Whether via PayPal, WhatsApp or SMS: Fraud attempts appear online in almost every form these days. This now also affects the booking platform Booking.com. We'll show you how you can protect yourself from booking fraud.
Whether in a text message from the alleged child who supposedly has a new number or via a link to an alleged shipment tracking – scams on the Internet are taking on new forms at an ever-increasing rate these days. The omnipresent target of fraudsters is the users' data, which they of course ultimately want to use to get their money.
This now apparently also applies to Booking.com. The consumer advice center is now warning of a new scam on the booking platform.
This is how you recognize fraud on Booking
According to the consumer advice center, the new booking scam only takes place after a real booking has been made. In these cases, those affected have received messages that appear to come from the accommodation they have booked.
The fraudsters can apparently access the real booking data from the platforms and pretend to be the respective guesthouse or holiday apartment.
In the messages, users are then asked to enter their credit card details again. Here they are directed to an external site, which then retrieves the data.
The problem with private messages
A person affected describes the fraud scam to the consumer advice center: I was contacted by the hotel directly on their message portal and asked to verify the payment details. At the same time, I received a WhatsApp with my real name and also the name of the hotel.”
The booking number provided by Booking and the period of stay were also correct. The person concerned was then informed on WhatsApp that they still had to go through a verification process via the message on Booking. This is necessary according to “an update to the booking rules”.
Booking fraud directs people to external sites
A link in the message then took the person concerned to an external site. Of course, this had the look of Booking.com, but had a different internet address.
The consumer advice center therefore recommends that you only use the payment options within the booking platform. If problems arise, it is always advisable to first contact the customer service of the respective platform or the accommodation booked.
When sending emails or other messages, consumers should always pay attention to whether the sender address or internet address appears correct. When booking accommodation, it is also advisable – if possible – to choose payment on site.