Tue, Oct 08, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Increased fraud for online hotel booking sites

Staff writer, with CNA

Several customers of online travel Web site Booking.com in Taiwan have been vulnerable to fraud this year because of leaks of personal information, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said in a statement on Sunday.

A total of 228 members of Booking.com were defrauded of NT$33.62 million (US$1.09 million) in the first nine months of this year due to those leaks, according to the CIB.

Most of the cases involved use of online hotel booking sites during the nine-month period, it said. One of the fraud victims was a 32-year-old doctor surnamed Lin (林) who received calls from two people, one posing as a Booking.com customer service representative and the other as a bank staffer, claiming they wanted to help him get a refund for paying for a room more than once.

The callers then gave Lin instructions on how to get the “refund,” but Lin instead was defrauded of NT$1.64 million over two days, it said.

The 165 Anti-Fraud and Internet Scam Hotline Operation Group releases a weekly list of online shopping sites where the potential for fraud is high for online transactions, with Booking.com having made the list for 21 consecutive weeks, according to the CIB.

Fraud in e-commerce is particularly common, the bureau said, adding that people should choose e-commerce platforms that use secure information networks to protect their transactions.

Police said that ATMs and online banks do not have the function of canceling pending transactions.

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