Beware the 'Hotel Booking' Email Scam
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If you've got a vacation planned this summer, there's an important travel advisory you should check out before you pack your sunblock and swim trunks and pile into the car.
A batch of emails that has been circulating claims to have important information about a hotel reservation you made on the travel site Booking.com. The emails, titled "Hotel booking confirmation," contain a 10-digit confirmation code and a note that "We have received a reservation for your hotel," warns Graham Cluley from the security firm Sophos. The emails come with an attached .ZIP file that purportedly has the full details of your hotel reservation.
"Chances are that if you received an email like the following, you would be at the very least curious and might be tempted to click on the attached file," Cluley said.
As with similar hotel-theme scams, cybercriminals are simply banking on the fact that millions of people will be making hotel reservations in the upcoming months, and if they can trick just a fraction of those travelers into opening the rigged attachment, then they've succeeded.
In this case, the attached file harbors a Trojan horse that for years has been worming its way onto people's computers and spying on their confidential information.
If you receive any unsolicited email with details about a hotel booking or a hotel credit card transaction, the advice, as always, is: Do not click on it, and erase the email immediately. If you're concerned about a reservation, call the hotel directly and never hand out personal or financial information online, especially on a site that appears suspicious. And make sure your anti-virus software is fully updated; in the event an email like this tricks you, the software can be your last line of defense.