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Hotel guests especially vulnerable to credit, debit theft

Hotel guests especially vulnerable to credit, debit theft

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SALT LAKE CITY -- As you set those travel plans for spring break or for the summer, plan to be vigilant. Experts say hackers steal hotel guests' credit-card data almost more than any other industry.

You hand over your card, and there goes your information. Hackers break into hotel databases or even install software onto the reservations system and then pull out credit card information.

Utah Assistant Attorney General Richard Hamp said that if you see something odd on your credit card statement after your vacation, you have to let the credit card company know about it within 30 days.

"As long as you are doing that, they will remove it from your card if you show that it's fraud. If you wait past the 30 days, you own it," he said.

Hamp said not to pay your bill with a debit card because then your bank account could get drained. Paying in cash is also a bad idea because carrying a lot of cash is also dangerous. Just keep an eye on those statements.

"Who can anticipate that happening in their lives, so you always have to be vigilant as a consumer," Hamp said.

Vacationers should also watch out for "shoulder surfers." They stand nearby at the airport kiosk or an ATM so they can catch your PIN or passwords, either writing them down or snapping a picture with their cell phone.

"On vacation you are supposed to relax, so you let your guard down. But this is an area where you should keep your guard up a little. Relax about work, but not about your finances."

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Mary Richards


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