Unfortunately, there are always cases of fraud on the internet, including at the popular comparison provider Booking.com.
How to recognize possible cases of fraud at Booking.com
Similar to many other platforms and providers, Booking.com is unfortunately also subject to fraud from time to time. In addition to phishing emails, fraudsters also use fake advertisements to obtain the data and thus the money of their victims.
- The phishing messages are sent by fraudsters both directly via Booking.com and via other communication channels such as email. All relevant data (booking period, hotel, addresses, etc.) is often entered correctly.
- In the messages, the fraudsters then ask their victims to verify their means of payment, otherwise the booking may expire. If you have been looking forward to your vacation for a long time, you may be tempted to defuse the situation as quickly as possible
- Fraudsters gain access to Booking.com and the data by hacking the hotels, for example.
- Another scam does not involve hacking the hotels. In this scam, supposedly attractive advertisements are created via Booking.com. These can be canceled free of charge and must be paid for on site. After a successful booking, the shock – the accommodation cancels the booking via Booking.com.
- After you try to contact the accommodation, the fraudsters claim that the payment method has not yet been confirmed. You are redirected to external websites. However, instead of verification, your bank details are tapped or the money is even debited directly
- To identify phishing messages, the first step is always to ensure that your personal details and those of the booked accommodation are entered correctly. The use of foreign languages can also be an initial indicator
- If you notice any errors at this point, be careful and do not provide any further data without checking the sender more closely. The same applies to particularly urgent or even threatening messages and links inserted directly in the text.
How you can protect yourself from fraud via Booking.com
If you have received a message via Booking.com requesting payment or verification of your credit card, do not click directly on the attached links.
- Instead, contact the hotel directly (e.g. by email or telephone) and ask them about the status of your booking.
- If it turns out that the message via Booking.com did not come directly from the hotel, contact Booking.com customer service. This is available around the clock.
- In addition, only use Booking.com’s direct payment options.
- Before opening a link, check which address it leads to (e.g. via mouseover).
- For security reasons, do not pass on any personal or payment-related data via other communication channels (WhatsApp, SMS, telephone, etc.).