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Booking.Com, a Website for Hotel Booking, Confirms Online Scam

Ibtimes.co.uk reported on 8th November, 2014 stating that the hotel booking website Booking.com has been forced to reveal the theft of thousands of pounds from around 10,000 of its customers by scammers by using fraudulently obtained email addresses.

The matter has been investigated and it has been found that fraudsters accessed Booking.com reservations and obtained contact details which they used to send customers demands for pre-payment.

The company claimed that it has not been victimized by a data breach and criminals are collecting details of customers by sending messages to hotels to acquire details of guests.

This is called phishing scam: when criminals procure sensitive information like passwords, usernames and credit card details by sending phishing emails purporting to be from trustworthy companies.

In this case scammers gained email addresses of customers either from hacking of Booking.com or from security systems of hotel and then emailed customers asking for upfront payments for hotel booking which they had made through this site.

Some customers were tricked to pay more than hundreds of pounds prior to the scam being discovered.

Mirror.co.uk published a report on 8th November, 2014 stating that Claire Coldwell from West Yorkshire (England) reserved hotels for herself and peers using this website before a business tour to London. She got an email apparently from the mediator and another email from hotel series Hilton demanding 3,000 Pounds.

Claire said that they had all similar like reservation number, guests name list and also the logos looked correct but she got suspicious and called Booking.com which said that it never solicited any advance payment.

Jane from Niagara Falls used Booking.com in Canada to reserve a room for four days in London.

Bbc.com published news on 7th November, 2014 stating that she also received a phishing email purporting to be from Booking.com and believed it as genuine and quoted her as saying "I fell for it. We paid around 1,500 Canadian dollars and approximately 700 Pound Sterling."

Travolution.co UK reported news on 10th November 2014 quoting a Spokesman of Hilton as saying "We have asked Booking.com to investigate thoroughly and take appropriate actions. Guests who have received such suspicious emails should immediately contact their booking provider and should not respond to these emails."

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