I have reserved a budget motel in the US over booking.com. I live in Europe. Upon checking in, I was asked for my ID and credit card, like everywhere else.
For a bit of increased security, I've scratched off my CVV from my credit card previously, so the receptionist asked for it. I refused, so they said "wait a moment", then they did a POS transaction, to charge me for my stay. It went fine, the charge for one night showed up on my online banking app, and they handed me my room keys. Turns out they didn't need the CVV after all...
My question: was this a fraud attempt I just prevented, or is it legitimate (and usual) for hotels in the US to ask for CVV, even when a card is physically present?
(In Europe, the rule is that for "card present" transactions, they never need the CVV, and for online purchases they always do.)