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The new Booking.com scam that is targeting customers who have active hotel reservations
Consumer advice

The new Booking.com scam that is targeting customers who have active hotel reservations

Cyber-criminals are using sophisticated ways to try and trick users and obtain information during the holiday season

Isabel Méndez

Malaga

Wednesday, 10 July 2024, 23:12

Opciones para compartir

Customers of Booking.com are being warned about scams as the main summer holiday season kicks in.

There's a scam in particular involving people who have an active reservation with a hotel or other tourist accommodation. Cyber-criminals send a private message within the Booking.com platform pretending to be the hotel, informing the reservation will be cancelled if the required data is not provided within a short period of time (24 hours).

The message includes a link that leads to another page requesting personal and payment details. By including this information, the fraudsters obtain the customer's payment method information and can use it to steal the customer's money.

They may confuse the customer

The real danger is the messages are sent within the Booking.com platform and from the official account of the establishment, which makes it very plausible and can lead to confusion by appearing to be a legitimate message, not a cyber prank.

According to Spain's Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU), the scam is being carried out within the Booking.com platform by impersonating real establishments. This is possibly due, they say, to a problem in the security breach, which could have exposed user data, the hotel or company with which you had the reservation.

Recommendations to consider

To avoid falling into the trap, you should be wary of "urgencies": if they rush you to enter your details, if they ask you to send the payment within a very short time limit that does not coincide with the agreed time limit.

If in doubt, you should ask the establishment directly about the payment process, so you can clarify whether they are really trying to contact you or whether it is a scam.

Booking.com is aware of this type of scam, and urged its customers to always verify the email address from which they receive the messages, as warnings about scams will always come from official websites. When you enter a link requesting information, the correct thing to do is to access it directly from Booking.com and check the status of the booking. To protect users, the platform has included security systems to block fraudulent emails, although the main responsibility lies with users and they should be wary of external links. In fact, the Booking.com platform itself has the means to make payments without having to leave the page.

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