Hotels warned to be vigilant over fake credit cards

11 December 2007
Hotels warned to be vigilant over fake credit cards

Hoteliers have been warned about fake credit cards after Bristol Crown Court heard that a con man was able to run up bills at hotels throughout Bristol using specially adapted fake cards.

Alexander Hobbs, 32, from Bradley Stoke, Bristol, admitted obtaining goods and services by deception totalling in excess of £6,000.

The court heard that he had stayed at the Hilton, Ibis, Ramada Plaza, Premier and the City Inn in Bristol and at the five-star Celtic Manor Hotel in Newport.

He had stayed at some of the hotels for up to a week at a time.

When he was finally arrested by police Hobbs said in interview he had been able to bypass security by replacing numbers to make fraudulent credit cards.

He then damaged the card's electronic strip so that the numbers had to be keyed in manually.

After the case a police spokesman said that hotel cashiers should take extra precautions if they suspected that there might be something wrong with a card.

Hobbs was spared jail when evidence was given that he had a drug addiction problem.

He was given a year long drug rehabilitation order and a 26-week jail term, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay £100 court costs.

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By Andrew Smith

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