It’s all too common for airline miles and hotel points to be stolen. However, it’s not often that a person gets arrested for this at a hotel…
Man arrested at Residence Inn Naples for stealing points
FlyerTalk member KRSW shares a story based on a police report from the Naples Police Department. This involves an arrest on April 27, 2023, at the Residence Inn by Marriott in Naples, Florida. Here are the details, according to the police report:
- On April 26, the victim stated that her personal information had been stolen, including her Marriott Bonvoy account information
- The victim received an email confirmation from the Residence Inn Naples confirming a reservation using points, which she hadn’t made
- The victim claims to have called the hotel to cancel the reservation and changed her Marriott Bonvoy account log-in information, but on April 27, she received a notification that someone had checked into the Residence Inn under that same reservation
- Six police officers then went to the hotel, where the general manager stated that the reservation was in fact made in the name of the victim, but someone had called pretending to be the victim, adding someone else as a second guest, so they’d be allowed to check-in
- Police officers were then led to the room in question, where a 29-year-old male, 25-year-old female, and infant, were found in the room
- The suspect claimed that a friend had made the reservation for him, but he couldn’t say what his friend’s name was
- The man was taken into custody, and both adults were given a trespass warning for the property
- In this county alone, the man had six felony cases and nine misdemeanor cases, which might be why six police officers were sent to the scene
My thoughts on this Marriott Bonvoy points theft situation
While hotel points are stolen all the time, it’s not often that someone is actually arrested on property for this. That’s because this kind of theft is typically caught either before or after the hotel stay happened. In this case, the arrest was only possible thanks to the swift actions of the Marriott Bonvoy account holder who had her points stolen.
It’s pretty terrible that this woman reached out to Marriott about the situation as soon as she received the confirmation, yet somehow the man was still able to check-in at the hotel a day later. She really did everything right here.
This case also exposes a pretty common security concern at hotels. It’s really easy to call and add someone to a reservation as a second guest, so that they can also check-in. All you have to do is pretend to be the person who the reservation is for, and most hotels don’t actually do a lot to verify the identity of that person.
I think the other question is how exactly this guy managed to steal the points of the Marriott Bonvoy member. The man claimed that a friend made the reservation for him, but he couldn’t provide the friend’s name. While I don’t think he was telling the whole truth, I think it might not necessarily be that far off.
I wouldn’t necessarily assume this guy is some savvy hacker who somehow figured out how to log into this person’s account and then made a reservation. I think it’s much more likely that he was somehow sold a reservation at a significantly discounted rate by a hacker who has access to a bunch of Bonvoy accounts, given how big of an underground industry this is.
A Marriott Bonvoy member noticed that an unauthorized reservation was made out of her account. She reached out to Marriott about this, but somehow the person was still able to check into the hotel. At this point the woman reached out to the police, who showed up at the hotel and arrested the man.
What do you make of this Marriott Bonvoy points theft situation?
This is happening to me. Just hit my 10th fraudulent booking today in a week. Changing the pin or password has no effect because they are not logging out of the app. I would love to try to catch them but no one has actually tried to check in yet. They were talking with the front desk through the app two of the times trying to add someone to the room.
Make sure to set up two-factor identification
I recently made a reservation for 2 rooms in Fort Myers when I arrived they said thank you for being the highest level member and the email said I had over 300k points. I never stayed in a Marriott so I was confused. Bottom line reservation man was putting his name on reservation along with mine and he was collecting points. To collect 300k points he was giving discount room rates. I had to have...
I recently made a reservation for 2 rooms in Fort Myers when I arrived they said thank you for being the highest level member and the email said I had over 300k points. I never stayed in a Marriott so I was confused. Bottom line reservation man was putting his name on reservation along with mine and he was collecting points. To collect 300k points he was giving discount room rates. I had to have manager fix problem. 2days later he only had 140k points. So he must be selling or depositing into another travel portal
??In this county alone, the man had six felony cases and nine misdemeanor cases....Why is this person on the streets?!?!
Tiny D more concerned about cancel culture and making up voter fraud cases than actual law & order
LOL, He did a better job locking up books and going to war with Mickey Mouse.
I just did the same thing with my IHG account. The police showed up to the hotel and arrested the "guests'. They were doing drugs and were on parole so they went back to prison. Really an ordeal with IHG though.
I'll share another security issue. There are hotels (not just Marriott) that let's you link your netflix or YouTube accounts via the tv so you can access your personal content. The tv says all your info will get scrubbed when you check out..... Well I can tell you that is not always the case. I have been in rooms where I have seen the last 4 users netflix accounts still in their system and I...
I'll share another security issue. There are hotels (not just Marriott) that let's you link your netflix or YouTube accounts via the tv so you can access your personal content. The tv says all your info will get scrubbed when you check out..... Well I can tell you that is not always the case. I have been in rooms where I have seen the last 4 users netflix accounts still in their system and I was able to access it which to me means I probably have a pretty good back door into their account profiles and payment methods from their netflix account. This has happened twice already and I manually scrubbed these users info for them. I then informed the hotel Chain who was more interested in who I was rather than what steps I took to access the info. After a while it felt like they were suspicious of me rather than their "amazing" it infrastructure. So I didn't communicate anymore with them. So lesson here is don't link your accounts. Ditto for rental cars. Becky(who rented a car before me) transferred her entire phone's contact info the car!! Come on people. Stop helping the bad guys.
He's a drug dealer (I looked it up). The person who hacked the account was likely one of his customers and used the points to pay for candy. The dealer then gets an under-the-radar base of operation for a couple of days using someone else's identity. The drug trade is the new slavery. Except the whips and chains have been replaced with meth and crack.
I'm sure this person was arrested for *using* stolen points, and associated identity fraud of some kind.
I doubt they *stole* the points. That was almost certainly their unnamed "friend".
Not sure how stealing points can be considered a crime since it is clearly stated in most loyalty programs that points has no cash value.
So in your world things like say identity theft that have no measurable "cash value" are not crimes?
Theft of services by fraud….
What website do you guys recommend to buy discounted hotel stays booked with stolen points?
Not sure, but you should plan to steal and burn. Who knows when the next devaluation will hit?
Marriott did NOTHING in a similar situation that happened to me. Someone hacked my BA Avios account and redeemed for a same day Marriott hotel stay in Paris. I had the Bonvoy confirmation number, immediately called Bonvoy and they refused to do anything. Called hotel directly while the points thief was staying there, they also refused to do anything. BA locked my Avios account, and eventually refunded the Avios, but Marriott didn't care.
Well, of course, because the BA points were used so this needed to be dealt with BA.
This happened to me in 2019; 200,000 Bonvoy points were deducted for a two-night stay in a suite at the Swan hotel in Orlando. Kicker is that you can't even book those suites using points. When I called the hotel they cancelled the reservation after a day of 'research'' and I got my points back. The individual with whom I spoke inferred heavily that it was an inside job by an employee and that it was being addressed (without stating that directly).
Ah, The Marriott Times. Only 3 articles in two hours, when's the next one?
Quick reminder: Marriott does not honor elite benefits. They *will* steal your SNAs. They do, however, pay generous commissions to affiliates.
If you don't like it, don't read the blog. If we want to read snide comments, we'll follow Marjorie Taylor Greene.
@Mark in MI. Snide remark there, Mark.
Do you know MTG? Do you want to? Thousands of your fellow Georgia citizens voted for her to clean up the mess in D.C.
Millions of $$$ being wasted and taxpayers have to pay for it. Economic refugees coming into the country and murdering people. Fentanyl coming into USA from China. You should be thankful somebody is speaking up. Respectfully submitted.
Marriott is way better than Hilton at this... My dad got his account hacked and someone used his points for a stay. We called the hotel to let them know the person staying in the room was a fake but they wouldn't do anything about it cause he was on the reservation. I called the cops too but they wouldn't go to the hotel either... At least Italy is doing it right. Hilton just let a felon stay in the hotel room.
Italy? You mean Florida.
LOL, naples... Florida!
Reward points of any kind, are currency. Many business people consider them a perks. It's the same as robbing you on the street. They should have been arrested.
the same thing happened to me but in Georgia, they found the 2 people in the parking lot once I called! took months to get my points back. I was called by the DAs office as they were pressing charges and I even was asked to send in a testimony.
“…most hotels don’t actually do a lot to verify the identity of that person.”
I’ve never been able to check in without ID in the USA and a passport in all other countries.
@ TravelinWilly -- Oh, I meant when you call. In other words, you call the hotel and say that you're checking in but would like to add someone as a second guest. They'll almost always easily let you do that, so that's an easy way for someone to claim to be you and add someone without your permission.
100% agree, I’ve NEVER been asked to verify a thing when I’ve called.
I’m looking at YOU, Hilton.
Thanks for clarifying, Ben!
100% chance the perpetrator is a moderator on FlyerTalk.
100% chance the reservation was made using stolen credentials to the victim's account and then sold for cheap on Telegram or other marketplace.
Its good they allowed them to check in. It allowed the cops catch the unsuspecting thief. If check-in had been declined, the thief may have suspected something was up and made their escape.
I would assume that Marriott would make the member whole for the loss of the points
Damn, three Marriott posts in a row? I know they're the largest hotel brand in the world, but seems a bit overkill...
@ DaBluBoi -- These just happen to be three relevant travel stories I'm seeing this morning. Sometimes there are none, sometimes there are a few, and it seems silly to artificially restrict them just because they're Marriott, no?
Where were you when we had 20 Covid posts in a row three years ago?
Fair enough. Guess I just find it to be an odd coincidence
A short time ago this happened to me with a Hilton account and the thief checking in in Manchester UK , I suggested customer service to call the police and werent keen to do so....
Why book a Residence Inn when there's a Ritz Carlton not too far away.
Probably not enough stolen points :-)
If it was SkyMiles I would have believed that reason.