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Yet another fake booking with non working phone number and invalid credit card

 We joined Booking.com in January.  Since that time, roughly 1/2 the bookings made are fraudulent-- that is, the "guest" books with an invalid credit card and a fake phone number.  Usually these bookings are last minute--And, since Booking.com refuses to cancel the reservation for 24 hours, we lose out as by the time Booking.com allows cancellation, it is too late for anyone else to book.

This morning I woke up to yet another "booking" with an invalid cc and fake phone number.  It is for  4/15, but I won't be able to cancel it until tomorrow morning, so we lose valuable time for another party to book.

These fraudulent bookings are so common that I no longer bother to block space for reservations that come thru Booking.com until at least 24 hours after the reservation.  Eventually, this will probably result in an overbooking-- but I just don't know any other way to handle it.

I am frustrated that booking.com refuses to validate credit cards at time of booking or, at the very least, allow owners to immediately cancel bookings with invalid credit cards (if it is an error in entering info on the guest's part, they can simply rebook).

22 Replies

2
Randy

May I ask if these people ever show up? We get bookings from Booking.com with people using stolen credit cards (which if approved and not declined, you'll get charged back), and have zero recourse offered to us via Booking.com, other than the 24 hour clock starting. I feel your pain! If we have red flags with even an approved credit card (i.e. phone number/name/address) we let the guest know they must meet us on check in for chip/pin and government issued photo ID.

I find that having Booking.com not allowing us to have their real email address is a problem, even less to go with in weeding out the criminals.

FYI with Expedia, we can cancel the booking immediately if the credit card is invalid, less loss in our inventory.

1 year ago
1
Deirdretours

No, they don't show up. The issue is that they keep the property unavailable for real guests for 24 hours. Usually these bookings are made in the middle of the night (the one I posted about above was made at 2am) just a day or two before the booking date.

We have had two cases with invalid phone numbers in which the guest did show up-- having ignored multiple messages from me notifying them of the invalid number and asking for correct information.

1 year ago
2
Randy

Do you think they are simply booking multiple properties to hedge their bets on where they'll stay?

We have changed our set up with Booking.com due to our credit card thieves (since most of these come from very last minute bookings), to where they must book 2 days in advance (i.e. cut off at midnight for the day after next). Still will hold up the availability for 24 hours but we have less criminal activity at least. Crazy times.

1 year ago
1
Deirdretours

I honestly don't know! Sometimes, I think they are just drunkenly booking in the middle of the night for fun. I have also wondered if someone is just maliciously tying up inventory, but that seems unlikely.

We have not (yet) had credit card fraud that I know of.

1 year ago
5
David

Hi all I have discussed this with Worldpay our C/C handlers and they say NO COMPANY or PERSON can force a business to hold a product or a service for any amount of time with an invalid card.It is at the discression of THE SERVICE PROVIDER (us) not the OTA .Booking.com clearly state in there own terms and conditions that a room can be cancelled ANYTIME after booking if the credit card is invalid.

1 year ago
1
Deirdretours

On my dashboard, I cannot cancel before 24 hours has gone by. I have tried calling and the reps refuse to cancel it for me. Have you successfully cancelled less than 24 hours after the booking?

1 year ago
2
Randy

David - right??? So, what to do. Customer service at Booking.com WILL NOT allow a cancellation (even when I told them I have called Visa and they say that the card has been called in LOST, and the booking was just made with their lost card?).

1 year ago
5
David

Unfortunately it is a decision you have to make yourself and decide what to do if the person using the fake card did turn up later .Booking .com do not see it but it is a kind of bullying forcing hard working businesses to hold rooms on invalid card for any amount of time we should hold rooms for a max 2 hours with an invalid card.

A guest could book a room now for tomorrow with an invalid card and booking.com state we must hold it to 3pm on arrival day-it truly beggers belief why they behave like this but they say we have agreed to these terms and conditions when joining, but legally Booking.com do not have a leg to stand on,infact they are encouraging people to book rooms with fake cards. One guest told me 2 months ago that he never inputs his correct card details incase he wants to cancel or he books more rooms than he might need.truly shocking.

1 year ago
2
Randy

David - wow, and I most certainly believed that people actually do this on purpose! I am about to cancel a last minute reservation that has been held now for 24 hours with a credit card that the bank says "Refer to Issuing Bank" so clearly not valid (it was declined for $1).

1 year ago
5
Blagoje Acho

I am using payments by booking.com so I dont have that problem.

1 year ago
2
Randy

We use Virtual Credit card with booking.com, however guests have to opt for this payment plan.

Keep in mind, the credit card they use to pay booking.com with can still be a stolen credit card, doesn't stop a criminal from staying in your home...also the virtual credit card is only valid for their exact cost of their stay, so if they steal from you or create damage, you have zero recourse if you did not collect their credit card on arrival.

1 year ago
5
David

A customer service agent did once say to to me when I was reporting a fraudulent card that how does she know I am not using the report invalid system just to hide that I might have double booked,really great to see pertners trusting partners.Booking.con know this is a huge problem but they refuse to deal with it fully.

1 year ago
5
David

Yes you are right about the virtual credit card I have 3 of those for this weekend and I am about to put in the fine print that guest paying by this method must show ID by way of card on arrival.We must cover our backs in these scenarios.

1 year ago
1
The Inn Keeper

Ive been seeing this the past few week.

They make a muilt day reservation for the weekend, for many people, under a western sounding name but the credit card doesn't work and the preferred language is Cantonese. It holds up the room for 24 hours, and the phone numbers don't work...

would like a faster way to cancel these strange happenings.

1 year ago
2
Randy

The Inn Keeper, the booking I just cancelled today was a western name with preferred language in Cantonese (held up 3 nights last minute for 24 hours).

So, today I decided to test this out.

I made a booking for our property, fake everything with an alias email address (that I had access to). Used an old cancelled credit card number with an upcoming expiry. Booking successful, and the nights were booked.

I went into my system and marked the credit card as invalid and from the drop down menu, I selected "fraudulent reservation". It gave the standard message that the guest had 24 hours to respond.

I logged into my fake booking, and "updated" my credit card with another useless card. Update successful and nights still booked!

I went into the extranet again, and was able to "reject reservation". Booking.com gave me a warning basically saying "Are you sure? We've checked and it looks like this is a valid credit card". Of course, this credit card was FAR from valid. I then cancelled the booking with one click (and no commission due).

If the guest who put the fake credit card in there just didn't respond for those 24 hours, we are sadly held hostage to the booking with zero recourse (if it's fraud/intentional, of course they won't respond, and appears they know how the system works).

IF the guest actually updates it then it looks like you cancel it immediately. In the past Booking.com made me give the guest 24 hours for up to 3 updated credit cards (even when they didn't change their number!).

1 year ago
5
David

The biggest joke is asking a person who has inputted a fake card and comes up as fraudulent to please update with a valid card.Worldpay our c/c handler asked me, and I quote are you really asking a person submitting fake card details to input another card.Thier adivise is to cancel the booking immediately and not ask for new card details.

The onus is on the person making the booking to supply correct card details. If you were reserving a flight on line do you really believe the airline would hold that seat for 24 hours? ofcourse not, they would inform you immediately that the booking is not valid due to a declined card so try again.

One of the main reasons Booking.com allow this is incase a property owner as double booked and using the report card invalid tool as way of cancelling the booking which is no way to treat business partners.

1 year ago
2
anniesguesthouse

I feel your pain Deirdretours as this happens to us regularly.

What is your relationship like with nearby properties/alternative places to stay? I have considered our experience with this a lot and the only person with the motivation to do this repeatedly would be a nearby alternative property. If they remove your availability from Booking then a genuine guest will book their place as yours is no longer available.

For what it is worth I now put the rooms immediately back out for sale. I have listed with booking since 2007 and I have never had a genuine guest show up after a card was flagged as bad they always either phone or update their credit card online.

Guests now receive an sms to notify them of an invalid card so a genuine guest with a genuine phone number would be notified of a genuine card error.

1 year ago
5
David

You must have a very generous cancellation policy especially for 1 night bookings made within days of arrival. Do you not pre authorise or take deposits??? you have to protect your revenue the best way possible.

1 year ago
5
David

So these 16 rooms were booked on 9th and 10th it is now the 12th have you only just tried to charge the cards??

1 year ago
1
Deirdretours

David,

Booking.com does not allow me to access the credit card details or to cancel the reservation until 24 hours have passed. We have now been using Booking.com for 5 months and about 60% of the reservations are fake-- fake cc number and phone number that is either disconnected or invalid. Only 2 reservations have bad cards that were later corrected.

1 year ago
1
11208

We have had the same issues - 24 fake reservations this month alone. Someone - account manager - tried to call me but hung up in the middle of our conversation and she never called me back. I didn't have a phone number so I couldn't even call her. She said she would stop same day and day before booking to help with the situation and blamed bw but it isn't their fault. Booknig.com needs to auth cards and reject bad reservations. they are costing us money by clogging up inventory

1 year ago
2
anniesguesthouse

I've had a week full of fake reservations from Booking.. anyone else's Extranet look like mine?! :(

1 year ago