Australia’s hotel industry association is warning consumers of a new credit card scam targeting major hotel chains operating in the country.

Two of the hotel chains say at least eight consumers in New South Wales and Western Australia have fallen prey to the scam, according to statement from Accommodation Association of Australia.

Crooks stole from the victims at the chains up to AU$11,500 (US$12,050 or 9,285 euros) through fraudulent use of their credit cards, the statement said. Consumers in other states also may have been victimized.

“Consumer are being contacted by these fraud telemarketers who are trying to sell a hotel dining loyalty membership,” an association spokesperson tells PaymentsSource. They offer the membership at a heavy discount of about AU$20 instead of the usual amount of AU$300, which has prompted customers to part with their credit card details, he says.

"Our investigations are telling us that the scam is defrauding at least five new consumers every day,” the spokesperson adds. "The hotel chains have reported the matter to state and federal police.”

Apart from the losses stemming from the scam, the hotel industry also runs the risk of many legitimate hotel loyalty programs loosing credibility and being unable to solicit customers by phone, the spokesperson says.

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