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Travel Tip: Hotel Credit-Card Fraud

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Credit-card fraud is hardly a new phenomenon, but you might be surprised to learn 38 percent of credit-card hacking cases involved the hotel industry.

Here’s how you can protect yourself….

That fact is, many hotels haven’t—and won’t—spent the money necessary to upgrade their computer systems to protect against hackers.

So when they swipe your credit card, the information is there for the taking.

Big hotel brands are no exception: Wyndham, Destination Hotels, and Westin have all experienced hacking.

Hackers will often rack up small charges that fall below your credit-card’s floor limit, so it doesn’t require authorization or raise any red flags.

My advice: Always give the hotel a credit card, not a debit card, so your bank account is protected.

Ask if their computers have either encryption or tokenization technology, which protects private information.

But the real bottom line: It’s your responsibility as the cardholder to check your statement each and every month, and keep an eye out for several smaller charges.

If you do spot something, report it to your credit-card company right away.

For more information, check out Peter’s interview with the NYT’s Joe Sharkey: Preventing Credit Card Fraud At Hotels.

For more on ways to pay for travel, check out the Money, Currency & Credit section.

And check out the rest of our Daily Travel Tips here.

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