Booking.com denies data breach as scammers target customers

Many appreciate the convenience that the modern world offers—especially when it comes to booking accommodations and travelling.

It's never been easier to find the perfect place to stay for the night, whether you're travelling for business or pleasure.

One of the go-to websites for finding great travel deals is Booking.com, a booking and travel platform that has made globetrotting easier for many.


However, recent reports revealed that customers of the booking and travel platform have been receiving 'confirmation' emails intended to scam recipients into revealing their bank details.

Today, more harrowing stories that aim to inform the community about phishing scams targeting Booking.com customers worldwide have emerged.


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More stories from victims of the Booking.com phishing scam have emerged. Image source: Reddit.


The travel website has confirmed to a news source that some of its worldwide accommodation partners have fallen prey to an intricate phishing scam where unknown hackers swoop in to steal unsuspecting customers' credit card details.


One New Zealand user revealed on social media her firsthand account of the scam.

She had successfully booked accommodation through the site many times, but this time, she received an alarming message, supposedly from her chosen hotel in Sanur, Bali.

'I received this obviously scammy message “from” a hotel we’ve booked with in Sanur, through the Booking.com messenger app,' they wrote.

'(It said) they’d cancel my booking if I didn’t verify my credit card within 12 hours.'

This fraud isn’t unique to accommodation in Bali—similar reports have surfaced from customers booking hotels in Japan and Europe within the last two months.

One even clicked the link and provided their card details.

'They tried to charge me twice for €150 ($A250). Good thing that Revolut (money app) asked for my permission first, or else that money would have been gone.'

While another, who booked their two-week European holiday, shared: 'They almost had me due to it being done through the official messaging system.'


Customers have been quick to outsmart the scammers by directly contacting the hotels.

'I just called, and the hotel is being bombarded with this,' one shared.

While another added: 'I also almost fell for this today, but thankfully got in touch with the hotel directly, and they confirmed it was a scam.'

Other customers who have contacted Booking.com claimed they have received no more than a 'vague' response and advice to just ignore it.

Customers who have received the messages believe that Booking.com should be doing more to warn their customers as some of the malicious messages are coming from the Booking.com messaging app.

'Why isn’t Booking.com sending out a mass e-mail warning people about this? It’s madness,' one commented.

'The fact these messages are coming through their messaging system too, I don’t understand how they can be just ignoring it,' another replied.


A Booking.com spokesperson confirmed that a phishing attack has targeted its accommodation partners.

'We have been made aware that some accommodation partners were recently targeted by phishing emails,' they said.

'While the security breach was not on Booking.com, we know that the accounts of some of our accommodation partners were affected.

'It’s important to highlight that neither Booking.com’s backend systems or infrastructure have been breached in any way.'

'Booking.com has teams dedicated to account security of both customers and accommodation partners. These teams have robust measures in place and review those measures on a regular basis to improve our technical and operational capabilities.'

They also advised not to trust payment detail requests sent through messaging apps.

'As a rule, it’s important to remember that Booking.com will never require customers to provide credit card details by text, message or email,' the spokesperson added.

'Should customers have any questions or concerns about a payment message, we strongly recommend that they contact our customer service team, who are available 24/7 to support.'
Key Takeaways
  • A credit card scam is targeting customers of global online travel agency Booking.com, impersonating hotels and demanding credit card verification following successful bookings.
  • Many of these scam messages have come through the Booking.com messaging app, leading some customers to trust the message.
  • Booking.com confirmed some of its accommodation partners were targeted in this phishing hack but clarified their systems were not breached.
  • Some customers who received suspicious requests are criticising Booking.com for not doing more to warn users about the scam.
Members, what are your thoughts on this latest scam? Let us know in the comments below!
 
Sponsored
I try not to use third parties for bookings. After the bad experience of trying to get refunds during Covid and of “Hotel Quickly” going bust I prefer to book direct where possible. Fortunately with the hotel site the credit card came to the rescue
 

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