Beware of this not-so-suite room service scam.
While the running joke about wildly overpriced food and snacks at fancy hotels still stands, one unsuspecting family lost over $6,000 when they ordered some eats to their room while lodging at a well-known inn.
“You need to be careful about this dangerous food service scam in hotels,” warned TikToker Ali Koca to his 1.8 million followers. “This family was staying in a hotel, and they decided to order room service using the father’s debit card.”
In the clip, which has racked up a staggering 1.9 million views, Koca, from Toronto, shares an unnamed family’s cautionary tale in front of a green-screen image of a Holiday Inn Express; however, the location of the incident, as well as the specific franchise, has not been made public.
Koca then explains that after calling the phone number on what they believed to be the hotel’s room service line, the family placed their food order and provided the dad’s credit card information to the presumed staffer over the phone.
“They waited over an hour and a half, and no food got delivered,” Koca narrated. “So the father called the front desk to ask where his order was, but they told him they never got an order from his room.”
Panicked, the man logged in to his online banking platform to find that, “more than $6,000 of his money had just been withdrawn in the last hour and a half,” claimed the viral vigilante.
“It turns out, the room service menu that they actually ordered from was slid under the door,” Koca added alongside a picture of the hotel’s actual bill of fare.
“This scam isn’t that uncommon,” he continued. “Scammers will slip a fake room service menu under your door, hoping you’ll order from it. And once you give them your debit card info, they can log into your account and take out all the money they want.”
And online onlookers agreed that this room service scam is bleeding unwary hotel stayers dry.
“Yesss! this is so true! I worked at a front desk and it happens so often. Never order from those flyers!!!! They’re usually pizza flyers,” one commenter urged. “They should never ask for card info when you order room service, it just comes when you order it and it’s added into the bill after,” insisted another.
And Koca offered up a word to the wise on how to avoid this sinister slice of hotel hell.
“The best way to combat this scam is to call the front desk before you order your food, and ask them to confirm that the menu you’re ordering from is the right one,” he advised.