Unknown person is using my points for a poor value stay

Old May 31, 12, 3:55 am
  #76  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Programs: VS Silver, Kris Silver, IC Amb, HH Gold, Hertz Gold
Posts: 386
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Are the points the member's or do they remain the property of IHG? Given that, in some cases, PC can close accounts and the member then loses all their points, it would seem to me that PC must own the points and so the member isn't actually the victim but PC may be and it would be up to them to determine whether they view it as theft
That is an interesting question. Mostly, points are earned through personal spend - so there is some sense there that the ownership comes with the member.

I guess however, IHG reserves the right to close accounts/seize points etc that supersedes that for say, in the "interest of the company", or "safety' etc etc. I am sure they can come up with multiple reasons.

This has been an interesting thread to read.

I personally think that the Hotel, PC and the Police have all acted extremely poorly. Regardless if the person staying in the room is innocent for whatever reason, all three failed to take ownership of the problem and be proactive. Poor form.
MagicWok is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 10:35 am
  #77  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Moscow
Programs: DL GM and so on
Posts: 1,200
Originally Posted by markis10 View Post
A lot of hotels use that card to provide express check in, so they have often already done the auth before you arrive
I keep a close eye on all my credit card transactions and not a single hotel ever authorized anything before check-in (of course with exception of Advance Purchase rates).
paulmoscow is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 11:49 am
  #78  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Programs: IHG Plat; CC Gold
Posts: 845
Originally Posted by paulmoscow View Post
I keep a close eye on all my credit card transactions and not a single hotel ever authorized anything before check-in (of course with exception of Advance Purchase rates).
Over here it is quite common; some of the hotels will pre authorise a set amount to allow for charges to the room. If it is a flexible rate some will pre authorise the room cost and an allowance for charges. Some do not do this, and some waive it for plat members knowing there is a card on file. I have also come across the pre authorizations frequently in the US.
Amyrlin is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 12:54 pm
  #79  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,720
Originally Posted by MagicWok View Post
That is an interesting question. Mostly, points are earned through personal spend - so there is some sense there that the ownership comes with the member.

I guess however, IHG reserves the right to close accounts/seize points etc that supersedes that for say, in the "interest of the company", or "safety' etc etc. I am sure they can come up with multiple reasons.

This has been an interesting thread to read.

I personally think that the Hotel, PC and the Police have all acted extremely poorly. Regardless if the person staying in the room is innocent for whatever reason, all three failed to take ownership of the problem and be proactive. Poor form.
That is an interesting question, as no doubt the OP and all of us have conferred some kind of consideration for the points, whether we bought them outright, or they were awarded for a credit card spend or from a hotel stay. Nevertheless, the program does retain the right to close the account due to fraud.

I'm sure this has been litigated somewhere, if not in small claims court, where a program withdrew the points and closed the account b/c of fraud or some other reason, and there were a boatload of points and the owner sued. Likely of no precedential value, and the case would turn on the complex facts of the case.
NJUPINTHEAIR is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 6:41 pm
  #80  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Programs: IC Amb :-(, UA silver, BA Gold, SPG Plat, A-Club Plat, Marriott Plat
Posts: 906
Originally Posted by iamthehpt View Post
The police did NOT say this wasn't theft or fraud. Just that I was NOT the victim, because PC will make me whole by redepositing my points. I faced the same issue several years ago when a check I had written got stolen in the mail, "washed," and forged. The police would NOT take a report from me because I wasn't the victim because the bank redeposited the funds into my account. The bank was the victim, so any report had to come from the bank. By the way, I do NOT agree that I was not the victim in either of these circumstances.
Police have no business making statements like these.

you are reporting a crime.
1. One does not need to be the victim to report a crime (murder anyone?!)
2. One does not need to be at financial loss to remain the victim of a crime (sorry officer, but since you got my money back from this mugger when you caught up with him I am 'mad whole' and so there is no way for me to press charges)

the police may well be correct that you can not press charges, but have no business telling you that you cannot make a report - they would appear to be trying to avoid paperwork.
catharsis is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 6:51 pm
  #81  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA 1K MM, Marriott Life Plat, various others of little note
Posts: 2,697
Originally Posted by iamthehpt View Post
Well, something odd is going on. The hotel guest returned to the hotel last night and was advised of the problem. He stated that "someone else" made the reservation for him and the person making the reservation just told him that the reservation was in my name. He went outside to call someone to straighten the matter out. He then returned a few minutes later and told the front desk that he was unable to reach the person who made the reservation for him, so he just paid for the room. 15K points are back in my account, but now I have to follow up with PC because the points back in the account should be 75K, not 15K. I sure hope he was charged for all 5 nights and NOT just the final night (which was a separate last minute reservation). My "honest mistake" theory seems less likely, since the person who made the reservation had to know that the reservation was made from my account since they advised the guest that the reservation was in my name. Looks like its time to follow up with the hotel and with PC again.
Hope he didn't pay with your credit card on file.
Boghopper is online now  
Old May 31, 12, 8:16 pm
  #82  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 40,743
Originally Posted by catharsis View Post
Police have no business making statements like these.

you are reporting a crime.
1. One does not need to be the victim to report a crime (murder anyone?!)
2. One does not need to be at financial loss to remain the victim of a crime (sorry officer, but since you got my money back from this mugger when you caught up with him I am 'mad whole' and so there is no way for me to press charges)

the police may well be correct that you can not press charges, but have no business telling you that you cannot make a report - they would appear to be trying to avoid paperwork.
There is not necessarily a crime; if the potential victim (IHG) is unconcerned then it is not a crime. That points came out of the account can just be a mistake and IHG has rectified it. As the end person, there isn't evidence of a crime, only evidence of points being withdrawn

How can you report a crime if it is not determined that there has been a crime?
Dave Noble is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 8:38 pm
  #83  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: DFW
Programs: AA Lifetime Platinum, Hyatt Plat Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, Club Carl Gold, IHG Plat
Posts: 1,002
Originally Posted by Boghopper View Post
Hope he didn't pay with your credit card on file.
He did not. PC had the hotel flag the account to be sure this didn't happen.
iamthehpt is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 8:39 pm
  #84  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: DFW
Programs: AA Lifetime Platinum, Hyatt Plat Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, Club Carl Gold, IHG Plat
Posts: 1,002
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
IHG has rectified it.
I don't consider the matter rectified until ALL the points are back in my account. They are NOT yet back in my account. Looks like it's time for call number 4 or 5 to PC.
iamthehpt is offline  
Old Jun 1, 12, 6:04 am
  #85  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Programs: IC Amb :-(, UA silver, BA Gold, SPG Plat, A-Club Plat, Marriott Plat
Posts: 906
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
There is not necessarily a crime; if the potential victim (IHG) is unconcerned then it is not a crime. That points came out of the account can just be a mistake and IHG has rectified it. As the end person, there isn't evidence of a crime, only evidence of points being withdrawn

How can you report a crime if it is not determined that there has been a crime?
One does not report crimes - one reports facts or possibly 'potential crimes'. It is very unusual for it to be absolutely determined that a crime has definitely been committed when the first reports relating to the event are made. Many crimes only become crimes depending on the state of mind or motivation of the person carrying out the actions, which cannot be known to the police.

Example: Death is not a crime. Killing someone is not (necessarily) a crime. Murder is a crime. However a person can be acquitted of murder when a court/jury determine that no crime was committed as that person acted in self-defence.

Police forces do not necessarily get to decide whether or not a given set of facts represent a crime. DAs (and sometimes jurys) also carry out that function.
catharsis is offline  
Old Jun 1, 12, 9:27 am
  #86  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: PHX
Programs: UA *Alliance
Posts: 3,881
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
There is not necessarily a crime; if the potential victim (IHG) is unconcerned then it is not a crime. That points came out of the account can just be a mistake and IHG has rectified it. As the end person, there isn't evidence of a crime, only evidence of points being withdrawn

How can you report a crime if it is not determined that there has been a crime?
Exactly. However, from skimming the thread, it does appear that somebody has gained access to or used the OPs credit card number which is technically identity theft.

Originally Posted by catharsis View Post
One does not report crimes - one reports facts or possibly 'potential crimes'. It is very unusual for it to be absolutely determined that a crime has definitely been committed when the first reports relating to the event are made. Many crimes only become crimes depending on the state of mind or motivation of the person carrying out the actions, which cannot be known to the police.

Example: Death is not a crime. Killing someone is not (necessarily) a crime. Murder is a crime. However a person can be acquitted of murder when a court/jury determine that no crime was committed as that person acted in self-defence.

Police forces do not necessarily get to decide whether or not a given set of facts represent a crime. DAs (and sometimes jurys) also carry out that function.
True, but good luck getting a beat cop to write a report about something that they probably have no clue about. Burglary, robbery, homicide, assault, those are all pretty cut and dried reports, identity theft and fraud, however, are two different animals. Unless the OP is out anything material I can almost guarantee that a beat cop isn't going to take a report and will chalk it up to no victim no crime. I've had my credit card numbers used fraudulently before and never once made an identity theft report, why because I notified the credit card company, charges were revoked, new card was issued, problem solved. I'm not out any money and whether or not Visa or AmEx or MasterCard want to investigate a "crime" amounting to $75 or so worth of bad Chinese food and clothing is their decision.
SWCPHX is offline  
Old Jun 1, 12, 5:15 pm
  #87  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 40,743
Originally Posted by SWCPHX View Post
Exactly. However, from skimming the thread, it does appear that somebody has gained access to or used the OPs credit card number which is technically identity theft.
It is unknown how come the reservation ended up from the OP's account. It could be an error at IHGs side or due to events by the person booking. There isn't necessarily any crime committed.

If the error was on IHGs part, then when the person checked in and was asked if he wanted to use card on file, then saying yes is not identity theft from what I can see

At the moment reporting it as a crime by OP is like reporting to police that a theft from a shop has occurred since someone was seen leaving a shop with goods. No police officer would report that as a crime without substantiation

It is not that uncommon for hotels to mess up. I have stayed at a Jumeirah hotel where , when I checked in, they had Sirius details of someone else on my booking; I never used a number to book and no idea how it occurred. I didn't do anything about it and so the other person probably got some sirius points from my stay ; was that id theft?
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Jun 2, 12, 10:40 am
  #88  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: MEL, PER, PBO, occasionally ships, oil rigs and other places that no sane human being should ever find themselves
Programs: IHG RA, PC Plat, QF Plat/LTS
Posts: 804
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
There is not necessarily a crime; if the potential victim (IHG) is unconcerned then it is not a crime. That points came out of the account can just be a mistake and IHG has rectified it. As the end person, there isn't evidence of a crime, only evidence of points being withdrawn

How can you report a crime if it is not determined that there has been a crime?
I disagree on a couple of points.

1) Crimes (not torts) are generally committed against The People, The State, The Crown, The Commonwealth, etc and not against individuals. As such, whether the potential victim is concerned about the event can be irrelevant. For example, someone who kills a willing (unconcerned) person can still be convicted of murder. Yes, I know that it can be VERY difficult to prosecute some crimes like theft/fraud if the victim is unwilling to make a statement....

2) Although I'm not familiar with local law where the crime may have been committed there are several possible crimes. In California (many moons ago I was a cop in Cali) I'd be looking into Burglary (entering a structure with the intent to comimit theft or any felony), Defrauding an Innkeeper and various other fraud crimes.

3) You can report (what you believe) to be a crime and FROM THEN ON it is up to the police to investigate the incident and file charges or not. Even then, there may not have been a crime committed. In places where the police do not prosecute, the DA (or similar) may determine that there was no crime and yet again, the jury may determine that the act wasn't criminal (or insufficient proof, etc).
medic51vrf is offline  
Old Jun 3, 12, 7:56 pm
  #89  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: DEN - Ft. Collins
Programs: PC Plat, HHonors Silver
Posts: 144
Illegal Business

Leaving it to the hotel, cops, etc. to determine if a crime has or has not been commited...

This thread got me to wondering:
If you were some unscrupulous person who found a way to get folks' hotel account #'s and some other information - at least enough to book rooms using their points. How would this business operate? How do they find gullible customers, rooms, etc. How do you hide yourself from the law, etc.

Since part of (in some folk's eyes, maybe the greater part) the crime here was bad redemption value, maybe you look at the the PointsBreak list and choose an IC or two. Then advertise that you have some nights there that need to be used and you're willing to make someone a good deal on it. Hey, the points don't cost you money, you're being frugal with them so you can make more money, etc. so you have a great profit margin.

If you were operating from another country and abused IP telephony, you could hide yourself from the hotels and cops fairly reasonable. Also hard to prosecute.

I hope none of you take this as a challenge to start a new illegal business, but it is an interesting thought experiment.

BTW, my sympathies to the OP as this sounds like a pain to deal with. Fortunately he caught it in time to save his points, if not his time and energy.
CreditMadeEZ is offline  
Old Jun 3, 12, 9:39 pm
  #90  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Cary, NC, USA - AA Plt 3mm/DL Dia 1mm, Hil/Dia Life, Bonvoy/Titanium Life, Spire
Posts: 3,256
Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
It could be a genuine error. Lots of people on FT, including me, have had other peoples stays post to their account. I also once had a (cash) booking for someone else show up under My Reservations.

I think it originated as an error by the desk clerk. Key to deciding this if the person using your ID has a similar name. If you walk in and give a name, a lookup on my unusual name shows someone in Arizona with the same name. Confirmation using the address should have been done but the desk clerk probably didn't follow through.

Related to this thread, this week someone I do not know is using my PC account on a stay in Mexico. This is the 4th time this has happened at the same hotel this year. I canceled a legitimate PC reservation this week in Indiana so my PC account would not show a overlapping stay (this is what shows if I am staying in two PC properties at the same time). So far they have not used my cc or my points. I monitor my account pretty closely, since I am above 1 million points. Last year, the first time it happened I called PC and complained and they let me keep the points. I figure as long as I am earning points from these stays (>40,000 YTD), why call again? Should I put a stop to this? I was going to use this week's HIX stay for another $50 GC so I will have to wait for another reservation for this, but that is the only problem I see.

-outoftown, staying in Hampton/Marriott this week
outoftown is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: