Greek holiday booking scam
Archimedes: October 2011
Greek holiday booking scam uncovered.
Greek island holidaymakers have been duped out of thousands of pounds in a Greek holiday booking scam.
The Greek holiday scam operated through four fake websites which claimed to be hotel booking sites and netted credit card details from would-be customers. Greek hotel owners and credit card users across the world became victims of the scams uncovered by Greek police working with Interpol.
Rooms were booked at hotels and deposits taken, then bookings were cancelled at the last minute. Holidaymakers didn't find out until they arrived in Greece.
The sites that were used are the following: -www.newbookingcentrals.com -www.mybookingcentrals.com -www.bookmeanhotels.com -www.yourhotelwbook.com
The scam worked because bookings were actually made at genuine hotels so holidaymakers who rang hotels to check booking were told in all honesty that the rooms had been reserved.
Police have warned people to be vigilant in checking out online transactions and to choose only known safe websites.
There are worries that the scam could affect small Greek hotels (domatia) are family-run with a small number of rooms. They increasingly rely on the internet to attract customers for the summer holiday season for their year-round livelihood.
Potential customers should be concerned if they are asked to make a deposit directly into a bank account rather than a reservation system unless they are sure they are dealing direct with the owners or with a reputable company.
It is also useful when dealing with unknown websites to check out the website details on a domain search sight such as Whois.net to see where the website is registered and how long it has been in operation.
Domain details for www.newbookingcentrals.com shows the site was created on April 19, 2011 and expires in 2012. It would be unwise to give cash or credit card details to a site that only been operating for a few months.