Greetings, fellow travelers - I am writing this to make as many people as possible aware of a new scam that is taking place at hotels throughout the U.S. It happened to me at a Marriott-branded property recently, and I have learned that this is now a common practice:
In my instance, an "employee" from the "front desk" called my room and told me that the computer system had crashed, and that all of my reservation details had been deleted, including my credit card information. He asked me to please give him my credit card information that I had used when I had checked in.
I immediately knew something was amiss: I had used the Marriott mobile app the previous night to check in (which I love), and I had just spoken with some of the staff at the front desk minutes earlier, as I had just returned from breakfast. He didn't sound like anyone working at the front desk. So I told him I would come down and give him the card in person.
I went down to the front desk, and they informed me that there weren't any computer issues, and they hadn't called my room. I told them about the call, and they said that it had happened to another guest recently, and he had made the mistake of giving the caller his credit card information.
So take note: JUST because you are in your hotel room, don't think that you are safe from fraud. People can call from outside the hotel (directly to your room in many cases), or call from a house phone in the lobby. I was never able to determine where the call originated.