booking.com & Egyptian hotel - awkward 'card verification'? ETA: scam actually

grumbler
grumbler Posts: 58,629
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An e-mail from booking.com
You just got a new message from *** Park Resort
Here's what they had to say:
Dеаr Guest,
We are reaching out to inform you of an important update regarding your upcoming reservation. In accordance with our new booking policies, all guests are now required to undergo a credit card verification process, even if the reservation has been fully paid for.
To ensure a smooth experience during your stay, we kindly request that you complete the credit card verification procedure within the next 24 hours. Failure to do so may result in automatic cancellation of your reservation by our system.
To initiate the verification process, please click on the personalized link provided: https://booking.reserv-id*****.com/p/***********
We would like to emphasize the importance of reviewing the limits set by your bank and ensuring that your card balance is sufficient to cover the full cost of the reservation. It is essential to note that a small transaction will be processed to verify the card's validity, which will temporarily debit the total amount of the booking. Rest assured that these funds will be promptly returned to your card within a matter of seconds.
We look forward to welcoming you to our hotel and providing you with a memorable experience.

We did give some card details when booking the hotel, but what can we do if not what they ask? And here the fun starts.

An SMS from the card provider:
Hi MR *** . This is an important message. Did you use your card on: 2023-10-27 13:04:18 at bunq BV for EUR 500.00? Please reply 'Y' to confirm all transactions, otherwise 'N' to speak to a fraud agent.

Of course, my reply was 'N' as €500 is much smaller than the total amount of booking (£2K+) and I have no idea what's 'bunq BV'. Soon the agent called me as promised.
Result - the card cancelled by the provider and the new one is on it's way.

So, was it fraud or the hotel's idiotic activity? And the e-mail seemed to be genuine as it included some older hotel's answer to our question.


Comments

  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,033
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    Maybe they need to be sure they will get paid if they are hit by a rocket or missile 

    Are you seriously going on holiday to where you  might be the middle of a war zone ? 
  • It sounds dodgy to me, I think you did the right thing.  I would contact Booking.com and ask them about it.  I'm not sure I'd be travelling to Egypt at present, though.
  • Fraud, it's a common scam on booking.
    You can see that it's not even a booking.com website they asked you to put your card details onto.
  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629
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    edited 27 October 2023 at 9:14PM
    So, is it the hotel's account at booking.com that was hacked? The message presents in the 'messaging' section of https://secure.booking.com/myreservations.en-gb.html... and, at a close look, was followed at the very same day by

    Dear valued guest , Warm Greetings from *** Park Resort

    We want to assure you that your reservation is confirmed with us, and we want to emphasize that we will never request your credit card information. Please do not provide your credit card details to anyone.Thank you for choosing us, and we eagerly await your visit.

    Should you require any further inquiries or assistance please feel free to contact us

    Thanks & Best Regards

    Reservation Department *** Hotels & Resorts

     
    My idiot wife :# who managed the booking managed to miss this important message and to delete(!) the corresponding e-mail.
    If it's really a hacked account or an unscrupulous hotel employee, is it worth informing booking.com about this?
  • Kat78MFW
    Kat78MFW Posts: 258
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    First thing I would do is inform your bank that you may have given your card details to a scammer. Watch out for scammers ringing and spoofing their number to make it look as though they are calling from your bank fraud department. Ring the number on the back.of your bank card or 159 to speak to your bank. 
    MFW since March 2019Mortgage-free 30th June 2023 My diary https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/5974849/six-years-and-counting#latest
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,226
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    See this recent story in the Guardian about an apparent hack of the systems at Booking.com

    Your experience sounds like those reported in the paper.
    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2023/oct/23/bookingcom-customers-targeted-by-scam-confirmation-emails
  • Exodi
    Exodi Posts: 2,789
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    Scam, as you know.

    I would inform the hotel and possibly booking.com, if not just to warn them about other possible victims that didn't catch on before it was too late.

    Trying to redirect customers off-site to make payment is a common scam on most holiday booking platforms. Previously it was more common that the listing/provider is a scam (e.g. they just copied the details/pictures of a legitimate hotel) but currently there's an issue with legitimate hotels having their accounts hacked.

    Sending you off-site to make payment is a gigantic red flag (on top of asking people to enter their credit card details despite having already paid for the booking).
    Know what you don't
  • JWM
    JWM Posts: 454
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    This scam is still going.
    I got a message on the booking.com App and an email. Sent the email to the address booking.com give to report phising and I got a supposed auto email saying this address is no longer used. Another hack?
    Spoke to the hotel and they seem sick to death of this issue and very angry with booking.com.
    Also reported it to booking.com and changed my login details.
    Shocking that its been allowed to go on for so long.
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