Link to website story
this is the email I received...
"Posted by Greg on 13:05:05 03/05/2007
In Reply to: motel key cards and maybe even hotel key cards posted by tb
> i got this info this am in an e-mail and i thought it would be helpful to all who go on trips and stay in motels and even hotels
> MOTEL KEY CARD
> Ever wonder what is on your magnetic key card? Answer:
> a. Customer's name
> b. Customer's partial home address
> c. Hotel room number
> d. Check-in date and out dates
> e. Customer's 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
> 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 "overwritten" on the card and the previous guest's information is erased in the overwriting 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: Pasadena Police Department
> ** If you have a small magnet ... pass it across the magnetic strip several times. Then try it in the door, it will not work. It erases everything
on the card.
Great information, hadn't thought about it.