> You know how when you check out of a hotel that uses the credit-card-type
> room key, the clerk often will ask if you have your key(s) to turn
> there is a box or slot on the Reception counter in which to put them?
> good for the hotel because they save money by re-using those cards. But,
> it's not good for you, as revealed below.
> From the Colorado Bureau of Investigation:
> "Southern California law enforcement professionals assigned to detect new
> threats to personal security issues, recently discovered what type of
> information is embedded in the credit card type hotel room keys used
> throughout the industry. Although room keys differ from hotel to hotel,
> key obtained from the "Double Tree" chain that was being used for a
> regional Identity Theft Presentation was found to contain the following
> the information:
> a.. Customers (your) name
> b.. Customers partial home address
> c.. Hotel room number
> d.. Check in date and check out date
> e.. Customer's (your) credit card number and expiration date!
> When you turn them in to the front desk your personal information is
> for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel
> scanner. An employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a
> scanning device, access the information onto a laptop computer and go
> shopping at your expense.
> Simply put, hotels do not erase the information on these cards until an
> employee re-issues the card to the next hotel guest. At that time, the
> guest's information is electronically "overwritten" on the card and
> the previous guest's information is erased in the overwriting process.
> until the card is rewritten for the next guest, it usually is kept in a
> drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!!!!
> The bottom line is: Keep the cards, take them home with you, or destroy
> them. NEVER leave them behind in the room or room wastebasket, and NEVER
> turn them in to the front desk when you check out of a room. They will
> charge you for the card (it's illegal) and you'll be sure you are not
> leaving a lot of valuable personal information on it that could be easily
> lifted off with any simple scanning device card reader. For the same
> reason, if you arrive at the airport and discover you still have the
> key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash basket. Take it
> and destroy it by cutting it up, especially through the electronic
> information strip!