Netizen Warns Against Scammers Hacking Into Hotel Booking App & Posing As CS To Steal Banking Details

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Netizen Warns Against Scammers Hacking Into Hotel Booking App & Posing As CS To Steal Banking Details

13-Sep-2023
By EGHYJ

As much as we hate and frown upon scams, it is undeniable that these scammers are adept at coming up with new and creative tactics. Not only have people fallen victim to them, but many platforms and companies have also been exploited by them to scam others.

A netizen named WaiSing recently shared his experience with scammers posing as a hotel's customer service on a hotel booking app, asking for his banking details.

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Hotel Booking & Credit Card Verification
Not long ago, the man booked a hotel room with Booking.com and texted the hotel's customer service to make some arrangements within the app itself. 
A few days later, he received texts from the same customer service chatbox asking him to verify his credit card and provide a link. The customer service personnel then asked the man to complete the verification by the end of the day, or else his booking would be cancelled. The customer service even assured him that the verification process was only a customary step.
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Suspicions
While feeling the urgency of verifying his credit card details to prevent booking cancellation, the man noticed something unusual about the link address he received. Despite having the Booking.com logo and his booking details in the preview, the link appeared different from the usual Booking.com link (booking.procesz[dot]cloud). 
He ran a check on the link, thinking that "process[dot]cloud" might be a payment gateway used by Booking.com, but it turned out that it was not a payment gateway and had no official website. He also discovered that the website had been registered just two weeks ago.
At the same time, he found it odd that a hotel staff member was asking for verification using Booking.com's link rather than the hotel's payment gateway. When he questioned the hotel's customer service in the chatbox, they claimed that the link was from the hotel, further raising the man's suspicions.
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Verifications with the Hotel and Booking.com
The man then made a direct call to the hotel. After explaining his booking and the verification request to the hotel front desk, they started to sound nervous and denied any involvement. The man then verified with the front desk that his booking had indeed gone through.
Before hanging up the call, he asked the front desk if they had received similar calls from other guests, and they confirmed that they had.
Without hesitation, the man called Booking.com's hotline to check on his booking and report the issue to them. Booking.com's customer service agreed with the man's suspicions and stated that the hotel had no right to request guests' credit card details directly. The customer service promised to report the issue to management, and appropriate actions would be taken.
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The Aftermath
On the following day, the man received a group email from the hotel claiming that the conversation had been initiated by scammers who had managed to hack into the hotel's Booking.com account and use a phishing site to obtain banking details from fellow guests.

While the man expressed his relief at escaping the scam, he also cautioned netizens to exercise extra vigilance when making online hotel bookings, as an increasing number of scammers and hackers are out there, poised to steal your personal information.

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