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Marriott Hotel continues to warn people about fake phone scam

(Reuters)

Do you think you have won an all-expenses paid hotel stay at a premium brand? Not so fast. If you receive a call with a free stay at a Marriott hotel, you might just want to hang out immediately.

According to the hotel chain, that call is likely to be a part of an ongoing telephone scam that uses the brand’s well-recognized name to access the personal and financial information of potential guests.

According to Travel Pulse, the trick is played on the victims since at least 2015, and the chain has a series of statements warning about the calls since. But the scammers apparently not deterred.

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“Marriott International has been made aware of a series of fraudulent telephone calls being made in different parts of the world where the caller provides guests with a free stay at a Marriott hotel to seduce the person that the call to listen to a sales pitch, apart from Marriott,” the hotel said on March 15.

But according to the global hotel chain Marriott has absolutely nothing to do with these phone calls.

“Marriott has provided all the information to the parties involved in these fraudulent calls,” the hotel said in a statement.

“If you have a suspicious telephone call, especially for a contest that you don’t have to go, we recommend you not to provide personal information, especially credit card information. Instead, just the end of the phone call.”

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If received, the fish calls can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Phone disadvantages, the commission says on their website, have led to thousands of people losing money (“a few dollars to their life savings”), each year.

According to the FTC, travel scams are a very common way for thieves to obtain your information and money.

“‘Free’ or ‘low cost” vacations can end up costing a bundle in hidden costs,” the commission said. “Some of these vacations never take place, even after you have paid.”

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