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How to Spot Fraud on Your Hotel Credit Card Authorization Form

Your hotel credit card authorization forms can share several clues that you might be dealing with a fraudster. Train your front desk team to review and research the following information carefully to reduce your risk of hotel fraud and chargebacks.

Same-Day Arrival Selections

Fraudsters like to act quickly (up to 48 hours prior to check-in), so many hotels have adopted a policy to not accept same-day reservations. While that may not be an option, here are some best practices to follow if you can adopt it:   

  • Adopt an advance deposit policy and charge a minimum or full amount immediately. If the transaction’s being made with a stolen card, the true cardholder will get a notification of the charge, which will prompt them to contact you.  
  • Require a second form of payment. If the first card fails or results in a chargeback, the second option is available. This process can be implemented for all same-day reservations.

Business Name, Addresses, and Phone Numbers
  • Be on the lookout for vague, mismatched, or incorrect addresses, as well as any address with a P.O Box. Run a Google search of the provided business name to verify that it's real.
  • Google Streetview can show you if the provided address is really a home, empty lot, bus stop, etc.
  • If the provided cardholder and guest names are different, phone numbers should be different as well.
  • Don’t accept a credit card if the address provided for the card and the address provided for the authorization are drastically different
  • Take note if a business email wasn't used with a business selection.


The signature should match the cardholder's or guest’s name. Hotels have been known to accept authorizations signed with false signatures, resulting in chargebacks.

Billing Instructions, Comments, and Special Requests

These sections are typically not required to fill out, so fraudsters may skip them to suggest billing was not approved.

Detect risk early with Sertifi's credit card authorization solution – complete with free advanced fraud tools.

Ready to start putting your time and revenue to better use? We’re happy to help protect your business and ensure your staff is set up for success. Our digital authorization solution helps 15,500+ hotels save thousands a year in chargebacks.

About the author

Peter Laspas

Peter Laspas is the manager of customer success at Sertifi. As a service-oriented leader, he's passionate about building relationships and helping users enjoy a more efficient, seamless agreement experience.