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Attempted $5k theft in JW- what next?

Attempted $5k theft in JW- what next?

Old Aug 6, 2019, 2:44 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by WMTribe84
The card was where she left it, but the credit card company confirmed that the chip was present for the attempted transaction.

My guess is that it was used through a mobile payment processor.
Who/where was the merchant that the card was physically used at? Was it actually a mobile payment processor, like Square or similar? That would mean the staff member had to have a third party chip reading device actually with them and an account with that third party where they themselves can accept credit card payments. You can get their info from the mobile processor.

Or was it a brick and mortar store, meaning they would have had to take the card, go outside of the hotel to use it and put it back before the OP returned? Pretty big chance they are taking if it was a staff member.

Or was the charge attempt made at the hotel? That doesnt make much sense.

Or was it perhaps not a physical use of the card but an online purchase that just notes that it was a chip card and the CVV was used?

So what was the name of the merchant attempting to put through the charge? Was it local, i.e. within a few blocks of the hotel?
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 3:30 pm
  #17  
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I doubt you're going to get any satisfaction. Most hotels, including luxury properties, will just tell you they've seen no evidence of staff misconduct, and you shouldn't leave valuables in your room. Whether they follow up internally you'll likely never know.
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 3:30 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by aaupgrade
FWIW, it didn't necessarily happen in the hotel room. RFID chips in CC can be read by scanners that are in close proximity to the CC (few feet away) and the info cloned to a blank card and used nefariously elsewhere. Do you and your GF have RFID blocking sleeves for your CCs and Passports?
A few things to be aware of:

1. The RFID chips in US passports can only be read when the cover is open, so an RFID blocking sleeve is pretty pointless.
2. RFID blocking card sleeves are only beneficial for cards with embedded RFID chips. The vast majority of US-issued credit cards lack embedded RFID chips (e.g. Visa Paywave), so a card sleeve will be of limited utility to most US cardholders.
3. EMV chips cannot be cloned with an RFID tag reader. This is the chip OP was referring to. While an EMV-enabled card can be partially cloned, it requires physical access to the card; but that clone would still lack the encrypted private keys on the EMV. So it would only potentially work at merchants with inferior data security/verification procedures. Since merchants (not the issuer) are on the hook for fraudulent transactions, its in their interest to adhere to best practices. In other words, good luck buying 10 iPhones at an Apple Store with a cloned card.

More info here:
https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/chip-...ing/21502/amp/
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 4:29 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by WMTribe84
Last week my girlfriend and I were visiting Rio De Janeiro and were staying in the JW Marriott on Copacabana beach. While we were out to dinner one night, my girlfriend got a call and email from her credit card company indicating that a $5k+ charge was being attempted through a credit card she had left in a pants pocket back in our room. The card chip was used and thus the card was physically present for the transaction (so we know it occurred in the room and not as a result of the # being stolen previously). She was luckily able to decline the charge.

We returned to the hotel and informed them what happened and showed them documentation that the card was physically used during that time. They told us they would investigate and would send someone to investigate the door locks to see who had entered the room during that time. We told them we didnt want to press charges as we were leaving the country to return home the following day, but that wed very much appreciate their follow up. That was the last we have heard from their team. We checked out Friday and have received zero communication from the hotel or anyone on their staff. Now, I understand that we should have put anything valuable in to the safe (she had forgotten the credit card was there) and there were no actual damages, but should we not have received (at minimum)greater communication from a 4/5 star hotel when most likely one of their employees tried to steal $5k from us!? We are both platinum elite and have never run in to any sort of trouble like this and have never even so much has left a bad review despite a number of crappy things happening during travel, but this seems like a bit much.

Am am I being unreasonable to expect greater communication and if not, what should my next steps be?

Thanks all for the help.
Sorry not trying to sound harsh but I have no sympathy for you because you told the hotel you didn't want to press charges. That's absurd and ridiculous and if I'm the hotel mgmt and I hear that from the guest? Well it gives them an out to not "care" as much about this since the guest didn't want to pursue charges. I get you were leaving but how on earth could you not want to press charges when a hotel employee entered your room and tried to use your credit card for a huge amount? The whole thing, including your reaction makes little sense.
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 4:44 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by arlflyer

Edit: Already got the first interesting response, suggesting that the OP call the local Brazilian police. Lol.
I really dont think you understood the point. I was not suggesting that I believed the Rio police would dedicate a problem solving team which would magically solve the case.

The point is (and I would have thought this was obvious) that the hotel is not going to take a crime seriously if you dont treat it as a crime.
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 5:18 pm
  #21  
 
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Even if Brazil is Brazil ...

i would have demanded the GM to call immediately the police

i would have demanded the GM to check immediately all the CCTV cameras (that they have in every corridor)

i would have demanded the GM to dont make anything different before to understand clearly what happened

it is something absolutely unbelievable to happen at a 5* hotel, in Brazil as at any other place in the world and it needs to be treated as very serious issue.

I cant understand also how the GM cant treat that as a serious issue for his hotel reputation

just reading this thread, im sure I wouldnt ever stay at this hotel, unless someone from this property or from Marriott come here to write something about it to clarify what happened

Are we kidding or what else ?
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 5:22 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete
... The point is (and I would have thought this was obvious) that the hotel is not going to take a crime seriously if you dont treat it as a crime.
But $5,000 is not pocket change. Given the amount involved, you'd think they'd be interested to know which of their employees (or guests, possibly?) could be involved in such a scheme.
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 5:34 pm
  #23  
 
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Mehta Rio is a pit

I get it, crime can happen anywhere, but comparing Rio of the late 70s early 80s, it is now an open festering cesspool. How anyone considers this place a first tier vacation destination is beyond me - there has always been pickpockets, that is a fact of life - but now there are the confidence scams, the kidnappers (who will take you, demand a few thousand usd equivalent and if you dont pay, beat you up and dump you in a barrio), the rape gangs, the stab and rob, etc etc....
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 5:48 pm
  #24  
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The decision not to press charges was a quick one born out of both confusion (we hadnt quite put together what had happened) and the fact that we were leaving the country hours later. From my standpoint, I didnt really care to see a poor/desperate person in brazil (extremely low income, even in Rio) prosecuted. I have some empathy to the desperation that situations like this dictate. We stated this in dealing with them but told them that we took the situation seriously as it relates to the hotel and not wanting it to happen to someone again.

Rather, I thought that a hotel of this caliber would take the accusations very seriously because they both dont want their staff trying to steal from their residents and because a review like this going up on travel sites could be hurtful. Instead I dont even get a follow up email.
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 5:50 pm
  #25  
 
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Meh, I find it pretty unlikely that your girlfriend left a card in her pants pocket, someone went into your room long enough to find that card, and ran the card for $5k.

Most likely the hotel checked the door logs, found out no one else had been in your room, decided you at best wouldn't be happy anyway and at worst were trying to scam them, and moved on with their lives.

I've had card-present transactions from Brazil and I haven't been to Brazil in almost a decade. Also pizza places in California. Don't know how they do it, but it's apparently possible. (Also, "card present" doesn't necessarily mean "chip present", if the merchant is only swiping the card.)

Anyway, point is, I wouldn't be so sure your card was compromised at the hotel.
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 5:51 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Finkface
Who/where was the merchant that the card was physically used at? Was it actually a mobile payment processor, like Square or similar? That would mean the staff member had to have a third party chip reading device actually with them and an account with that third party where they themselves can accept credit card payments. You can get their info from the mobile processor.

Or was it a brick and mortar store, meaning they would have had to take the card, go outside of the hotel to use it and put it back before the OP returned? Pretty big chance they are taking if it was a staff member.

Or was the charge attempt made at the hotel? That doesnt make much sense.

Or was it perhaps not a physical use of the card but an online purchase that just notes that it was a chip card and the CVV was used?

So what was the name of the merchant attempting to put through the charge? Was it local, i.e. within a few blocks of the hotel?
The concierge told us the name of the merchant was an online company unique to Brazil, Mercado Brago I believe the name was. They said that the usage of a mobile payment processor (like Square) was likely and referenced that this was a common method of theft.
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 5:52 pm
  #27  
 
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If you had called the cops, there's a decent enough chance that you would have been shaken down for a bribe. Calling the police is to be avoided in Brasil, since nothing positive will come of it. The general thinking is that they're poor and need the money, and you're rich and won't miss it. I saw a guy standing under the awning in front of the entrance at the Marriott and a kid on a bike rode by stole his phone right out of his hand. An Italian guy one night got hit in the head with a rock/brick and had his pockets emptied in seconds. Both right at the entrance under the awning.

It's the lay of the land. Hide everything and don't trust anyone. Take a small screwdriver and use it to take off light switch plates and such and hide your stuff there. Don't trust the safes because the security guys can access them. They're probably the guys who tried to rip off your credit card.
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 5:55 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by raehl311
Meh, I find it pretty unlikely that your girlfriend left a card in her pants pocket, someone went into your room long enough to find that card, and ran the card for $5k.

Most likely the hotel checked the door logs, found out no one else had been in your room, decided you at best wouldn't be happy anyway and at worst were trying to scam them, and moved on with their lives.

I've had card-present transactions from Brazil and I haven't been to Brazil in almost a decade. Also pizza places in California. Don't know how they do it, but it's apparently possible. (Also, "card present" doesn't necessarily mean "chip present", if the merchant is only swiping the card.)

Anyway, point is, I wouldn't be so sure your card was compromised at the hotel.
The credit card company stated chip present and said unequivocally that the card had physically been used. This also wasnt a card that had been used at any point on the trip.
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 6:05 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by catocony
If you had called the cops, there's a decent enough chance that you would have been shaken down for a bribe.
In a luxury(ish) international hotel? Come on...
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Old Aug 6, 2019, 6:12 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete
In a luxury(ish) international hotel? Come on...
In Rio? I would believe it...however the local police do realize the importance of tourist money...so probably not in any obvious way.
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