Hotel Internet Scam Stealing Money from Vacationers

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

HARRISONBURG -- We're warning you about a new scam and ripoff making the rounds this vacation season. Hackers are trying to steal your money when you use the internet at a hotel.

Johnathan Overby lives and works at the Stonewall Jackson Inn in Harrisonburg. He says the reservation system is a closed network. No one can access your personal information.

"Our online system doesn't link directly to our reservation system. We have to manually input it and that is specifically a fail safe for this kind of thing," explains Overby.

Internet security experts say it's not hard to do. Stacy Moomaw knows exactly how.

"In less than 10 minutes I can set my laptop up and emulate. So if I was in a hotel, you wouldn't know," says Moomaw.

In less than 5 minutes, Moomaw set up a fake network as an example.

"One's called 'dubbys' and I created a second one called 'dubbys'. The look and the feel of them is exactly the same. They have the same log on's they have the same user passwords to get into them. But one is generated on my laptop and the other one is in our network infastructure," Moomaw shows us.

Moomaw says it's important to know the difference. It's the symbol next to the name. If you see green bars that's good. Anything else is bad.

If the hotel requires you to pay for internet, Overby says to double check with the front desk.

"They most always have your credit card information already and they just bill your room," explains Overby.

Overby says he doesn't really have to deal with that because the Inn has free wifi and it's password protected.

Overby says, "personal and credit card information, I've never seen need to be shared."

If you know of a scam or rip-off or have been a victim of one, e-mail us at scams@whsv.com. We'll follow up to make sure criminals are held accountable and your family is safe.


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