Phone scammers target a Eugene hotel

EUGENE, Ore. -- Phone scammers have hit a Eugene hotel by posing as staff and asking guests for credit card information, police officials said.

Eugene Police said a local hotel reported that scammers have called in asking to be transferred to various rooms.

When guests answer, police said the caller would act like they were a clerk at the front desk having trouble with the credit card. The caller would then ask for a credit card number and security code.

Officials said that the hotel phone system displayed "front desk" on the caller ID as the call was transferred from the front desk. If the room's phone wasn't fitted with the caller ID setup, police said a Huntsville Alabama area code (256 or 938) showed up as the scammer's phone number.

Eugene Police said that this type of scam has been popping up around the country. Crime prevention specialist Tod Schneider said that this incident serves as a reminder to be careful when divulging information over the phone or online.

"If a stranger contacts you offering anything that would require you to share such information, your safest move is to first check with the police. Scams may involve anything from roof repair or driveway sealant to get rich quick schemes, foreign lotteries, and distant relatives in dire circumstances or Nigerian widows wanting you to manage their fortune," said Schneider.

"What do they have in common? A goal of fleecing you for everything you've got. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is a scam," Schneider added.

To report crimes, or suspicious activity in progress, call Eugene Police dispatch at 541-682-5111.

For more crime prevention information, including tips on frauds, scams and identity theft, visit the Eugene Police website or call 541-682-5137.