Convention attendees being targeted by hotel scam

LAS VEGAS -- Conventions are the life blood of the Las Vegas valley economy, but those who attend the conventions are being targeted by some unscrupulous people.

Scammers are reaching out to convention attendees who are planning on being in Las Vegas and promising hotel deals that sound almost too good to be true.

What actually happens is the visitor arrives in Las Vegas and attempts to check into their hotel room only to find there is no such room reserved.

"It's become a weekly occurrence," said Mike Dominguez, senior vice president of corporate sales at MGM Resorts International. "People are showing up and have no room at our hotel."

Las Vegas plays host to 22,000 conventions a year and 5 million convention visitors. Dominguez says it's time to tackle a problem that's getting worse. He is heading a task force to combat the so-called hotel pirates.

"They're taking people's money," he said.

The unscrupulous organization reaches out to those planning on attending a convention and offers a hotel deal. The conventioneer gives up their credit card information, in order to reserve the room, but later discovers a room was never reserved.

"The biggest concern I have about that is we talk about data security and security for all attendees of any meeting. In today's world of data fraud, that should be very alarming to people," Dominguez said.

He said he could have easily become a victim himself recently. He is planning to attend an industry convention and received an advertisement for a good deal. He said the deal was bogus and fortunately, because of his job, he knew to avoid it.

"There's that old saying, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," he said.

Hotel pirates can usually find out who is attending a convention by looking at convention websites where exhibitors and vendors are often listed.

Dominguez says your best bet is to book directly through the hotel, convention website or sites like Expedia.









 


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