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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-08-2004, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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OT Travel Warning (Hotel Room Keys) Long

Thought I would pass this on as travel season is drawing near and many of us are planning vacations. This came through a national law enforcement network. Makes ya think.


California law enforcement professionals assigned to detect new threats to personal security issues, recently discovered what type of information is embedded in the credit card type hotel room keys used throughout the industry.

Although room keys differ from hotel to hotel, a key obtained from the "Double Tree" chain that was being used for a regional Identity Theft Presentation was found to contain the following the information:

a.. Customers (your) name
b.. Customers partial home address
c.. Hotel room number
d.. Check in date and check out date
e.. Customers (your) credit card number and expiration date!

When you turn them in to the front desk your personal information is there for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel scanner.
An employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a scanning device, access the information onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your expense.

Simply put, hotels do not erase these cards until an employee issues the card to the next hotel guest. It is usually kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!

The bottom line is, keep the cards or destroy them! NEVER leave them behind and NEVER turn them in to the front desk when you check out of a room. They will not charge you for the card.


Since receiving this information, I've stayed at two different hotels and kept both room keys both times. Didn't seem to bother them. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-08-2004, 08:59 PM
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Re: OT Travel Warning (Hotel Room Keys) Long

Yeah, and that info is also in their computer.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 01:46 PM
 
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Re: OT Travel Warning (Hotel Room Keys) Long

http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/hotelkey.asp
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 03:06 PM
 
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Re: OT Travel Warning (Hotel Room Keys) Long

I'm trying to fix your link from above : Snopes Urban Legends
I think you may have reversed the URL and your comment.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 04:40 PM
 
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Re: OT Travel Warning (Hotel Room Keys) Long

In reality, the room keys just have a minimal amount of information on them which personalizes the room to you.. IE Name, Room number, and arrival/departure dates. There is no reason to put the additional information on the card since you donít use your card for anything other than getting access to the room. It would cost considerably more money to create software which would write the information to a hotel key card. After working at a hotel I found that they are cheap SOB's. So there is no way they would spend more to put useless information on a card that is designed to simply open a door.

Even if they supposedly used it for keeping track of incidentals - which they wouldn't; the credit card information is logged into the computer when checking in. So if you order movies, place phone calls, the charges are logged through an internal computer system which ties it all together - not by the door locks.
Key Card Rumor

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-10-2004, 08:42 AM
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Re: OT Travel Warning (Hotel Room Keys) Long

I think I'd worry more about the previous customer with your room - that kept his key.

One night a guy came in our room with his card key. He'd stayed there a few nights before, left, then came back and checked into another room. He forgot he had a different room, and he was partly drunk.

He came in, sat down on the bed - We were in the bathroom, just out of the shower. My girlfriend was really startled when she walked into the bedroom.
It was an honest mistake, but what a rukus!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-10-2004, 12:57 PM
 
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Re: OT Travel Warning (Hotel Room Keys) Long

Only one thing about that which doesn't make sense. When the hotel gives you the new key to the room, the keys are recoded with a different code, thus, disabling the old keys. Plus, the keys are only good for the length you are staying in the room. At least that is the way they worked at the Baymont Inn I used to work at. And they had an old archaic system.

Sean
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