Fraud warning for card payments at hotels

30 de Octubre, 2015

Please be advised that we have detected a scam in relation to the following sectors: hotels, motels, spas. The modus operandi is as follows:

The hotel receives an e-mail from a potential customer with a foreign name asking for information regarding availability to make a reservation for him and his family. Once the establishment confirms availability and the price of the stay, the customer provides the details of one or several foreign cards (numbers, expiry dates, security codes, personal details), requesting that the total price for the stay be charged to the card.

A few days later, he contacts the establishment once again saying that due to unavoidable circumstances (family member in hospital, accident, death, etc.), he will be unable to stay at the hotel on the reserved days, and requests a full refund by means of a transfer. The fraudster claims that their card has been stolen or lost to avoid the hotel refunding the amount to the card. Eventually, the genuine cardholder makes a complaint alleging that they have not carried out this transaction, their name does not match the name of the customer making the booking, and the hotel must cover the amount of the claim since it cannot demonstrate authorisation or card ownership since the transaction was carried out without the physical presence of the card. Moreover, if the hotel has already made the transfer using the details provided by the fraudster, it will have to cover a double loss.


  • Take extreme care with these kinds of bookings.
  • Never give a refund using a different payment method than the one used initially to carry out the transaction. In other words, if the transaction was carried out using a PoS Terminal, always process the refund using this same method.
  • If you have been a victim of this kind of scam, you must report it, if appropriate, to the relevant authority.