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Local hotels say woman is scamming them for free stays

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Still of security camera footage of a woman who has allegedly scammed local hotels out of thousands of dollars in free stays. WDAY photo.2 / 2

MOORHEAD — A group of Fargo, Moorhead and Lakes Country hotels are warning one another of a possible scammer who makes up what they call "sob-stories" to get thousands of dollars of free stays in hotels.

Hotel managers have been sharing a picture of the alleged scammer on social media, and one has filed a report with Moorhead police. In some cases, the woman pretends to be a pastor or victim of abuse or bad luck, claiming River City Church will pay for her rooms, the hotels said.

"They ended up staying five days. They said it would be three," said Tom Kasper, general manager of the Hilton Homewood Suites in Fargo. "They said their pastor was coming to pick them up, and that never happened, and so we did some more research and found out the truth."

The Clay County Attorney's Office is weighing whether or not to charge the woman, Kelly Bosch, with theft by deception, and is reviewing the case. WDAY News contacted Bosch, who neither confirms nor denies any wrongdoing.

Homewood Suites in north Fargo, Travelodge in Moorhead, Fairfield Inn in Detroit Lakes and Holiday Inn in Fargo all said Bosch got thousands of dollars in free stays.

Police said they want more hotels to come forward so they can determine how to proceed with an investigation.

"Even if it is one night, we want that report made because there may be a second, third, fourth ... that may be victims of this kind of scam," said Capt. Deric Swenson of the Moorhead Police Department.

The American Red Cross and other agencies work with hotels to offer hotel vouchers to fire or abuse victims. Without those vouchers, hotels should be wary of people seeking free nights in a hotel, police said.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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