May 26, 2024

CPS

Travel Adventure

More travellers using Booking.com conned by scammers posing as hotel representatives

2 min read

At least 30 people have lost a total of at least $41,000 to phishing scams after making room reservations using travel site Booking.com since last month, said the police.

The victims would receive emails or messages on Booking.com in-app chat function from scammers who claim to be representatives of the hotels across different countries.

The scammers would request the victims provide personal details via a link to confirm and verify the reservation.

Upon clicking on the link, the victims would be re-directed to fraudulent websites to key in personal and banking details such as one-time passwords or credit card numbers.

In some cases, the fraudulent websites would prompt the victims to make payments to confirm the reservation.

The victims would only realise that they had been scammed when they contacted the hotels or Booking.com or when they discovered unauthorised transactions on their bank accounts or credit cards.

In February, the police said people have lost at least $8,800 to such scams since the start of the year.

You are advised to adopt the following precautionary measures to avoid getting scammed:

  • ADD: ScamShield App and security features. Enable two-factor authentication, multi-factor authentication for banks and set up transaction limits for internet banking transactions, including PayNow.
  • CHECK: For scam signs with official sources (such as ScamShield WhatsApp bot @ go.gov.sg/scamshield-bot, call the Anti-Scam Helpline on 1800-722-6688, or visit www.scamalert.sg). Always verify the authenticity of the information with the hotels through the official contact details listed on the hotels’ webpages. Do not click on links provided in unsolicited messages. Look out for tell-tale signs of a phishing website and never disclose your personal or banking credentials to anyone.
  • TELL: Authorities, family, and friends about scams. Report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately.

If you have any information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

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