Booking.com customers have been warned by a cybersecurity firm about a “well-crafted scam” to defraud them of money.
Secureworks said on X, formerly Twitter: “If you use http://Booking.com, pay attention! According to Secureworks researchers, there’s a well-crafted scam circulating that’s putting customers at risk of payment fraud.”
The post links to a Sky news article which says criminals are targeting the website’s partner hotels to steal user details.
“They then send phishing emails to the customers, claiming their reservation will be cancelled if they do not provide payment information urgently,” reported Sky.
In a statement, Booking.com said: “While this breach was not on Booking.com, we understand the seriousness for those impacted, which is why our teams work diligently to support our partners in securing their systems as quickly as possible and helping any potentially impacted customers accordingly, including with recovering any lost funds.”
Sky said the scam starts with hotels themselves being targeted by scam emails purporting to be from a guest.
A link in the email contains malware called Vidar Infostealer, which allows the criminals to access the Booking.com account portal that people use to make their reservations. From there, they can target the customers.
Secureworks has also found Booking.com credentials being sold on dark web forums for up to $2,000 (£1,576).
Booking.com said: “Due to the rigorous controls and the machine learning capabilities we employ, we are able to detect and block the overwhelming majority of suspicious activity before it impacts our partners or customers.
“We have also been sharing additional tips and updates with our partners about what they can do to protect themselves and their businesses, along with the latest information on malware and phishing so that they are as up to date as possible on the latest trends that we’re seeing.
“It’s good to remember that no legitimate transaction will ever require a customer to provide their credit card details by phone, email, or text message (including WhatsApp).”
The BBC also reported that hackers are increasing their attacks on Booking.com customers by posting adverts on dark web forums asking for help finding victims.
It highlight the case of one holidaymaker who was contacted through the Booking.com app in September by hackers who convinced her to send them £200 when they pretended to staff at the Paris hotel where she had booked a room.
Acting quickly, she managed to get a refund from her bank, said the BBC.
Booking.com said is making “significant investments to limit the impact of these ever-evolving tactics as much as possible”.
Picture by 13_Phunkod/Shutterstock.com