Tag Archives: hotel accounting

THE OLD IATA SCAM

30 Nov

computer 2

This may be one of the older hotel scams in the books…. but for any of you that may not be aware it is still widely used…..

Usually the culprit is someone in a hotel Sales Department that has password clearence allowing them to enter new Travel Agents and their IATA numbers into the Property Management System (PMS).  Of course once that task is accomplished, any reservation that has that simple IATA number punched into the appropriate data field automatically creates a commission check.  It is usually pretty easy to go into most PMS systems, after a reservation has been made, and add an IATA number to an existing reservation.

The thief will formely create a company and use it to apply for travel agent credentials.  An IATA number is issued to the company.  Also, easy to do.

Commission checks are cut either in the properrties accounting department or by and indepenent service and a  typical hotel will produce hundreds of these checks each month.  This of course makes it harder to detect a “phony” agent.

The checks just start rolling in!  Usually not in big enough amounts to stand out.  But over years they can add up.

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CORPSE UNDER THE BED?!

30 Nov
corpse
Admittedly, until a year ago I had not heard any of the hotel “corpse under the bed stories”…. but they’re out there!  Here’s a few if you click the prompt below…

GOOD PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE

29 Nov

June 12, 2010 –Housekeeper Jeanne Mydil did the right thing, and South Floridians are following her example.

Mydil’s bosses at Miami International Airport Hotel were happily overwhelmed Friday with an outpouring of phone calls and e-mails from good-hearted citizens eager to donate money to Mydil, who found $6,000 left behind by a missionary group while she was cleaning a room. She promptly turned it into her supervisor.

Friday, South Florida responded in kind.

One anonymous donor called the hotel and put a $6,000 donation on his credit card. Another dropped off $1,000 cash in an envelope and walked out without wanting a thank you.

Dozens of people called The Miami Herald saying they wanted to donate $20, $50 or $100. Many more said they dropped checks in the mail to the hotel.

By the end of the business day Friday, $7,535 had arrived at the hotel for Mydil.

At the time Mydil found the money, she did not realize it belonged to a missionary group from El Paso, Texas, headed to Haiti to help with earthquake relief.

Colleagues honored her Thursday as the Miami International Airport Employee of the Month.

Heidi Herzberger, the hotel controller, said the phone hadn’t stopped ringing Friday.

The ultimate shocker for Herzberger was when she received a call from the person who gave $6,000.

“I asked him how much he wanted to give, he told me $6,000 and I said, ‘Excuse me?’ ” Herzberger said. “Then he said it again. And there was silence. And he said, ‘Hellooo?’ And I said, ‘I’m sorry, I just fell off my chair.’ ”

Miami Herald staff writer Jacqueline Charles contributed to this report.

GREAT HOTELIERS HAVE KINDNESS EMBEDDED IN THIER SOULS

29 Nov

This story is frequently told to be true. Whether true or not, it is certainly powerful.

A man and a young teenage boy checked in to a hotel and were shown to their room. The two receptionists noted the quiet manner of the guests, and the pale appearance of the boy. Later the man and boy ate dinner in the hotel restaurant. The staff again noticed that the two guests were very quiet, and that the boy seemed disinterested in his food. After eating, the boy went to his room and the man went to reception and asked to see the manager. The receptionist initially asked if there was a problem with the service or the room, and offered to fix things, but the man said that there was no problem of that sort, and repeated his request. The manager was called and duly appeared. The man asked to speak privately and was taken into the manager’s office.

The man explained that he was spending the night in the hotel with his fourteen-year-old son, who was seriously ill, probably terminally so. The boy was very soon to undergo therapy, which would cause him to lose his hair. They had come to the hotel to have a break together, and also because the boy planned to shave his head, that night, rather than feel that the illness was beating him. The father said that he would be shaving his own head too, in support of his son. He asked that staff be respectful when the two of them came to breakfast with their shaved heads. The manager assured the father that he would inform all staff and that they would behave appropriately.

The following morning the father and son entered the restaurant for breakfast.

There they saw the four male restaurant staff attending to their duties, perfectly normally, all with shaved heads.

STICKY FINGERS

29 Nov

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – A southwest Missouri woman is going to prison for 21 months for stealing nearly $170,000 from a Springfield hotel where she worked.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 47-year-old Janet Mosier, of Springfield, must also repay the stolen money under the sentence she received Thursday in federal court.

Mosier was the director of accounting services at Springfield University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center. In a guilty plea earlier this year, Mosier admitted stealing from a petty cash account from 2003 through 2010.

Prosecutors said Mosier resident submitted receipts from her personal expenses and others she got from family members to support inflated reports of petty cash outlays.

HR DIRECTORS BEWARE

29 Nov

The criminals were good. They almost got away with the most complex data breach and identity theft scam I’d seen in all my years as an FBI agent and hotel security director.

The victim was a nationally branded hotel in Annapolis, Maryland. A mob of thieves from Baltimore infiltrated the hotel in 2004. An associate had applied for a front desk position, got it, and soon had access to the guest and accounting system.

The gang incorporated several businesses and opened bank accounts using previously stolen identities. They chose a bank based in New Mexico, certain that no one would fly 2,000 miles to check on a fake mailing address. Over the course of a few weeks, the group charged $850,000 to credit cards lifted from the hotel’s accounting records. Charges ranged from $10,000 to $18,000 each.

Identity Theft 911 blog (http://s.tt/15Hh7)

BRAZEN GUEST

29 Nov

The $300,000 Andy Warhol picture being exhibited at the irrepressibly hip W Hotel, Hong Kong.  An unidentified guest removed it and marched straight out of the hotel with such bald-faced confidence that no one thought to stop him. That is until a timely phone-call from the fast-thinking concierge raised the alarm. Still, the mystery thief got away. Seeing the game was up, he calmly left the picture propped against a lamppost, stepped into a taxi, and sped away.