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booking.com fraud warning

I have received a very upsetting email overnight from booking.com advising me that my guest's reviews show signs of being fraudulent. Has anyone else had this?

Margaret

 

13 Replies

5
Graham Fisher

Never heard of anything like this Margaret, hope it is not some form of "phishing" to get access to your Bdc Extranet...??

1 year ago
2
Margmunro

The email is posted below. Ì have not had a satisfactory answer from booking.com yet. My reviews are consistently excellent maybe they think it is too good to be true. The reviews are all genuine and unsolicited. I have a tiny propery, no staff as I do all the work myself.

Here it is:

From: "Booking.com"
Date: 12/11/2018 5:06 am (GMT+00:00)
To:
Cc: [edited for privacy]
Subject: FRAUD WARNING

Dear Partner,

It has come to our attention that some of your property's guest reviews are showing patterns typical of fraudulent reviews.

One of our website's key assets is the guest reviews we display, written by guests who have completed their stay. These guest reviews provide visitors to our website with honest, independent and objective evaluations to base their decisions on.

Booking.com does not accept any form of fraudulent activity which affects or could affect the independence and reliability of our reviews.

We advise you to ensure that your property is not submitting fraudulent reviews to our website, and to take any steps necessary to raise awareness among your personnel of the implication of such actions.

This letter serves as a final warning. If your property is found to have fraudulent reviews again after this warning, your listing on Booking.com will be closed.

We value our business relationship with you and hope we can continue to have a successful partnership.

Thank you for your cooperation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,

Reviews Fraud Team, Booking.com B.V.

Email: [edited for privacy]

1 year ago
5
Sara Jarvis

Margaret have you phoned booking customer service for clarification ?

1 year ago
2
Margmunro

I have not phoned them. I have sent several messages. The replies stick to the content of the original original email. They will not tell me how potential fraud is detected nor will they say which of my reviews they consider dodgy or which have been deleted. So I feel helpless really. I have not committed any fraud. There is nothing I can do to remedy the situation. So if things carry on as they have been, my lovely guests will leave more glowing reviews (because the property is good and I work very hard to keep it so) and the booking.com algorithm will devide it is too good and delist me. Bah.

1 year ago
5
Graham Fisher

Do you not have a Bdc Area Manager you can discuss this with? The tone "looks" like a Bdc communication to me and there are no requests to log-on via some spurious link for phishing purposes... I think you need to speak to an Area Manager and try to get some guidance.

1 year ago
2
Margmunro

I have tried to 'phone the area office and asked to speak to the area manager. No joy- I am being told to contact another team each time. I have now emailed the fraud department and the area manager & asked them to phone me as it is impossible to speak to the right person. They have said that it is indeed a BdC email. I am so cross about this.

1 year ago
7
fluff

What is the exact address the email came from (not simply Booking.com).

Were there any links in the original? If followed (advise don't at this stage) did they have a URL that looked genuine.

I'm leaning towards agreeing with Graham Fisher at this point.

1 year ago
7
fluff

Another point,

"these guest reviews provide visitors to our website with honest, independent and objective evaluations to base their decisions on."

Seriously?! Then why do BDC leave totally dishonest ratings in place, even those with Customer Misconduct reports against them?

1 year ago
2
Margmunro

Fluff. I think the original email is genuine. It came from eviews-fraud@booking.com and was cc to [edited for privacy]. If you google [edited for privacy], LinkedIn tells you that she is a recently appointed accounts executive at bookingdotcom. There are no dodgy links to click in the email.

I have sent emails to both of the above. No reply from [edited for privacy] after 2 emails sent.

If there has been any fraud, it is me that is the victim here.

If a guest sent a review in using the wifi at my property which uses the same router as I do but with a different access code then would the IP address be the same as mine? If so, it could look like I was writing my own reviews.

1 year ago
6
Laura, Communi…

Hi Margmunro,

For privacy reasons, we have edited the sensitive information belonging to a Booking.com employee from this post. We appreciate your understanding.

1 year ago
5
Graham Fisher

Laura - it may help if the Booking.com employee was responding to the concerns raised by Margmunro rather than "apparently" ignoring two emails...?

1 year ago
7
fluff

AFAIK the IP address is assigned to EACH DEVICE connected DIRECTLY to the internet. Therefore, via WiFi, the router address will show on the internet, different password or not.

Fortunately for us we have a private router for hotel use, guests are on a different network.

However, I'm sure your set up is very common. If BDC would bother answer your messages it would help immensely. Time of review being submitted could be compared to the guests stay dates, thus exonerating you. Strange this should coincide with a new staff appointment, maybe this member is not quite up to speed yet and being a little heavy handed.

It may be worth looking into the BDC hierarchy in your country to see if you can go over the heads of the staff that are too rude/incompetent to respond? It only takes one duff member of staff to ruin the chain of command, skipping past that broken link is often the answer.

1 year ago
2
Margmunro

Thanks for your support. I had an email from the Accounts Executive (she who cannot be named ) yesterday evening who is to bring my case up in a meeting today and have it escalated. So I am waiting for a response. There was an apology for any wording that I found offensive.I put the possibility of a review coming from my IP address if guest was using our wifi.

They really should review their own process and wording, in my opinion. I suggested that the local manager come and visit my property to check that it is as good as my customers' reviews!

1 year ago