How To

Steps to Take if You Were Scammed on a Hotel Booking

Hotel Booking

Unfortunately, hotel booking scams are happening more and more frequently. 

Did you know that as of 2017, it was estimated that bogus third-party websites, posting as legitimate travel sites, duped as many as 55 million consumers?

Yes, that means that as of 2017, up to 55 million people had already been scammed with fake travel sites alone. And that number has certainly increased since. 

Plus, scamming techniques and methods are always becoming more effective and sophisticated. 

What should you do if you get scammed on a hotel booking, though? What steps can you take once the ‘scamming’ has actually occurred?

This is a great question. And in this blog post, we’re going to dive into it. 

Let’s talk about it. 

An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure

Here’s the bad news. 

Once you’ve been scammed, the odds of you being able to recoup your money and/or avoid the negative repercussions are greatly minimized. 

You may be able to figure out how to recover your losses and get the money back into your account (sometimes), but this is never a guarantee. 

Thus, it really pays to watch out for scams ahead of time, and to become a ‘wise’ consumer whenever the time comes to swipe (or type) your card information into a website. 

(This post by Hotel Engine can teach you a few techniques to avoid scams to start with.)

For best results, only use websites that you know can be trusted, and that are obviously real and legitimate. 

If in doubt, always call and double-check with the establishment to make sure that you’re using the proper URL, and that you’re not on some ‘weird’ type of website that’s actually using a different, but very similar URL name. 

Call Your Bank

If you were scammed while using a debit card, immediately call your bank and report it. 

If the transfer hasn’t been processed yet, it’s possible that your bank can halt it. 

Keep in mind, however, that banks only have limited power to accomplish this. 

When you call your bank and talk to the fraud department, try to keep a level head. 

Remember—they can only do so much. 

If you typed your number into a fraudulent website—as far as their systems are concerned, you basically handed the money over to fraudsters gift-wrapped and with a big bow on it. 

So there’s only so much that they can do in such cases. 

Call The Credit Card Company

If you used a credit card to book your (fake) stay, calling them and reporting the fraud could potentially empower you to either get your money back, or to get your money replaced via fraud correction services. 

This isn’t always possible. It varies case by case and company by company. 

But if you report the transaction as fraud quickly enough, the credit card company should be able to take at least some kind of action to help you. 

Report The Scam To Authorities

Sometimes, it isn’t exactly clear to whom you should report these types of scams. 

Honestly, one of the best ways to report them is to report them to your bank and/or to the credit card company, and then let them deal with it. 

Alternatively, you could ask your bank or credit company who you could report the scam to in an effort to get it shut down and to protect other people from your same fate. 

Sometimes, this may mean contacting the FBI, a U.S. Embassy, or one of any number of other government agencies. 

Reporting scams is important—because this lets people know what’s going on, which increases the odds that someone can get it shut down. 

Learn Your Lesson And Move On

Listen—at some point, most of us will fall for some kind of internet scam. 

This is part of the business of spending money online. It’s always a risk—and while we hope that it never happens to you, it’s possible that it will. 

And if it does—it’s always best to chalk the situation up to a hard lesson (instead of continuing to beat yourself up about it). 

Learning these types of hard lessons is never fun. 

But at the end of the day, it’s always important to turn failures into life experiences that you can learn from. 


There you have it. 

4 steps to take if you were scammed on a hotel booking, and one preventative step that just may help you to avoid the whole thing. 

None of this is fun. 

But hopefully, you can get it sorted out and move on from it to book your actual trip and enjoy the experience. 

Good luck! 

Don’t give up. 



To Top

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This