.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Oct 24th, 2004, 06:15 AM
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Hi Rufus--of course you are correct that faxes w/sensitive info can be misdirected and the only control for that is being sure one has the correct fax # and using extreme care in dialing it. However, I think the way in which the word "secure" was being used here referred to the possibility of the CC # being stolen out of an email which is not a "secure" method of transferring data.
socialworker is offline  
Oct 24th, 2004, 06:28 AM
  #20  
ira
 
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Hi sara,

Send your CC inof in two emails.

The probability that some hacker will intercept two of your emls, of all of the trillions sent every day, is vanishingly small.

However, the probability of a dishonest clerk at your hotel or restaurant stealing your CC info is not.

ira is offline  

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