Hotel booking scam claims at least 30 victims, losses of $41,000
At least 30 people have fallen victim to a hotel booking scam since September this year, with losses totalling some $41,000.
The police said on Sunday that the victims had made hotel bookings using online reservation portal Booking.com and would receive e-mails or messages from Booking.com’s in-app chat function from scammers posing as hotel representatives.
The scammers would request that victims confirm and verify the reservation using a fraudulent link.
After clicking on the link, the victims would be asked to provide their personal and banking details, such as One-Time-Passwords and credit card numbers.
In some cases, the fraudulent websites would prompt the victims to make payments to confirm the reservation.
The victims realised they had been scammed only when trying to contact Booking.com, hotels or discovered unauthorised transactions on their bank accounts or credit cards.
The Police have advised the public to adopt precautionary measures such as adding the ScamShield App and enabling security features like Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and Multifactor Authentication for banks.
They should also set up transaction limits for Internet banking transactions, including PayNow.
Individuals are urged to always verify the authenticity of information with hotels through their official contact details and not click on links provided in unsolicited messages. The public is also advised to look out for signs of phishing websites and never disclose personal or banking credentials to anyone.
In case of any information relating to such crimes or doubts, the public is encouraged to call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.