Recent Identity Theft Ring Arrests

Learn How to Avoid Identity Theft during Hotel Stays

Recently in Illinois, ten hotel workers were arrested as part of an identity theft ring. While new information is still being uncovered after a four-month investigation, the identity theft ring could involve thousands of victims nationwide. The recent crime brings up the question, just how safe is our credit card information when we stay at a hotel?

Operation Sleep Over

Hotel visitors staying at hotels in a Chicago suburb became the victims of an identity theft ring when hotel workers sold their hotel guests’ credit card information to opportunistic identity thieves. A sting referred to as Operation Sleep Over uncovered the ring responsible for stealing the guests’ information. While ten arrests have been made so far, there are expected to be more.

How Does It Happen?

Simply using a credit card to book a hotel room isn’t always going to result in identity theft. However, if you don’t want to provide the hotel employee with your credit card number, there are ways to avoid giving out the information.

In some cases, if you book your reservation well enough in advance you could send a money order to be used as a down payment. Even though making a hotel reservation might not lead to you becoming the victim of an identity theft ring, this recent case certainly reminds us that you should take extra precautions when you are vacationing and staying in a hotel.

Don’t Leave Them Lying Around

When staying in a hotel room, you should never leave your credit cards behind. When you leave the room, make sure you take your purse or wallet with you. Pack light too. You don’t need to take every credit card you have. Stick with your debit card and one or two credit cards. If you leave your credit cards behind, anyone can access them in your absence.

Even if you assume that the maids and hotel staff are trustworthy, your room might still be unattended in between room cleanings. Anyone off the street could have access to your room or the contents of your wallet or purse. If you are inattentive and don’t safeguard your wallet or purse, you might not be the victim of an identity theft ring but you still might be the victim of identity theft.

Proceed With Care

Exercise caution when you are staying in a hotel room. Make sure you don’t loudly vocalize your credit card information when checking in and don’t leave your purse or wallet unattended in your room. While it’s not likely that you will be the victim of a hotel-related identity theft ring, the above tips are measures of precaution that should be taken.

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