When You Ask A Hotel To Ship Something For You, They Might Look Inside The Package

Hotels used to be discreet. You’d check in under an alias. Desk clerks were like priests or bookies, you expected them to keep your secrets. Now airline and hotel employees use their prejudices to report you for suspected crimes and hotels view the ‘do not disturb’ sign as an indication of illicit activity.

In other words, don’t involve your hotel in shipping packages with contraband inside because the hotel may just open up the package if you raise their suspicions. That’s a lesson one man should have kept in mind before asking the Wynn Las Vegas to send a box for him containing 24 unemployment debit cards, a laptop, and proof the cards were used fraudulently.

The value of unemployment insurance benefits on the 24 cards is at least $465,230, but when coupled with illegally filed unemployment insurance claims possibly made by Ray the total amount reaches nearly $1.15 million in actual and potential benefits, according to court documents.

…Wynn’s security found 24 unemployment insurance debit cards under different names issued by DETR and California’s employment office. They also found two notebooks containing personal identifying information of more than 80 people, a photocopy of a Puerto Rico marijuana dispensary card with a Puerto Rico address, a laptop, a receipt showing a $1,000 withdrawal from an ATM near Wynn using one of the unemployment debit cards, among other items, court documents say.

The man asked the Wynn’s business center to ship the box to Houston. Instead he’s likely being shipped to prison. He “used several aliases,” including more than one at the hotel (he presented a Canadian passport in a different name than his reservation was for, and was previously deported back to Canada for overstaying his U.S. visa).

The problem with living outside the law is you lose its protection. And the more people who are involved in your activities, the greater the risk of getting caught. Asking hotel employees to assist in crimes may seem logical, it is supposed to be a service industry after all. And what happens in Vegas doesn’t truly stay there – that level of discretion is a myth. At least unless you tip really well.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I would have never thought of using a hotel to ship packages, even if the service is offered, as I would presume that a tip is probably customary and I hate tipping. I usually drop off packages at a franchised UPS store where the clerk on duty looks irritated that I would have the nerve to enter the store while he is balls deep in Candy Crush. I guess the upside of that is the clerk won’t be arsed to alert the authorities even if contraband was leaking out of the box.

  2. Your packages can be opened for inspection by shipping companies as well. Check the service guides of FedEx and UPS.

    FedEx Terms and Conditions:

    Inspection of Shipments and Identification Requirement

    We may, at our sole discretion, open and inspect any shipment without notice. We may,
    at our sole discretion, require the shipper to provide their government-issued photo
    identification prior to tendering a package to FedEx.

    The USPS has police which any postal employee can alert of any thing suspicious.

  3. @christian – ah yes, because we all have the US Code in its entirety, up to date, in our head at all times upon shipment. Got it. Prick

  4. Wow, if you can’t trust the Vegas hotels to keep your secrets, who can you trust?

    I’m curious as to whether or not the box was sealed when it was given to the hotel.

  5. @SeanNY2, oh no! What ever will you do now now that oh so clever Jason turned his devastating name calling on you. OMG, you must be terrified he might call you a prick TRIPLED!

    What a surprise the pathetic cheap skate “hates tipping”. He’s probably cultivated a taste for saliva.

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