Phony Calls Targeting Hotel Guests at South Padre Island
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – Hotels and visitors on South Padre Island are on high alert. Police said they are being targeted by thieves pretending to be hotel staff.
South Padre Island police said the thieves are calling visitors’ hotel rooms posing as staff, asking for their financial information.
Police chief Randy Smith said the new threat is making their jobs a little more difficult.
Smith is warning visitors to be on alert. “You may get a call from the front desk saying we need to put a deposit on your card. If that happens, don’t do that over the phone,” he said.
Smith added the problem is heightened during spring break. He said often additional complaints come in after visitors leave the island.
“We don’t hear about everything right away. A lot of times, after spring break, we get letters filtered in of things that occurred while they were here,” he said.
Some people said when they receive a call asking for bank information, it is an immediate red flag.
“Right off the bat, I would ask why they would want my bank account when I already checked in and did everything. I wouldn’t give it to them though,” Patrick Bush said.
“Go down and talk to the people, especially if you already did the whole process and ask for your card again. I would see what’s up, honestly,” Xavier Jones said.
Smith said the fraudulent calls are originating outside of the Valley. No arrests have been made.
If anyone receives a questionable call, Smith said people should contact the front desk staff at the hotel immediately and then SPI police.