More fake bookings than real ones

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    I have the same experience with our apartment rentals in Rio de Janeiro, could be scam but more that people are fouling around. Try to fin a payment solution and secure 50% if the dont show up you charge the customer 50% of the total value. Then you will have only serious buyers.

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    I have a Vacation Home in Rosarito B.C. and  I lost all the month of December 2017 in fake reservation.  So far I have 2 more fake reservations for March .To make matters worse I have no access to the credit card info. or anything else, any ideas?

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    Booking. Com just wants just make money
    No back up
    I have 90 percent fake bookings
    No support
    If we call them it will take some hours
    To lift call

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    No partner support
    Booking. Com is always on guest side
    No support for property owners
    We need concent of guest to cancel
    Any booking
    But guest can cancek booking any moment

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    what i do is ask for deposit, if they cancel within 7 days of the booking date. The deposit are not refundable.

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    Pita Lie

    I do prepayment booking and every day we still have one booking with invalid credit card (mostly insufficient fund or fake card) so I can assume it will be worst when come for postpayment accommodations. Unfortunately has been very proud to brand themselves as channel that allows customer to do "hit and run". Please note that I can see from this forum that many customers even asked for chargeback as well after they stayed and won't support us as partners. There is no win-win situation here. 

    We all just have to accept it if we still want to use this channel as pays huge amount of money to be on top of the search engines. 

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    Every one faces this issue.  I run a hotel in kovalam, kerala. Even we faces this issue. Fake reservation, fake numbers. And even the guest wont reply to emails or calls we make. representatives are not bothered about this. Loss is only for the hotel partners. 


    We we contact guest, they will tell us that they are on the way and will reach in 30 mins or 1hr approx, and no one will show up. should also think about their partners or they should charge a some amount as booking fee so that the chance of cancellation or no show will be less.

    hope they will take care of this.



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    Pita Lie


    You can change your setting to charge non refundable deposit or cancellation fee. Obviously you need to have facility to charge credit card. does not have facility to charge customer credit card at all. They will not invest on that as their chunk of money goes to advertisement and to market the channel to ensure they are always no 1 in the search engine and hence can sell your rooms. If you want prepayment system, you might want to choose other channels such as Agoda, Expedia or Hostelworld. 

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    since if there is no action from site, we should opt out from maybe just use instead...

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    Pita Lie

    Just found out that all the comments advising moving to other channels were not shown in the forum. LOL 

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    I have a guesthouse in Langebaan on the West Coast of Cape Town, SA. after reading all the above comments it seems like it is the same everywhere over the world. out of 10 online reservations on, 3 result in real bookings and as an establishment you have to be vigilant all the time - even with a no show and your booking policy is 50% of total reservation will be charged, does nothing to support. 

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    Seeheim Hotel 

    i manage bookings for Seeheim Hotel in Namibia and I have been experiencing the same issue,i would like to know why they even charge commission for fake bookers. why should we pay if most bookers are fake and no show, the contact details provided are either not available or does not exist.

    any way to change this?

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    Pita Lie


    Yes, changing channel is the only answer as does not care about it. What they want is their commission and a brand image as a pro-customer channel. 


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    I've also received more fake (always last minute) booking than real ones.  I received my 14th in since Sept yesterday.


    I have tried to contact them and it TOTALLY adds to my frustration because they lie to me, their customer after begging me to be their customer (I'm very successful with AIR BNB and VROB)





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    We have reservations which will result in about 6 on 10 to be cancelled either by the client or by us. This is done within free cancellation period and sometimes when it happens to take the prepayment, we find out that the credit card is invalid. Despite contacting the client and reporting to Booking.Com, many result to be fake and you have any mean to get your rightful cancellation fee if it should be applied. We lose more 24 hours before being able to cancel the reservation and it should be instant as if the client is serious, he will book again promptly and provide genuine credit card details to secure his reservation. Booking.Com has implemented, for some selected properties, a virtual card payment same as Expedia or Agoda. This is at first stance a good initiative to stop the fake reservation as client pays Booking.Com at reservation. However, the client still has the choice between paying directly Booking.Com who will then repay us with the virtual card or provide us their credit card details to be charged (later) as per set conditions, then leaving the gate still wide open to fake reservations. Why do the policy makers at Booking.Com still allow these practices that cost us money and time and less commission for them.

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    It's been months and I've only had 1 real guest. The 1st day I started this account I got 7 bookings for far out dates. As time started to get closer to those dates, each of those reservation started canceling their stays. As of right now I've only had 1 guest stay. I almost feel like BDC is partially scamming in the beginning. Based on the comments I read it seems as if BDC has some sort of algorithm to load up bookings in the immediate beginnig and slowly take them away as time goes on, with the hopes of real bookings coming through while the HOST are excited about the instant rush of initial bookings. I've had Credit Card scammers try to get in my place as well.  I had to download an APP called BAR CLUB STATS.                                          So far this is the best APP out for SCANNING government issued I.D's. I will not let anyone enter my premises without a government issued I.D or 2. I also take a picture of the I.D, just incase of a SCAM, I can forward a real picture of the persons to the POLICE / PROPER AUTHORITIES. This is normally a real deterrent for SCAMMERS. Right now I've had the best SUCCESS with AIR BNB, They really partner with the HOST. They have a registration / screening process thats similar to buying Crypto Currency (SCAMMER DETERRENT). Bank Account, Government Issued I.D and a bill with your current address on it. So I campaign for AIR BNB, 100% of my BOOKINGS have been REAL. Check out the APP, and make sure you make it part of your POLICY. GOVERNMENT ISSUED I.D & CREDIT CARD matching the name on the reservation, then SCAN the I.D as well. The other option is to get off this site. I hope this has been helpful..Good Luck with this GREEDY COMPANY. 

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    Why does one's comments have to be approved by the COMPANY thats operating as a TICKET SCALPER.   MEANING = Only focused on how to take %'s fee's away from the HOST (Commissions, opportunities, etc) with no HOSTS SUPPORT!. No concern with CREDIT CARD SCAMMERS. BDC has to do more to support the HOST.

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    Pita Lie

    We are ending our partnership with BDC as well. We asked them since December 2017 why they do not want to put tick box required by Visa International in their booking form (requirement that has to be adhered since 2014 by all e-commerce business) and until today they do not want to answer at all (more than 20 emails). They simply answer that it is not their right to answer (so who has the right to answer?) and that they are sorry that they simply cannot meet up our expectation. 

    And since Visa International is going to simplify the charge back procedure starting 1 April 2018 and BHD still refuses to put the tick box (some partners here suggest that this because BDC does not want to pay relevant tax in their country as a proper e-commerce business) - I don't think I can be part of illegal business. My business will face fraud charges and also a possibility of charge back from every customers BDC refers to. 

    I agree that this is a very greedy company and put all partners in big problem soon. 

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    Lou Borchers

    My system of making the guest pay works:

    Solution and turn your reservations through from nearly worthless to real reservations as coming from all


    MAKE ALL YOUR RESERVATIONS NON-REFUNDABLE! and let state in "The Fine Print": `Please note that the hotel

    will contact guests directly with instructions and information on payment methods´.

    By my experience non-refundable will not bother your booking numbers at all.

    But it will still not keep the nasty guest away that all of our hotels hate on The no-shows. They will

    not bother if non-refundable or not because they think they will simply continue as usual at book

    several rooms/hotels at and give false credit card data, wrong names, wrong or no CVC # and of course

    don´t keep funds on their credit cards because they know does not care anyway. supports that

    behaviour because it does not cost them anything, only the hotels who are stupid enough to block rooms for these

    worthless bookings pay.

    Don´t even continue with your high-risk for charge back card-not present chargings, just cancel your merchant account

    needed anyway only for trying to charge their mostly worthless reservations, save that money since all

    OTA´s transfer the guest payments anyway to your bank account.

    Use Pay Pal and write Invoices through them, send these invoices through to the guest email, MAKE THEM


    Write this on the invoices:

    Dear Guest:

    Many guest think that they paid their reservation already when they gave their credit card data to during

    the reservation process.

    That is NOT the case, will not charge your credit card, they only keep your credit card data as a

    security in case you will not show up on this non-refundable reservation.

    (INSERT YOUR HOTEL NAME) will also will not charge your credit card, only in case of no-show.


    *YOU* have to pay this invoice *NOW* the same way you pay other things online.

    That is also valid for last minutes bookings ON THE ARRIVAL DAY because guest are known for not showing

    up if they did not prepay.


    Best regards,



    Terms and conditions (on the right of the Invoice):

    As stated at in "The Fine Print": `Please note that the hotel will contact guests directly with

    instructions and information on payment methods´.

    THIS INVOICE is our payment method, you have to pay it by credit card NOW TO GUARANTEE YOUR APARTMENTS FOR YOU!

    We issued this invoice through PayPal as an external payment provider. YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE A PAYPAL ACCOUNT!

    *Also on last minute bookings ON THE ARRIVAL DAY you have to prepay by credit card NOW.*


    If not paid immediately something stinks already, so on the next morning, send your

    First Reminder:

    Your invoice was due already yesterday but you did not pay it.

    (We have peak season here, the whole island is about 90% fully booked on your dates.) (if applicable, speeds it up)



    Our experience with guest shows that if they do not pay immediately they mostly NEVER pay anymore!

    This is the procedure recommends to us, YOUR HOTEL NAME:

    "1. Email guest the instruction on paying your invoice amount.
    2. If guest paid, please block/guarantee the room. *(THAT MEANS ROOM IS NOT YET GUARANTEED FOR GUEST BEFORE PAID!)*
    3. After maximum of two email attempts no payments have been received, the booking will be cancelled by our Customer

    Service Team.
    3. You will receive a cancellation email from and you may resell the room."



    If still no payment, on the 3. day:

    (Second and last Payment Reminder)

    Dear Guest:

    Until now you did not pay this invoice for your reservation even after my first reminder.

    My experience with guest shows that if they do not pay immediately they mostly NEVER pay anymore!

    If I had more Apartments than are likely to be all booked it would not matter, but I have only ... Apartments so it

    should be understandable that I can not block them for guest that did not prepay.

    Ask yourself: What would YOU do if you were the hotel owner: Would you leave the reservation alive and block the

    rooms for other guest who might also want to book at these dates AND pay?

    To make it clear: The rooms are still available for other guest to book.

    I will not send you any more reminders to pay your invoice.

    That means for you that you are in the same situation as I am on your arrival day: If you have luck, the Apartment

    might still be available, if not, you had bad luck...

    And if you do not show up, I will charge your credit card with the whole amount since the reservation is non-


    And if somebody else booked AND paid it, I will cancel your reservation and will throw you out!

    We do not have these problems with other travel agents like Agoda, Airbnb, Ctrip, Expedia, there a reservation is

    only possible when they charged the guest credit card successfully.

    Apartments will be permanently reserved for you after you paid (and our welcome Email with full info also about best

    airport transfer and directions will be sent.) (if applicable)



    More remarks:

    The threatening with charging the guests card is only to speed them up, actually if they don´t really want to book

    they gave wrong data anyway or don´t have any funds on the card.

    Since Global Payments invented 2 years ago an "Account Maintenance Fee" of 1000 US $ additionally to their 3,5%

    commission on each transaction I immediately canceled my contract with them. That is also their intention, to get rid

    of customers that don´t bring really high turnovers.
    So I don´t even store´s mostly worthless credit card data anymore.

    Upon receiving the reservation I block the rooms of course in case the guest really wants to book and pay.

    After the 2. reminder I open the rooms again and call to send a reminder to the guest from their side,

    too and they will give them 12 or 24 hrs. depending on you to pay.
    After that and no payment arrived through Pay Pal call and let them throw the guest out!

    I always tell the guest through that I enjoyed throwing them out!

    Try it, it works for me!!!


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    I have a bed and breakfast in Colorado Springs. At least once a month I get a short notice reservation for our most expensive room for 3 or 4 nights. I charge in advance, but: The credit card is invalid, the phone number is often random (a real number, but not the right contact), address is on a street that doesn't exist. Then I'm holding the bag with the room unavailable and waiting 24 hours after requesting a new card number and not getting it. just shrugs when I call for a followup.

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    Lou Borchers

    You did not read my comment above you, it works! You don´t have to charge any guest credit cards of reservations, most of them are worthless anyway. Let the guest pay your invoice sent to them from Paypal and if they did not pay immediately, throw them out because they do not intend to pay!

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    Here in the Cook Islands, we were getting high cancellations and fake bookings. In the last two months we have changed to 'non refundable 30% deposit' and this has changed our business overnight. Any card declines we get on booking, we just send back to as 'card declined' then cancel booking. We charge the balance of 70% 30 days ahead of arrival. For us, everyone has to arrive by international flights so we very rarely get last minute bookings so having last minute cancellations, card declines, or no shows was crippling.

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    Lou Borchers

    Yes, that´s what I recommended in one of my previous comments. You can even make it without deposit and charge 100 % without reducing bookings or, as I do it, let the guest pay your invoice with their cards, reducing also possible charge backs to zero! guest need their special treatment to make them pay all this just because does not like to bear the risk of charge backs....

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    Dodg,gie. ***

    no show ,last minute shows,no txt eta 

    all the norm,if ya let them ,use you

    theyre useing you.

    what do I mean ,any booking longer than a week 

    people can worm, out ,they’re worms at it

    go on as many ,booking sites as you can handle, 

    youll find one will work for you,I have two good sites and a third that you know who 

    booking .commmm,is the last resort,resort 

    ie last minute bookers,yes the people not organised and turn up when they feel like it 

    Jason ,above yes cancellation 

    are a pain 

    but I don’t allow,more than a week ahead for bookings 

    no long term bookings for peak times unless its paid and booked at that date

    again long term bookers pay in advance,

    upfront for peak times,more than one day

    and ya won’t get burnt ,with empty rooms for days on end 

    check in times early with notice to them when they book.if they don’t check in early with notice by txt or phone 

    stick there room up as quick as possible and tell them that

    i txt them .no response there room back up for rent.

    most successful people ,sort there

    shitbooking .com  out,as anyone with half a brain ,after one no show a month 

    I’m not here ,towaiti—-for them 

    I txt or call them quick let them know ,

    if ya don’t get answer ,and deposit cancel there booking .b4 they do it to you

    boy ,oh boy they’re on the ph faster than cosmic dust,rebooking ang kissing your ,,,,

    so i know Jason ,

    every time they screw you around ,no show

    theyre of doing it it too me or another mug there and every were

    i have tried talking to the coe

    ceo but she’s on full time holiday drinking wine in the sun restaurant ,

    jason ,advice all I can give 

    get several booking sites,3/5 best ones 

    no long term bookings ,I’ll explain in a minute

    as I understand ya can’t ph everyone but any big ,long term or over two days bookings

    get txt #

    ph# and ask for deposits money,,if they’re serious they’ll pay as they do with airbnb

    holiday booking I don’t take bookings as it’s busy at that time 

    and find I can put up the sites and get 

    good bookings anyway,

    who needs any more than 30/45days at peak times 

    also rainy days I’m swamped

    yes swamped with holiday makers ,washed out of there cars and camps 

    so Jason demographics,what’s yours 


    booking .co is a old fashion search engine,burning up in the cosmos 

    its a comet,with a long tail ,burnt out 

    love or hate it  it’s out there in the Milky Way.

    and does light up your life,rooms ,when people use it 

    but it’s not the only star********* in the booking market 

    so until they listen to you

    and listen to me ,I use 2*

    3other booking sites with better systems ,yes Jason 

    you and I would never get a job with booking .co as there all

    afraid we’ll.    do a better search engine 



    and use booking .com for the late and non show,

    and only one day stayers ,last words ph ya quests ,ask for the deposit 

    get some waiting money for no shows,

    god bless you 

    love from New Zealand kaitaia, 

    the space between us is the same space that brings us together

    pps I’m on holiday for three months

    no booking .co 

    because I don’t open my calendar to bookings sites ,it’s my hotel and I choose who comes when 

    best of luck .



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    We have a hostel in Colombia and so far we  only had three fraudulent bookings.

    When we come across a suspicious booking we usually check the credit card in the virtual terminal of our POS terminal provider. If the credit card is invalid we mark it  in, and about 2 hours later we can cancel the booking.



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    I run an in inn with 18 rooms. I prepare a full breakfast daily for my guests. For my first 6 years I had no such problems but this winter the bogus reservations started. This is not just random people making reservations and failing to show. This is systematic, purposeful, by design, but I admit I cannot figure the reason. It just happens with too much regularity. This does have an impact. I purchase the food for these phantom guests, I prep it, I turn on lights in the bogus rooms and turn the heat up a bit, and wait up for the check in, so it's time, money, and inconvenience. They follow a pattern so I am now generally able to spot the fakes, so I no longer prepare. But the pattern tells me that it's not random, it's not rude jack asses, it's a planned scam.

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    Here's a "coincidence." I complained to B.C by message through the extranet. In that complaint I described the bogus reservations, stating that these three common features tell me when I have a bogus reservation, and that I can smell them out. Since that communication the bogus reservations have transformed, they've changed completely, they've become more damaging (longer times in more expensive, premium rooms). I have been forced to require a pre-payment from this day forward. Just makes more work for me, and if it's too much work maybe it's time to cut ties.

    Any one have any idea what this is about. I know these are not real people going through the steps to make a reservation just to not show up. This is a fraud of some type, I just cannot figure what they are angling for.

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    Miami Beach HomeStay

    Let me explain my issues business has been slow so I decided to try and see who my competition was I found the only property in my area was my only competition in what my property offers and value. For several weeks I watched as she would price match her unit to the price of mine, she has 4 I have 1 unit that is comparable so she would match one of her units to my price mine till she had it rented, and then would drop the prices of her other units to match my price till she got all the guests looking in our market at my price.


    All this is legal say they say its Competitive marketing. I came up with a new strategy 40% off our daily rate. My competitor I believe doesn’t want to match that rate. As a result of my strategy my property gets booked with fraudulent bookings when ever both of our properties have availability. This results in my property being removed from the market for 12 to 24 hours due to  Booking.Coms policy. Once the 12or 24 hours is finished if her property is still available I will get another fraudulent booking until her property is booked.


    As long as her property is booked my property is pretty much safe from not being taken off the market. This only seems to happens when we both have availability.

    My question is what can I do ?



    David Cernance

    Miami Beach HomeStay



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    This is the main issue with Booking.Com and their system which presents major weaknesses in genuineness of reservations and therefore reliability of payment . So far they will allow the visitors to make these fake and fraudulent reservations and all the burden remains on our shoulders.

    We share our last experience: we received a last minute booking at beginning of this week with arrival next day. As the payment was due, we processed the credit card on morning of arrival day and it was successful. Later, a person showed up and presented his passport, was not same name of reservation, and said that the person who made the reservation will show up 24 hours later. He presented himself as the colleague, sharing the house, and showed us a copy on his cellphone of passport of person who made reservation. We had some doubts and asked for more clarifications with that person. Finally, it was an attempt to fraudulently stay at our property and that person just left discretely while we were processing some verification which confirmed that status. We had also to revert the credit card transaction to avoid further problems later.

    When we cancelled the reservation, we got immediately a phone call from Booking.Com for inquiry. The lady operator informed us that they will contact person who made the booking but never reverted back as she found it was be a dead end as everything was fake.

    Actually for our property we have above 60% of cancellation rate: fake, invalid credit card details, cancelling some days before free cancellation period ends with 'genius' status clients involved.

    Booking.Com for some destination applies now direct payment to them upon reservation. They will process payment with the client and repay you later (generally at end of month) the amount less commission by bank transfer. You may on the Extranet select that method or call your account manager for support. This will guaranty your reservation as visitors won't accept to pay immediately for fake reservation.

    Also, you must have a cancellation period and policy. This will filter your reservations and put a reasonable period that will allow you to get other reservation if there is cancellation. 


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    I have two phone apps that are helpful:

    "Hiya" ($15) & "White Pages" (free)

    The first thing I do is verify the number in Hiya. If it shows that person's name then it is good. If Hiya does NOT show the person's name I call the number. 

    White Pages I use to search the person's name to see if I can find one that matches that name and address.

    If both of those options fail, I mark their credit card as invalid in Booking's extranet. I can then cancel the reservation if they do not update their info.

    My investment in time is 5 minutes per reservation and works well for me.

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