Last updated: 03:30 PM ET, Fri November 20 2015

Marriott Issues Response to 'Free Stay' Phone Scam

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | November 20, 2015

Marriott Issues Response to 'Free Stay' Phone Scam

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Despite previous warnings, a widespread scam aiming to dupe people into revealing their private information in exchange for a "free" Marriott hotel stay continues to take its toll on unknowing victims.

Earlier this month, KDRV reported an Oregon man claimed he was targeted by the phone scam.

Friday, Marriott International confirmed it's aware that the scam has been occurring all around the world. The company went on to warn people of what to look for and reassured customers that their private information is safe.

"Marriott International has been made aware of a series of fraudulent telephone calls being made in different parts of the world where the caller offers a complimentary stay at a Marriott hotel to entice the person taking the call to listen to a sales pitch unrelated to Marriott," the company said in a statement issued Friday. "This practice, known as 'scamming,' typically incorporates a company’s branding in order to get someone to provide personal information or buy a product or service."

"Marriott International has a long-standing commitment to protecting the privacy of the personal information that is entrusted to us. Marriott has not provided any information to the parties involved in these fraudulent calls," the company added.

The company encouraged potential targets of the scam to use common sense when answering unexpected calls and to simply hang up if suspicious circumstances arise.

"If you receive a suspicious telephone call, especially for a contest you did not enter, we urge you not to provide any personal information, especially credit card information," concluded Marriott. "Instead, simply end the phone call."

Marriott issued a similar statement in January 2015 pointing out that it had been made aware of complaints about scamming phone calls in Canada.

With the malicious scheme spreading to the U.S. and other parts of the world, it's critical that people heed Marriott's advice.

The company's warning comes just days after it acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in a mega $12.2 billion deal.


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