Singaporeans Lose $41,000 To Fake Hotel Booking Scam

booking airbnb online

Fake hotel booking scams are out in full force right now with at least 30 Singaporeans falling victim, losing a total amount of $41,000.

According to a report from The Strait Times, the police stated that the victims fell prey to an elaborate scam where after the victims had made their hotel bookings through the online hotel booking website, Booking.com, they received e-mails and messages from unscrupulous scammers masquerading as hotel representatives.

From the message, the scammers will then ask the victims to confirm and verify their reservation using a fraudulent link. The link will ask the victims for their personal and banking information, such as one-time passwords and credit card numbers.

The victims will only discover that they have fallen prey for the scam when they tried to contact Booking.com or the hotels, or by discovering unauthorised transactions on their bank accounts or credit cards.

Due to this, the police has urged the members of the public to take some precautionary measures such as enabling security features such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and multifactor authentication for banks.

Scams using fraudulent links and websites are nothing new. Carbon copies of trusted websites such as Airbnb have been around for a long time, and they prey on unsuspecting and careless travellers looking for a great deal while planning their holidays.

To help you avoid being part of the scam victims statistic, here are some measures you can adopt;

  • Only make hotel reservations and travel tickets from reputable websites with encryption measures such as HTTPS.
  • Check the URL address of the website you’re on, and compare it to the official website.
  • Enable built-in security measures for your banking transactions such as 2FA.
  • Avoid offers that are too good to be true.
  • Use a reliable antivirus to avoid getting phished and online fraud.

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