Hotel Key Cards - Security

sandiemag

Account Deleted at user's request.
This is pretty good info. Never even thought about key cards containing anything other than an access code for the room! Got this from a friend and I'm not 100% sure it's true or not, but thought I'd pass it on anyway.


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.

Information courtesy of: Metropolitan Police Service.
 
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Joleca

Registered
Definitely good info, didn't realize all that was there, but... think it depends where you are whether or not they will charge you for a card key.. (different states may have different laws as well as going out of the country) Was in Oregon a couple of months back and we stayed at a beach condo for a few days.. My nephew still had one of the card keys and they got my sister on her cell and we had to go back to return it or it would have been $50 billed to her credit card)

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.


This might be a better way to avoid your info being stolen (and possible charges if you don't return the card).. Maybe just keep a small magnet in your travel bag and run it over the card before you return it.. The hotel won't be after you for a missing card, and you'll still be protected (although they'll probably have to toss the card out when it doesn't work any more).

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.
 

7thsinger

VIP Member
A friend of mine happens to work at a hotel and she had always told me there was more than just an access code for room entrance on those key cards. She wouldn't tell me what all information was on there, so thanks for the informative post!
 
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