A homeless man in New York with a temp job at a law firm used the indentities of 20 of the firm’s clients to sign up for credit cards and use the free night signup bonuses for a place to live.
The DiCaprio wannabe got away with the scam for so long because store credit cards are available to use immediately after they’re approved and hotels often give out free night stays after opening a new credit card, Brown said.
In one instance, Bogun opened a Marriott Rewards Visa card with a $14,200 credit limit under a Queens woman’s name after staying overnight at a hotel in East Farmingdale, Brown said.
He was, it seems, brand-loyal to Marriott. And his taste in hotels was – unsurprisingly – fairly utilitarian. (He was likely savvy enough to think he might stand out more at upper-tier properties in the city.)
Some of the places he stayed included the Marriott Towne Place Suites in East Farmingdale, L.I., and a Marriott Residence Inn in Plainview, court papers say.
…Investigators caught Bogun on video in January of last year picking up household merchandise he’d ordered with one of the bogus cards at Walmart, and then two months later they found evidence he’d stayed at the Marriott with a bogus ID.
He also used the cards to charge hotel stays, and purchase items from Walmart. He was eventually caught buying and reselling Amtrak tickets (and presumably pocketing the travel category bonus points).
(HT: Magic of Miles)