Pizza delivery ploy targets travelers in hotels and motels

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RIP-OFF ALERT: Do I have the weirdest alert for you. The Orlando Sentinel reports that criminals are printing up fliers for bogus pizza specials and putting them on or under the doors of hotel and motel rooms.

Here’s how this rip-off plays out: Travelers return to their hotel room and will call to order a pizza upon finding the flier. The nice person on the other end of the line gets your credit or debit card number and says your pizza will be delivered in a half hour. Then they take that info and instantly start using your card number around the world as part of a criminal ring.

The pizza never shows up, of course, because there is no legitimate pizza parlor. The whole thing is a con to get your credit or debit card number.

Florida passed a law passed 6 years ago that was supposedly going to crack down on this kind of activity, yet it’s had no effect. Of course, this crime could be duplicated anywhere in the country. But I don’t want your mind to go to the school of paranoia.

Here’s my advice: Before you order takeout off a flier, you might want to verify that the business is a real one. Use the phone book if available to check it out. Or use your smartphone (or a computer) to visit Yelp.com, Kudzu.com or other local review services to check out the alleged restaurant.

Will you actually lose money because of this rip-off? Maybe some or even none if you notify your bank of fraudulent activity in a timely manner. But it’s the hassle factor when your credit or debit card is compromised, that’s what I want you to avoid.



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