How Front Desk Employees Can Help Protect Guests from Scams
10, October 2017 - By Elizabeth Johnson
Are you protecting your guests from phone scammers?
An article making its rounds through the Internet warns travelers of a phone scam in which a hotel guest receives a call in their room, supposedly from the front desk, requesting credit card information because of a problem running the guest’s card. Here’s how the scam works:
While the article focuses on what travelers need to be aware of, the situation also presents a valuable training opportunity for every front desk team.
Key points to emphasize in a pre-shift huddle include:
- Do not forward a call to a guestroom if the caller has only a room number but not a guest name that matches it.
- Do not share information such as guest name and room number with anyone.
- When taking a guest’s credit card during check-in, alert them to the scam and assure them that the front desk will never call and request card information over the phone.
- Repeat your property’s specific rules regarding transferring calls and sharing guest information with your front desk team.
AHLEI’s Certified Front Desk Representative (CFDR) training provides even more tips for keeping guests safe and making their stay enjoyable, along with processes for every aspect of a front desk employee’s job. In addition, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) offers its members a downloadable Travel Safety Tips Card that can be printed and displayed in guest rooms. Front desk representatives or bell staff should call guests’ attention to the card. Point #6 on the card reads:
“Be aware of potential phone scams and prank calls to your guestroom. Hotel employees will never request credit card or personal information over the phone . . .”
Guest safety is one of the highest priorities of hospitality. Take time to review procedures so your staff can ensure a safe and hospitable experience for every guest.