This reader review is from Duncan. We have previously featured a news article about scammers on Booking.com. Here is a first-hand experience. The moral of the story is to contact the hotel directly rather than through booking.com if this happens.
With the Black Friday Frenzy in full swing and people possibly throwing caution to the wind in their desire to get a bargain or two, I thought it might be appropriate to share a cautionary tale about an attempted scam that I encountered a couple of days ago.
I received an email, supposedly from booking.com, saying that a booking I made with them for a Rotana hotel in the Middle East might be cancelled as my saved credit card was expiring. All the details regarding the stay were correct, and it was true that my stored card expires before my stay.
I thought I was fairly sensible when it came to scams etc. so, instead of using the link provided I signed onto the booking.com app on my phone to check the email’s validity. In the ‘notifications’ I had received from the Rotana hotel in question there was a new notification with exactly the same text as the email, asking for me to update my card details. I didn’t have time to respond to the request immediately, but instead waited until I was at home and signed onto the booking.com website, this time from another device (my PC). Sure enough, once I had signed into my account on the website, in the notifications section on the website the same message that had appeared in the email and my booking.com app was there.
Having signed into my account twice, once on the app, the other on the website, and using two separate devices, I had no reason to believe the request wasn’t genuine. Fortunately, when I went to update the details using the link provided on my account, I got a fraud warning from my bank that stated someone was trying to take ten times the cost of the stay from my account.
Naturally, I was taken aback by this as I thought I had taken the appropriate steps to check the validity of the request.
I have contacted both booking.com and Rotana Hotels. Unfortunately, booking.com has not responded to my concerns.
However, Rotana had this to say:
“We have noticed some unrecognised messages being sent to our esteemed customers, requesting payment arrangements for your booking.
Please be advised that these messages were not initiated by the hotel. Kindly ignore them, and feel free to reach out to us.”
The scammers are getting smarter and are even managing to get into the company’s systems! Be careful out there folks!!
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