Knoxville Officials Warn of Fake Hotel Scam Demanding Guest Fees

Fake letter attempts to get money from guests at West Knoxville hotels News
Knoxville, TN – Local government officials issued a warning this week about fraudulent letters sent to Knoxville hotels demanding extra guest fees. The letters, which falsely claimed that Knox County had contracted a new emergency services provider, directed hotels to charge each guest $10 per night and provide account information to pay the supposed new agency, “Rapid Response Emergency Services Inc.”

Multiple hotel managers reported receiving the scam letters, including Keith Dryjanski, General Manager of the West Knoxville Baymont by Wyndham. “It just seemed like a scam from the beginning,” Dryjanski said. “The letter looked like a copy of a copy. I called the mayor’s office right away.”

The Knox County Mayor’s Office tweeted a warning about the scam after fielding reports from Dryjanski and others. Knox County Public Safety Director Brent Seymour confirmed that transitioning emergency service providers would require an extensive legislative process, not simply mailing letters. “Please do not pay those,” Seymour urged. “That is not anything the county has contracted.”

Seymour advised business owners to verify the legitimacy of any demands for fees by contacting the organizations directly. “Many of the agencies that we deal with, it’s not going to be a phone call, it’s not going to be random correspondence,” he said. Rather, official county communications follow standard procedures with which owners and operators are familiar.

While the attempted fraud amounted to a few thousand dollars, targeting hotels and guests, Seymour noted that scams often start small before expanding. By reporting the issue and spreading awareness, Knoxville officials aim to curb further deception and prevent financial harm. Travelers and hospitality managers should remain vigilant for similar predatory schemes.

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