In the past week several hotels have fallen victim to an email scam that attempts to collect Booking.com commission payments. The email appears to be from Booking.com, but the payments are directed to an outside bank account.
Hotels hit by email scam targeting payment of Booking.com fees
The email is similar to existing correspondence sent to hotel customers by Booking.com, in terms of look and feel, although the sender email address is altered slightly (firstname.lastname@example.org)- a trademark sign that the message could have come from an unofficial source.
It begins by saying there is a malfunction on the automatic payment system used by hotels to pay their commission and therefore hoteliers will have to wire the money manually.
Hotels would find their services with Booking.com “interrupted” if they do not make the payment, it warns.
Booking had the following to say in a statement regarding the incident:
A dedicated security team is working with our Hotels Department and Customer Relations teams to detect attacks and contact and support accommodation partners who may have been affected.
We will work with all banks to attempt to freeze the fraudulent bank accounts where possible.
We are communicating with law enforcement, and we continue to support the authorities with their investigations.
We advise all partners to contact us immediately if they suspect Booking.com is being referenced in a phishing email they receive.
Booking has taken some criticism from the hotel industry because they were aware of the scam from early on but did not inform any of their property partners to be on the lookout for fraudulent emails.
It is in the best interest of everyone working with Booking to keep a close eye on your invoices and payments to ensure that everything is legitimate and that no one else falls victim to a scammer.