Should I Be Concerned Someone with My Name Now Has My Hotel and Airline Frequent Traveler Numbers?
“There are 17 of you,” the general manager of a Hilton Garden Inn said in the message he left on my voicemail. He was referring to the quantity of Hilton HHonors members with the name “Jennifer Huber.”
About two weeks ago, I received an email from a specific Hilton Garden Inn in North Carolina thanking me for my recent stay and asking me to complete a survey. Hmm. I can’t recall when I last stayed in a Hilton Garden Inn and certainly, I was not in North Carolina over the dates the email stated. In fact, I was sitting in a staff retreat here in Port Charlotte, Fla., so I have four others who can vouch for my whereabouts.
I logged into my Hilton HHonors account and there it was, a folio showing “Jennifer Huber” with my address, Hilton HHonors number and Delta Sky Miles number. This other Jennifer Huber stayed two nights at this particular hotel and was traveling with another adult and two children. Definitely not me. Luckily, the last four digits of the credit card did not belong to me.
See, I was concerned because with a Hilton HHonors account, you need to have a credit card attached so when you book, that information is already there so you don’t need to provide a credit card again to guarantee the reservation. I immediately tried to remove my credit card information from my account but was unable to do so, in case my account was hacked and other reservations would be made.
[Note: My Sky Miles number was on the folio because of the Hilton HHonors Double Dipping – ya gotta dip, why wouldn’t you?]
How Did Someone Else Get My Frequent Traveler Account Numbers?
I figured somewhere down the road, either when the other Jennifer Huber booked or checked in for her reservation, a Hilton HHonors number was added. After reading the hotel general manager’s email to me, that’s what happened at check in. He also assured me in the voicemail and email (I returned his call but missed him) front office staff does not have access to credit card numbers stored in Hilton HHonors accounts and a card is needed at check in.
This is why when you check into a hotel you need to give your credit card. Don’t fight with the front desk clerk and say,”It’s already on the reservation,” because what if your information ended up on someone else’s reservation? Would you want your credit card paying for their stay? Yeah, didn’t think so.
What Can Someone Do with My Hilton HHonors Number and Address?
I’ve been pondering the “what if” consequences. What if this folio was given to the other Jennifer Huber? You know, what if it was slipped beneath her door into her room and without looking at it, she packed it away and took it home? If this is the case, this woman now has my mailing address (which I know isn’t difficult to find), Hilton HHonors and Delta Sky Miles account numbers. What harm could be done?
Could she call and book random reservations with these numbers? At the same time, could she no-show on hotel reservations resulting in a no-show fee to my credit card on file in my Hilton HHonors account? And if this happened, would the hotel believe I did not book the reservation?
Or does the hotel chain’s reservation system have something in place when someone calls to make a reservation to verify who they are speaking with? If they do, I hope it isn’t the address.
This is part of the reason why I don’t post in advance hotels I’ll be staying in. For one, what if I have a stalker who hangs out at the front desk waiting for me to check in? Or, what if I have an enemy ( pretty sure I don’t) who would call the hotel to cancel my reservation? You really don’t need to provide a reservation/confirmation number to get a hotel or reservation clerk to pull up a reservation.
Suppose I have some investigating to do.
I appreciate the follow up from the property and know the intent was not malicious, especially since I have a few more Hilton HHonors points in my account (which I know they’ll have to deduct), however, I wonder if there will be consequences for an innocent mistake.