Scammers are posing as employees of Expedia to take money from unknowing consumers, according to a press release.
Expedia Group and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) have teamed up to warn consumers of these scams that have been reported within the last several days. So far, people from 17 states, as well as Canada, have lost around $10,000 because of this scam. Individuals have lost as much as $3,700.
According to the press release, people are calling customer service numbers that are claiming to be Expedia, but are actually scammers. Individuals who are calling these numbers are looking to confirm or change a reservation they have made through the Expedia website. The scammers are telling callers that the refund site is not working and are asking callers to purchase gift cards in order to receive refunds or change their bookings.
“Our goal is always to ensure travelers have a seamless and trouble-free booking experience with us, and it’s incredibly unfortunate that scammers have disrupted our customers’ well-deserved vacations and travel plans. Rest assured that we are also working hard to identify ways to prevent this from happening in the future,” Expedia said as a statement.
To combat these recent scams, Expedia is reportedly working with search engines on reducing fake ads, making its contact for customer service more visible and easier to find on its website, and adding information about these scams to a customer service portal.
Expedia is working with the BBB since it is an accredited business with an A-plus rating from consumers.
The breach isn’t the first time hackers have targeted travel platforms. Last year, the travel-booking company Orbitz, which is owned by Expedia Group, experienced a similar scam where hackers accessed over 800,000 credit cards by hacking into the Orbitz website.
A spokesperson from the BBB said that they see a pickup in travel scams beginning in the spring months when people are starting to book their summer travels. The BBB provided tips to consumers to watch out for scams, such as considering travel insurance, verifying all reservations by calling the hotel or business directly, reading the fine print and paying with a credit card instead of a debit card.