The popular travel platform Booking.com has faced an alarming rise in cyber scams, leaving individuals frustrated and questioning the platform’s security measures. Despite Booking.com being one of the largest websites for holidaymakers globally, cyber-criminals have exploited vulnerabilities, infiltrating the app and orchestrating scams that have resulted in financial losses for unsuspecting users.
This cyber fraud involves criminals manipulating the administration portals of individual hotels connected to Booking.com, enabling them to send deceptive messages through the official app. These messages, appearing legitimate, trick customers into making payments directly to the scammers instead of the hotel they want to book. The scam has been evolving for over a year now, as hackers actively seek more victims through dark web forums.
Booking.com says that it is actively implementing new safety features to combat these cyber-fraud tactics, but there is no “silver bullet” to eradicate all online fraud. Security measures include locking or blocking inactive partner admin accounts, a common entry point for scammers. The company is also monitoring its app for suspicious activity, disabling links in chats that appear illegitimate.
Experts in cyber-security, such as those at Secureworks, reveal how hackers operate. They explain a technique where hotel employees are deceived into downloading harmful software through fake emails. Once access is gained, the scammers log into the Booking.com portal, using the app to contact customers and trick them into making payments. The success of these scams is due to convincing emails that seem legitimate and take advantage of users’ trust.
Protecting Against Booking.com Scams
Users are urged to remain vigilant and take proactive steps to protect themselves.
- Be cautious of payment requests within the app and verify through alternative means.
- Implement multi-factor authentication where available for added account security.
- Report any suspicious activity promptly to Booking.com and relevant authorities.
- Stay informed about the evolving nature of cyber scams and adopt safe online practices.
The Booking.com scam serves as a stark reminder of the persistent threats in the online landscape. Users must remain vigilant, and companies, including Booking.com, need to continually enhance their security measures to thwart evolving cyber threats. A collective commitment to cyber safety, users and platforms can work together to create a more secure digital travel experience.