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Attempted $5k theft in JW- what next?

Attempted $5k theft in JW- what next?

Old Aug 7, 2019, 6:51 am
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 906
Originally Posted by catocony
I have spent around 650 days in Rio since 2003, was married to a carioca, and have actually stayed at this Marriott property around 15 times over the years for a total of around 100 nights. I have had interactions with the police, and plenty of interactions with the hotel staff. EVERYONE is corrupt there. If they can make a buck off of someone else, they will. They're not all criminals, but for the most part, if you're not a bad guy - the cops are - then you look the other way 100% of the time.

They don't investigate armed robberies on Atlantica in front of the hotel. They don't investigate muggings on the beach side of Atlantica across from the Marriott, where the kiosks are. They don't investigate crimes of any sort for the most part, and they will never investigate a crime in a hotel where nothing was actually taken. Again, as I wrote above, guests are being bushwhacked 8 feet in front of the entry to the hotel, and no one does a thing about it.
The fact that they wonít investigate a minor, victimless crime does not mean all brazilian police are ctiminals. In fact, a situation such as this where there is no clear eminent safety danger would have been dealt by the criminal investigation police, a nonuniformed agency that has had far fewer abuse of power and corruption issues than the gendarmes (militarized police) that do regular patrol work. However, more likely than not, they would have told OP to go file a police report in person at the station and not bother to show up at the hotel.
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Old Aug 7, 2019, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee
I had a stolen item experience at GH Kauai several years ago. Management simply stopped responding to me. So I learned the hard way that the easiest response for the property is just to pretend this stuff doesn't happen.
This. I had a brand new shirt stolen from an HGI room. Even though the assistant manager admitted to me that they had a problem with one member of staff and everyone knew who it was, the manager herself the following morning said that I was lying, denied that her assistant had ever said this, and continued to maintain that position in subsequent emails.

I have never stayed there again, so they have lost several thousand dollars in business over the past few years. All you can do is vote with your wallet.
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Old Aug 7, 2019, 7:34 am
Join Date: Jul 2018
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Reading some posts, it looks like I could stay at JW or at any favela...and itís my problem for everything happens to me and my belongings, even inside the property

because there is corruption, police donít matter and donít investigate , people are all untouchable criminals, including ones working at any hotel.

so, why to pay to stay at a 5* hotel in Rio ? Just to have a comfortable bed and a nice view ?
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Old Aug 7, 2019, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by Happy
The suggestion about calling local police probably coming from someone who has no idea how corrupt the Brazilian government is.
No disagreement with you on that, but I'd still file a police report, in case one is needed later on for whatever legal reason while pursuing matters with Marriott (the hotel or corporate).

I'd contact the hotel management asking them what they found from looking at the access log. When they don't reply (I doubt they will, given the lack of response per the OP) I'd follow up with corporate.
fliesdelta is online now  
Old Aug 7, 2019, 8:12 am
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Ok, so there wasn't a theft (it was attempted CC fraud), there are no damages, no one is even actually sure that it happened at the hotel in question, and OP didn't care to do anything about the potential problem when it supposedly happened.

Surely this must be sufficient grounds for closing the thread...
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Old Aug 7, 2019, 8:19 am
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 906
Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet
LOL @ the Marriott bootlickers in here saying this is no big deal and to let it go. The OP should 100% have had the GM pull records of who accessed the room, cross check with security cameras and made sure the offender was tossed in jail. For STARTERS your entire stay should be comped. Do not lie back and take it.
I was unaware hotel GMs were allowed to put people in jail in Brazil. Maybe they can issue arrest warrants?
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Old Aug 7, 2019, 8:50 am
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I've had two ATM cards (one I never used previously) duplicated and used while I was in or on flight returning from Brazil.
A hypothesis which may or may not apply here - no one broke into your room but instead, copied the chip in prior transaction within Brazil (Was this the same CC used for checkin or deposit or any payments made to the hotel?) as if it was in a back pocket likely used recently or handy for something else. It is impossible to tell but the JW has a security camera on each floor and could tell if it was turn-down service or whatever. Unfortunately, knowing it was your last night prior to check-out that is the most vulnerable for a tourist as you won't have the time/patience to pursue a criminal act late at night or morning you are departing so most vulnerable.
Anyway, I do not blame the OP as he explained they couldn't capture all the elements of the situation and couldn't pursue the matter based on conjecture and not factor. I don't envy discussing with police without local language.
I think this message is a good warning to all of us regarding assets/valuables while on vacation and also change money once and use cash as much as possible.
RooseveltL is offline  
Old Aug 7, 2019, 9:00 am
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The credit card that was used had not been used at any point prior during our trip to Brazil. It hadnít been used in months actually.
WMTribe84 is offline  
Old Aug 7, 2019, 9:54 am
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No way to know how the card was compromised, but it's happened a few time to me. Assuming the hotel was negligent is a huge assumption. If I were going to take your card, I wouldn't take the time to put it back, I'd simply take it. I've yet to stay in a hotel that has any clue about how to investigate or even look at recorded video. Since I work in the industry and sell the software that records the video, the number of times I sit and watch some "security" person even attempt to look at recorded video is comical at best. Companies spend hundreds of thousands, but are clueless how to use any of the products out there. Same with key card access, I can integrate that with video, making investigations easy. People pay for it, and with turnover a year later I visit the client and they don't even know how to do anything but behave as though the system is just a VCR.

Point being the hotel doesn't care, but they may or may not have done anything wrong. My wife works in criminal investigations, stuff like murder for example, even she has a hard time getting someone to look at recorded video, and then has use the courts to even secure the video. Huge pain, and that is for murder investigations. Credit card compromised isn't even a blip on the radar because it's so frequent and banks cover the loss.
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Old Aug 7, 2019, 10:21 am
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Again, I have made no assumptions that the attempted theft was definitively the hotels fault. Iím just amazed that a 4-5 star hotel didnít even reach out about it after they said they would be in communication with us, even if it was just to confirm they didnít find anything.

Maybe I shouldnít be and thatís fine, but I expect better. Iíve spent over 500 nights in the last 5 years at SPG/Marriott properties and literally have never once filed a formal complaint, so Iíd like to think my standards arenít crazy high.
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Old Aug 7, 2019, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by MePlatPremier
I was unaware hotel GMs were allowed to put people in jail in Brazil. Maybe they can issue arrest warrants?
And I was unaware that you were ESL and thus unable to grasp the clear meaning of the post...that the GM should compile the evidence and get it to the police so that the offender gets what they deserve. Thx though.
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Old Aug 7, 2019, 10:49 am
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 423
I'm still clueless as to how someone is able to "charge" a chip card without an associated PIN ?

As for RFID scanning, that's "Tap" to us Canadians and it doesn't mean the same thing as "Chip"

(Edit: Typically tap has a limit of CAD$100 except MasterCard @ Costco which is CAD$ 200)

Last edited by Virginia Emery; Aug 7, 2019 at 10:56 am
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Old Aug 7, 2019, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by WMTribe84
The credit card that was used had not been used at any point prior during our trip to Brazil. It hadnít been used in months actually.
But it was in her pants pocket so presumably she had been carrying it while out and about. So many ways for it to be compromised - cloning, a very good pickpocket who has a set up exactly for this, etc. I think that is far more plausible than a staff member watching you leave, came into the room, happened to decide to rifle through a pair of pants, happened to find a card, happened to have a chip card payment processor with them, happened to have an account linked to it, runs the card, puts it back, all the while not knowing if the occupant will return.

Occam's razor suggests the card was compromised and used by someone other than the way you are suggesting. And again, card present does not necessarily mean Ďchip presentí. It can still be swiped.
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Old Aug 7, 2019, 11:16 am
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Again, the credit card company confirmed ďchip presentĒ....and again, I donít even know why the semantics of this are that relevant.
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Old Aug 7, 2019, 11:35 am
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 423
Originally Posted by WMTribe84
Again, the credit card company confirmed ďchip presentĒ....and again, I donít even know why the semantics of this are that relevant.
Because those "chip" machines will not even attempt an authorization unless you punch in the correct PIN, and if the thieves did manage to punch it the correct PIN then I would further question why it was declined. Was the authorization for a service/product in Brazil ?

Most likely scenario is that the magnetic strip was magnetically cloned (easy), rfid (harder) wouldn't make sense as you can't "tap" or "wave" $5000

I would recommend you change credit card company
Virginia Emery is offline  

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