Booking.com scam

I’m really pretty sure this is a scam:

“xxx said:

Hello this is host from uk booking.com in regards 29/3 booking.

the house you booked address: (xxxxxx) this house i got a some work need to be done that week.

I want a request you if you accept my offer that i can orrange you aultranative house in SAME area, SAME location. BIGGER size, and SAME price.

ill send you all nessessery details. If you dont like it also let me know then i can cencel your booking.

Please let me know soon as you can.

If possible please contact me through whatsaap massenger. My no xxxx

many thx”

Scam to collect cancellation fees it looks like to me.

Anyone got any bright ideas about Booking.com?

26 comments on “Booking.com scam

  1. All I can tell you about booking.com is that in the last month I have had 3 genuine emails from them telling me my account has been suspended and to request a new password. I have done so three times and now all is working. Me? I suspect they have been hacked and are not letting on.

  2. I use the genuine Booking.com. I prefer Hotels.com because you get a free night every 10 nights you stay, but Booking.com sometimes has accommodation that Hotels.com doesn’t. Rates are usually the same so the free night is the deal breaker. Just used a free night for a river view room in the Intercontinental in Adelaide.

  3. Check whether it came from booking.com or from some sleazy email account. I am getting 3-4 emails a day telling me that my outlook account will be closed unless I follow some link. They come from a wide range of addresses such as Shane’s scaffolding.Co.Uk. Some are Arab or Nigerian. Some have been in Chinese characters.

    Booking.Com is actually a pretty good booking site with some good deals.

  4. I’d imagine it’s impossible to underestimate the intellect of the average Nigerian. Quite how some of their scams are supposed to produce revenue is a mystery known only to them.

  5. I read somewhere that the spelling on these things is awful intentionally, because it’s a screening device.

    Supposedly if you’re stupid enough to be taken in by the mis-spelled email then you tend to be an easy mark for the next phase of the process.

    No idea if it’s true or not, but if not, I would be surprised that people who can conduct relatively sophisticated phishing operations aren’t clever enough to open a dictionary (or even use spellcheck!)

  6. What Diogenes said (except my email scams say something different – I get ‘phone calls saying they’re going to cut off my internet connection instead).
    Problem with Windows Live Mail is that you have to print out the email to get the sender’s email address – Yahoo allows you to read it by using mouse which is quicker and easier

  7. In the WLM Inbox view, right click on the suspect email and select ‘Properties’. A dialogue opens which allows you to look at the raw message contents including source email address.

  8. Perhaps it is genuine Tim: they’ve seen the (in?)auspicious date of the booking, seen you’re British, assume all hell will break loose on Brexit day and assume currency controls will ensue leaving you unable to settle your bill!

  9. Problem with Windows Live Mail is that you have to print out the email to get the sender’s email address

    Even Microsoft cannot be that shit, surely?

  10. I read somewhere that the spelling on these things is awful intentionally, because it’s a screening device.

    Supposedly if you’re stupid enough to be taken in by the mis-spelled email then you tend to be an easy mark for the next phase of the process.

    The Freakonmics guys called it teaching a garden to weed itself.

    Its similar to Van Halen’s request from a bowl of M&Ms with the brown one’s removed. If they haven’t been there was a concern that the contract hadn’t been read properly and with enough care to detail and that perhaps the very expensive and very heavy rig hadn’t been assembled correctly, which could put them all at risk.

  11. One reason for deliberate mis-spellings is to evade spam filters that check for specific words or phrases.

  12. I’ve used booking.com – no scams yet, though lots of emails telling me about deals in places in Oz I’ll probably never visit again (Warrnambool, VIC anyone?). I’ve also used hotels.com and they really came up trumps (no pun!) when the hotel we booked months before in Boise, ID reneged just before the 2017 total solar eclipse. They re-booked us in another at a higher price, took the loss and promised to hassle the original hotel for scamming.

  13. Funnily enough I will actually be back in the U.K. on Brexit day and due to fly out 2 days later, I’ve warned work that I might be delayed coming back just in case

    As for US undermining WTO they have a long history of that, I doubt it’s any bettter or worse under Trump. The US refusal to accept jurisdiction of non-US bodies is a feature of the system

  14. @decnine January 29, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    +1 on raw view

    Read headers from bottom upwards to see origin of email and IPs & mail servers it’s been through

  15. @ decnine
    Thanks. I had thought that right-clicking would open the email – not something that one wants to do to something from a phoney senders’s name.

  16. An amusing scam on Booking.com, which I use and enjoy.

    I recently booked a hotel in Mexico, exactly where I will not say. I emailed them and asked them if they could give me a cash discount for cash in Pesos and an extra sooper dooper one for $US cash.

    I got a call from a woman who said that of course they could, 30%, but that I must first cancel my booked Booking booking. I’ve always wanted to write that. This lady thought the Booking.com commission rate was too high.

    Turns out that canny Mexican hoteliers use the free cancellation idea to get this kind of business. Hook the customer, get his tax free cash, stiff Booking.com for the commission.

    Now I’m retired, wife and I travel 6 times a year, and I’m getting wise. I have become convinced that all the travel booking firms are doomed by disintermediation from search engines combined with cheap website/reservation software. I use booking/vrbo/airbnb to find a place, then contact them directly for a better rate.

  17. Fred Z
    I do the same in Greece, Italy and Spain. Booking.com has brought this on itself by charging 15% commission.

  18. Yeah, Theophrastus, you and Fred Z behaving like scummy low lifes is all Booking.com’s fault for daring to make a profit from the service they provide.

  19. DocBud

    I don’t see it that way. Booking.com got greedy as its market share increased, and so it’s pushing up prices. Even if I make a reservation via Booking.com, the hotelier will ask that I make subsequent bookings direct as he can then give me a better price.

  20. So, Theophrastus, if you think Tesco is greedy, would you still shop there, but put something in your pocket, which is acceptable as Tesco has brought it on itself?

    You are not obliged to you someone’s service, but if you do and then avoid paying for the service, then that, to me, is fraud, morally if not criminally.

  21. @DocBud

    Booking.com offer a service that saves time of those using it.

    Time is a finite resource for us all, thus a cost. If 15min research & phone costs saves more than one earns in 15mis, profit.

    If some use their time to obtain a lower price, so what?

    btw in the past one would go to library and look-up hotels in foreign telephone books – or use/pay a travel agent

    Economics Mr Bud, economics

  22. That’s fine, Pcar. If people want to let their fingers do the walking and trawl through Yellow Pages looking for hotels in an area (without detailed information about the hotels) and phone those hotels looking for the best deal, good on them. But, if you want to make the process a whole lot more efficient and informative by using Booking.com, Hotels.com, etc., then have the decency to pay for the services you use instead of being proud that you are screwing that business out of the fees they charge because, in your view, they are being greedy.

  23. @DocBud

    Thought you’d have picked up Travel Agent hint: collect brochures, read, book direct

    Doing same online costs provider ~zero rather than several full colour 100 page brochures

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