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Are Arise Hotels Exposing Clients To Scams With Their Data Collection Policy

Australian companies being fleeced of $1 million a day and scams involving credit cards and dodgy licenses are costing Australians millions but despite this large apartment rental Companies such as Arise Hotels appear to still be taking huge risks with guest’s information spanning driving licences and credit cards.

Arise Hotels and Apartments in Brisbane, demand that customers hand over their license and credit cards so that reception staff can “photocopy” them, there is no communication as to what happens to this information after being copied.

I recently booked into one of their apartments where reception staff claimed “It’s company policy”, to photo copy documents, they offered no explanation as to who has access to these photocopied legal documents or how the information they have obtained is stored or disposed after a person has booked out of the premises.

The Company refuse to accept a digital NSW Services driving license despite a picture barcode and unique identification number, but they will accept a piece of plastic that be easily faked.

They also refused to digitally scan my credit card unless they took an upfront bond, this is despite being a regular bookings.com customer and despite bookings.com having made the booking and pre-paid for my accommodation.

Last week a credit card printing machine was confiscated from an NSW house.

NSW Police raided the house as part of an alleged fake credit card ring.

As well as the machine for making credit cards, the authorities found receipts for alleged fraudulent purchases made with copied cards, multiple credit cards and mobile phones.

Front desk staff claimed when questioned about the security risks associated with their copying of documents, “I am only doing what I am told to do by management”.

Information similar to what is being collected and stored by Arise Hotels and Apartments can easily be copied by criminals and is seen as “incredibly valuable” information.

All a criminal has to do is obtain a copy of the photocopied information transfer it to a credit card printing machine and print a new card and license.

New images are obtained from social media pages and added to the driver’s license.

Scams cost Australians more than $634 million last year, according to a report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

There were more than 353,000 combined reports to Scamwatch, other government agencies and the big four banks in 2019, the ACCC’s Targeting Scams study released today shows.

“Unfortunately, it is another year with devastatingly high losses, and scammers are constantly finding new ways to defraud Australians,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.

Federal Police in the past have smashed sophisticated credit card fraud syndicates who have used information similar to what Arise is collecting to manufacture fake ID’s

In one case they seized more than 15,000 fake cards with a potential value of $37.5 million.

A husband and wife were arrested at one NSW home where police allegedly also found computers and equipment used to manufacture fake credit cards.

In the past Australian Federal Police have smashed identity fraud criminals who pay staff at hotels and restaurants to obtain information similar to what Arise Hotel and Apartments are collecting.

We are not suggesting that this is the case at Arise Hotels or Apartments. We also have no evidence that information obtained by Arise have been used in criminal activities.

In one case a gang allegedly passed on the fake credit cards to others who used them to buy luxury goods including high-end jewellery and watches.

Arise Hotel and Apartment management were not available to comment.