According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association 2.5 million Americans a year fall victim to hotel booking scams at the cost of 220 million dollars.
“So we want to make sure people are aware of it that it’s a serious issue and anyone can fall victim to it,” said Leah Napoliello with Houston’s Better Business Bureau.
It’s a scam that doesn’t find you, you find it.
Just by going on line and searching to make a hotel reservation.
“And when you put information into the search engine you come across a scam booking site or a rogue booking hotel site,” Napoliello said.
“You find it yourself.”
By using logos of legitimate hotels the scammers make you think you’re dealing with the hotel’s actual website.
But when you arrive at your destination you find what you really booked was a whole lot of hurt to your wallet.
“Could be first there’s a lot of additional fees tacked on that you weren’t expecting from the onset or when you show up at your actual destination the accommodations may not be what you expected,” Napoliello said.
Even worse you show up to find you have no reservation at all and your money’s gone.
“It can be devastating,” Napoliello said. “You plan for a long time this special vacation and suddenly you get there your caught off guard the hotel doesn’t even have a record of your reservation you have nowhere to stay nowhere to go it can be a really devastating situation.”
The Better Business Bureau says be extremely cautious of hotel rates that seem almost too good to be true.
“That’s often how they lure people in by giving you what seems like a really great deal,” said Napoliello.
So how do you avoid becoming a victim?
Look at the web address very carefully and don’t just go to one site.
Check out the phone number and verify it’s the number of the hotel or business you want to do business with.
And a few days before your trip contact the hotel to confirm your reservations.