The Police have observed a resurgence of a hotel-related phishing scams where victims had made reservations for rooms via Booking.com. Scammers would pose as representatives from the hotels and contact the victims to obtain their personal and banking details. Since September 2023, at least 30 victims fell prey with losses amounting to at least $41,000.
In this variant, victims who made hotel reservations on Booking.com would receive emails or messages on Booking.com in-app chat function from scammers who claim to be representatives of the hotels (different hotels across different countries have been impersonated). They would request the victims to provide personal details via a link to confirm and verify the reservation. Upon clicking on the link, the victims would be re-directed to fraudulent websites to key in personal and banking details (e.g. One-Time Passwords (OTPs) or credit card numbers). In some cases, the fraudulent websites would prompt the victims to make payments to confirm the reservation. Victims would only realise that they had been scammed when they contact the hotels or Booking.com or when they discovered unauthorised transactions on their bank accounts or credit cards.
Members of the public are advised to adopt the following precautionary measures:
ADD - ScamShield App and security features (e.g. enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), Multifactor Authentication for banks and set up transaction limits for internet banking transactions, including PayNow).
CHECK - For scam signs with official sources (e.g. ScamShield WhatsApp bot @ https://go.gov.sg/scamshield-bot, call the Anti-Scam Helpline on 1800-722-6688, or visit www.scamalert.sg). Always verify the authenticity of the information with the hotels through the official contact details listed on the hotels’ webpages. Do not click on links provided in unsolicited messages. Look out for tell-tale signs of a phishing website and never disclose your personal or banking credentials to anyone.
TELL - Authorities, family, and friends about scams. Report any fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately.
If you have any information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial ‘999’.
For more information on scams, members of the public can visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam helpline at 1800-722-6688. Fighting scams is a community effort. Together, we can ACT Against Scams to safeguard our community!
Screenshot of message received from “Booking.com” via email ▼
Screenshots of message received from “Booking.com” via in-app Chat ▼
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
08 October 2023 @ 11:25 AM