The most recent credit card theft scheme is a new twist on the usual telephone scams.

Thieves are attempting to catch card holders off their guard while they are staying in a hotel by calling them in the middle of the night and posing as hotel staff.

The Better Business Bureau has already received numerous reports of fraudulent phone calls to guests in hotels across Sacramento with the callers claiming to be from the hotels front desk.

The thieves tell sleepy guests that the hotel computer system is down and they need to record their credit card number again in order to bill them for the room. Consumers nationwide are being warned to be on their guard in case the scam spreads across the country.

Like most fraudulent calls claiming to be from banks or credit card issuers, this particular request might make sense on the surface, especially if you have just been roused from a deep sleep. However, something just doesn’t add up and consumers must try to be on guard against such calls.

A large hotel will never lose credit card information due to a computer systems crash because all guest information, including billing details, is entered into the hotel chain’s networked system which is backed up across multiple hotels across the globe.

Hotel guests who receive unexpected calls requesting credit card information should tell the caller they are hanging up and will call the front desk back in a moment when they are fully awake and have located their card. That way the guest can be sure that they are speaking with a real hotel employee rather than a fraudster. This will foil the scammer’s attempts to obtain the consumer’s credit card information.

Credit card scammers are constantly coming up with new creative ways to steal credit card details and other pieces of personal information which can be used to steal consumers’ identities or use credit cards and bank accounts fraudulently.

The majority of credit card issuers do offer protection from fraud and will not hold consumers responsible for any purchases made fraudulently on their credit cards. However, consumers should still strive to protect themselves from this sort of crime so that fraud can be prevented.

The basic steps to protecting yourself against fraud include being aware of telephone, internet and real world scams which can be used by thieves to gain access to consumers’ credit cards.