Crooks Make Calls Claiming to be from Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott Calls: How The Scam Works
Imagine this scenario: The phone rings. You see a local number so you pick up. An automated voice informs you: “Because you’ve been a past customer of the Hilton Hotels –or Marriott or Hyatt– you qualify for a free vacation with our company. Press 1 to hear more”. Tempting, right? Well, beware of this telemarketing trick – it is one of the most common travel scams. How does the scam work?
Watch the video below to see and hear a real conversation caught on tape with the scammer – did you get one of these?
As a ‘free vacation’ sounds very interesting, you press 1. From there you are connected with an operator who takes the call live and asks if you are over 18. Similar to the Expedia, Air Miles, or WestJet scam, this approach is followed by a series of questions asking for personal information, which unfortunately victims are willing to share.
The operator also puts you through an agent who presents you with the deal, which is available only today! Well, the “deal” is available tomorrow, and the day after, and every day for that matter, for every victim.
No Affiliation With Hilton, Marriott, or Hyatt
This self-called Alejandro asks you to go to a website, Luxury Getaway Group (or any other name), to see the trips the company is offering to Mexico. You are required to pick one so they will throw in a “free” second vacation, which comes with a bunch of unexpected taxes and hidden charges.
If you watched the video above, you noticed that the caller had absolutely nothing to do with Hilton, Marriott, or Hyatt. He is just using their names to get you lured in.
How To Avoid The Free Vacation scam:
Hilton, Hyatt, or Marriott don’t have an automated call outreach, so don’t fall for this scam. Report it. Luxury Getaway Group was criticized to lure customers via these automated calls using other brand names as well, such as WestJet and Expedia. Always do your research when you receive ‘free points’ or vacations via phone or even social media.
Scammers use a technology named Caller ID spoofing to show a local number on your phone when it rings, for a better chance of you picking it up. You can report the scam, fake travel agencies, and their numbers below.
This scam could also have a series of variations that lead to timeshare scams, so watch out.
Since we are talking about travel and scams, also beware of a few others that are making their rounds this week: the Travel Club Membership Scam, the Cancelled Flight Compensation scheme, Vacation Club Scam, and beware of agencies that claim to be legitimate timeshare resale companies.
How To Report The Free Vacation scam:
Make your family and friends aware of the Hilton/Marriott/Hyatt Fake Call scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How To Protect Yourself More:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
Related Articles And Pages:
Phone Scams: Full List
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