Jerome, Idaho (KMVT-TV) After camping in the mountains, Steve Thornsberry and Colletta Jones checked into the Best Western Sawtooth Inn on Sunday night.
Thornsberry picked up the phone after it rang in his hotel room. A man asked him if he was Mr. Jones. Since Thornsberry's partner Colletta Jones had signed in with her credit card, he said yes. The man said there was a problem with Jones' credit card, and he needed to confirm the number.
Thornsberry says, "I asked him, are you at the front desk at this location? He said, yeah. And I said she's on her way down there now, so she'll give you the number. He said, okay, and he hung up."
Credit card owner Colletta Jones says, "I had gone down to the front desk with my card and asked for some supplies to do laundry. And I asked the gal, I understand you need my credit card again. She said, no, we have a credit card on file for you and everything's fine."
After comparing notes with the front desk, Thornsberry and Jones found out that man had called the hotel for customers named Williams, Johnson, or Jones. So the call was transferred to their room, but they managed to outwit the scammer.
Monday morning the couple checked with hotel employees, who were going to be stricter about forwarding calls to their guests. The couple says they should have asked the caller for a specific first name. And they encourage you to find out exactly who you're talking to on the phone.
Jones says, "Definitely never give your credit card number out over the phone to anyone, not for any reason."
The good news is now that this scam has been identified, we all know exactly what to do to short circuit the scammers' efforts.
Aug. 9, 2012.