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What info is on a Hotel Key Card...

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posted on Nov, 25 2003 @ 03:35 PM
Hi Guys, wasn't sure where to put this.

Friend emailed this to me, I don't know if it's a scam or not, thought it was worth passing along, you can never ne too safe...


You know when you check out of a hotel that uses the
credit-card-type room key, the clerk often will ask if you have your key(s) to turn in...or there is a box or slot on the Reception counter in which to put them? It's good for the hotel because they save money by re-using those cards. But, it's not good for you, as revealed below:

Colorado Bureau of Investigation

"Southern 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 through-out 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.. Customer 's (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 the information on these cards until an employee re-issues the card to the next hotel guest. At that time, the new guest's information is electronically "over-written" on the card and the pr! evious guest's information is erased in the over-writing process. But until the card is rewritten for the next guest, it usually is kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!!!!

The Bottom Line is:

Keep the cards , take them home with you, or destroy them . NEVER leave them behind in the room or room wastebasket, and¬ NEVER turn them in to the front desk when you check out of a room. They will not charge you for the card (it's illegal) and you'll be sure you are not leaving a lot of valuable personal information on it that could be easily lifted off with any simple scanning device card reader. For the same reason, if you arrive at the airport and discover you still have the card key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash basket. Take it home and destroy it by cutting it up, especially through the electronic information strip!

Information courtesy of:
Sergeant K. Jorge,
Detective Sergeant,
Pasadena Police Department

posted on Nov, 25 2003 @ 03:50 PM

posted on Nov, 25 2003 @ 03:54 PM
I have worked a hotel with credit card type keys and trust me...we throw them away almost everyday..there is nothing on them at all....if they wanted all your info it would be ont their computer when you check in not on the key card you use to open your door....and they dont really even care if you turn in the key..its just makes it a little easier for them because if they dont have a certain amount of keys for the door then they have to discard the others and remake new ones so there is no security risk by poeple having the old keys...

[Edited on 11-25-2003 by sirCyco]

posted on Nov, 25 2003 @ 05:20 PM
Glad to hear it's a hoax. I'm going away with a female colleague of mine for a one night "business trip
" in a few days and staying at a hotel with these cards.
costing me enough for the ahem.."business trip". I'd be really pi55ed off if someone ripped off my credit card as well.

[Edited on 25/11/03 by funlovincriminal]

posted on Nov, 25 2003 @ 06:19 PM
I agree its a hoax - i worked selling these card systems and they carry nothing more than the room identifier - the loss to return ratio is actually something like 89% so there is little value in bothering. Most hotels use an 11am shut out on day of check out to invalidate those keys - assuming they will never be seen again. For myself I collect them and have a pinboard full of the places I have been and the countries I have visited.

posted on Nov, 25 2003 @ 07:01 PM

I didn't know, so I wanted to get some opinions, facts from you guys.


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