Holiday travelers warned about hotel baggage storage clerk scam

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- With the holiday travel season here, there's a con that could leave many of us vulnerable. 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney has this timely warning.

The scam recently hit a San Francisco hotel and a family traveling from Australia. Some are certain the scam artist will try to strike again.

Albert Young is still mad about what happened and can hardly forgive himself.

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The hotel clerk has worked in the hotel industry for 40 years. Yet both he and his customer became a victim of a scam.

"I let my guard down and I took the person for their word and it was a con," said Young.

The Luz Hotel is part of a new service called BagBNB which caters to AIRbnb guests who need a place to temporarily store their luggage before check in and after check out.

Albert said a man came to the Luz in San Francisco saying he had lost his claim ticket.

A cab was supposedly waiting for him outside and he was late.

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"I didn't realize that until the right people came to claim their luggage and that's when I knew that oh, my God, I have given away bags to someone and it was a con,"

The rightful owner of that luggage lost the bags and everything in them.

Hotel owner Virgilio Candari is glad his employee is telling his story because the crime can happen anywhere that has people store their luggage.

"Any kind of business, not only BagBNB. So I want everybody to know to be aware that there are people like this in the city," said Candari.

BagBNB says it requires travelers to show their baggage receipt along with a photo ID before claiming their luggage and suggests the incident reinforces the importance of following proper procedure.

Albert has accepted full responsibility and paid the travelers $400 out of his own pocket as compensation.

"They were grateful, but I was even more grateful that I was in a position to do that," said Albert.

BagBNB launched a year ago and is now in four countries as well as Europe. It too compensated the travelers for their loss.
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