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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 11 Apr 2008
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Question True or not?

This advice has circulated on the internet for quite a while.
Does anyone know if it is correct?


HOTEL KEY CARDS

Ever wonder what is on your magnetic key card?

Answer:
a. Customer's name
B. Customer's partial home address
C. Hotel room number
d. Check-in date and out dates
e.
Customer's credit card number and expiration date!

When you turn them in to the front desk your personal information is there 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 reissues the card to the next hotel guest. At that time, the new guest's information is electronically 'overwritten' on the card and the previous guest's information is erased in the overwriting process.

But 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 into the front desk when you check out of a room. They will not 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 card key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash basket. Take it home and destroy it by cutting it up, especially through the electronic information strip!

If you have a small magnet, pass it across the magnetic strip several times. Then try it in the door, it will not work. It erases everything on the card.


PLEASE FORWARD to friends and family
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Old 11 Apr 2008
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I don't know where you got that from Dave. No personal info is stored on the key - simply the room number, dates and times the key is valid for.

Garry from Oz.
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Old 11 Apr 2008
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Farqhuar is right...it is FALSE!


see here
Urban Legends Reference Pages: Hotel Key Card Identity Theft
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Old 12 Apr 2008
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Thanks

Well that is the sort of thing that gets circulated on the internet - it came to me recently via an email, but I reckoned I had heard something on these lines earlier i.e. that it is a bit of false information - not worth posting in the jokes for the bar then!
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Old 13 Apr 2008
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keycard dat

Yeah, a lot of balony gets passed of on unsuspecting uncritical readers of such articles- another urban myth -.
Have paid cash for many US hotel rooms, and given incorrect addresses , so how on earth could such critical personal info get on the key card , huh?
The cards are just a simple way to avoid the expense of having to change the locks everytime some clown walks with the key. It is a simple case of reprogramming the lock and a new card .Presto
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