The holidays are here and it's the busiest times of year for travel. If you and your family are staying in a hotel this holiday season, be aware of this incredibly smart scam that's catching many people off guard and could cost you big.

You check into your hotel, pay with your credit card and head to your room, where you receive a call from the "front desk" claiming your card didn't process. This professional sounding caller will encourage you to read your card information over the phone to save you a trip to the front desk, however, this is actually an attempt to steal your funds.

According to a recent article, this scam apparently has really picked up steam and it's catching a lot of people unaware. Here's what you should do.

First of all, NEVER EVER give your credit card info to someone over the phone. Make a trip to the front desk in person or tell them you will take care of it in the morning. No hotel will call you in the middle of the night asking for you credit info. Thieves like this prey on the fact that you won't be informed enough to not give this private info out or that you will be so sleepy that you won't think before giving them your info. By the time you wake up and realize what has happened, your bank account is empty.

Keep in mind that it is incredibly easy for someone to call the front desk of a hotel and ask to be transferred to any room number. If you find yourself in this situation during your holiday travels this year, remember that a hotel's front desk employee should not ask you for credit information via telephone for any reason. Simply suggest to the caller that you will handle the situation personally. A trip to the lobby may be inconvenient, but could spare your bank account some serious cash.


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