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Wine Country visitors victims of phone scam

A couple staying at a Calistoga motel fell victim to a 2 a.m. phone scam when a caller to their room claimed to be management and threatened to evict them if they didn't give up their credit card information, reported Calistoga police.

Police have issued an alert warning area visitors and businesses.

"We want people to know the scam is out there," said Calistoga Sgt. Matt Freese Monday.

The couple was staying at the Stevenson Manor Inn Saturday near downtown. They received a 2 a.m. call in their room from someone saying they were with the motel, said Freese.

The caller said the business computers were down "...and they needed credit card information to keep their room and if they don't get it they would be evicted," said Freese.

The caller also threatened to call police if the motel guests didn't comply.

"The folks eventually gave them a credit card number," said Freese. The caller then called back awhile later, saying the card didn't work, said Freese.

The victims gave information for a second credit card.

In the morning the motel guests spoke to management and learned the calls were a scam.

Police were called. They found some minor charges made to the two cards.

"We don't believe any reputable hotel would call somebody in their room at 2 a.m. and threaten to kick them out," Freese said.

No other reports of such a scam were made to Calistoga police, he said.


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