Gift shop fraud

Old Feb 27, 20, 6:16 pm
  #1  
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Gift shop fraud

Just completed a stay (not including name of hotel as this applies to all Marriott hotels) where someone put fraudulent charges onto my room bill at the gift shop

the hotel removed the charges and did a little digging to prove it wasn’t me, and I in turn trying to pull a fast one. I don’t begrudge them this investigation

but what I bloody hate and I told their security people they need to change is having their staff ask for all the info a would be thief needs to run up a tab on a room

go to any bar or restaurant and the first thing you are asked is room number and last name.

this is also all you need to charge anything to your room. So what happened here is a thief overheard my exchange with a server in the bar or restaurant and then had a shopping spree on my hotel bill

Surprisingly in all my travels this is a first for me so from now on I’ll write my name down on my keycard pouch with room number and flash it to staff rather than say anything. But comeon Marriott, get some tech that makes this process better

Either that or drop the act of having hotels investigate the charges and simply remove with no questions asked because you make fraud a stupidly easy crime
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Old Feb 27, 20, 6:24 pm
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We had random parking charges to our room bill in our last hotel stay. The reception removed it after I mentioned it. Kinda annoying. Thanks
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Old Feb 27, 20, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Nuhusky
this applies to all Marriott hotels) where someone put fraudulent charges onto my room bill at the gift shop
Not just Marriott. I'd say this applies to every hotel in the world that has a restaurant, coffee shop, or gift shop. And quite frankly, you don't even need a real number and name in most cases. Someone could write a random number and name on a restaurant bill and walk out before anyone even bothers checking for a match.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 9:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Nuhusky
go to any bar or restaurant and the first thing you are asked is room number and last name.

this is also all you need to charge anything to your room. So what happened here is a thief overheard my exchange with a server in the bar or restaurant and then had a shopping spree on my hotel bill
Worse than theft is that this is also a safety issue. Most hotels have trained front desk staff not to announce a room number but then fail to provide this same training to servers and retail staff.

As a woman traveling alone I tend to be conscious of this risk, and will raise a stink when a server insists I must verbally announce my room number and name versus allowing me to write it on the tab/receipt.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 9:13 pm
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Geeze. Talk about an overreaction. All this over a few bucks that got fixed. And writing your name on your key jacket is a great way for this to happen intentionally or worse outcomes.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 9:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Nuhusky
So what happened here is a thief overheard my exchange with a server in the bar or restaurant and then had a shopping spree on my hotel bill
The whole idea of providing a name and room number to charge to a room seems so antiquated.

These days, we use RF key cards or smartphone apps to enter our rooms. Why don't we use them for hotel restaurants and gift shops too. It would be much more secure for the guest and the hotel.

Now that I think about, Disney hotels rely on RF keycards and RF "MagicBands" (wristbands) for room charges.

Not sure why Marriott would still want to use an "old school" system that easily enables fraud.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 10:26 pm
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I don't think they even bother checking the last name from the receipt most of the time. I have a somewhat unusual last name and did mobile checkin, so my name or room number were never really pronounced or even show on the property. I did get a charge from the hotel bar, which was removed fairly quickly after a call to the hotel and a check on their side. I doubt that someone had guess the right room#/name combo, most likely just had a random room and name, and that got charged to the room number without any further checks.
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Old Feb 27, 20, 11:26 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman
Not just Marriott. I'd say this applies to every hotel in the world that has a restaurant, coffee shop, or gift shop. And quite frankly, you don't even need a real number and name in most cases. Someone could write a random number and name on a restaurant bill and walk out before anyone even bothers checking for a match.
On our recent trip to Tokyo the hotel bars asked for our room key - a much better system!
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Old Feb 28, 20, 12:15 am
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Yeah, sounds more like an overreaction to a clerical error than the fraud alleged in the title. Im never asked my room number when I sit down in a hotel bar. Im asked what I would like to drink. I enter my room number in the bill when it comes.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 1:26 am
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I doubt this was fraud, more likely someone staying in room 1234 wrote 1324 on the bill and no one checked the last name before charging the room number on the bill.

I get asked for my name and room number maybe half the time in hotel restaurants/bars. My standard response is to start getting up and say, "sorry, I didn't realize the bar was for hotel guests only" at which point they're happy to serve me and let me pay with card or cash.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 2:36 am
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Originally Posted by damon88
On our recent trip to Tokyo the hotel bars asked for our room key - a much better system!
Did they swipe it against something? I usually ditch the wallet it comes in (for security) so how would they know which room the card was for?

I've had charges added to my account that I (or OH) hadn't signed for, but a quick look at the chits and comparing signatures shows that it wasn't signed off by one of us and thus it gets removed from the account.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 3:28 am
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Originally Posted by Segments
Worse than theft is that this is also a safety issue. Most hotels have trained front desk staff not to announce a room number but then fail to provide this same training to servers and retail staff.

As a woman traveling alone I tend to be conscious of this risk, and will raise a stink when a server insists I must verbally announce my room number and name versus allowing me to write it on the tab/receipt.
At some properties I've stayed at, I've noticed that the host/hostess will have a full matrix printed out of every guest/room number. Presumably it's just indicating if someone's rate includes breakfast, how many people are in the room. But, when the host/hostess leaves to seat someone, all of that information is still sitting there. Someone could be next in line, and all it would take is a quick peek.

As others have mentioned, it's also entirely possible that someone simply conflated two of the digits in their room number, and the person working the till didn't verify.

Horace's suggestion, using RF key cards, would seem to be the most secure. There may be other issues to work out (like, if this requires a system/equipment upgrade, does Marriott pay for that, or the hotel owner in a franchise? I believe some gift shops are also contracted out, so there might be a third party involved), but those seem to me to be issues that could be worked around.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by der_saeufer
I doubt this was fraud, more likely someone staying in room 1234 wrote 1324 on the bill and no one checked the last name before charging the room number on the bill.

I get asked for my name and room number maybe half the time in hotel restaurants/bars. My standard response is to start getting up and say, "sorry, I didn't realize the bar was for hotel guests only" at which point they're happy to serve me and let me pay with card or cash.
they wrote my room number and last name and then they tried to sign my name. Security showed me the receipt

this is literally the definition of fraud to those saying it’s not

its also because this person got my name spelling correct and had my room number security was called to talk to me vs the front desk team removing the charge. So although happy ending it took over 30 min to fix, so yeah I could eat $100 or spend time convincing people the handwriting looks nothing like my other receipts followed by security getting a description from the store manager to verify my claims

Last edited by Nuhusky; Feb 28, 20 at 4:43 am
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Old Feb 28, 20, 6:26 am
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Bottom line is that there are any number of security systems which a property could implement, such as requiring ID along with a card key, but customers hate that. So, the properties eat the cost of the occasional drink or comb or whatever.

Ain't going to change until consumer sentiment changes to accept additional security measures for simple transactions.
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Old Feb 28, 20, 6:35 am
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It amazes me that they use RFID cards for room access now, but can't use the same card to verify a room and then could just ask for or have the guest write down their name. I've been to a few resorts outside the US where they do this... they require your rfid room key to charge and then verify your name matches what comes up, and never have to mention the room number.
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