With an increase in fraudulent bookings and identity theft, property management companies need to take a higher precaution when booking guests. Here are some tips on how to avoid potential fraudulent bookings that can be placed on popular OTAs, and how to identify a fraudulent act.
Create Policies in all OTAs
Protect you and your property. Set up policies and do not allow guests to book without submitting their credit card details, especially the CVC code.
Secure Payment Processing
Pre-authorize all bookings and charge the submitted credit card linked with the reservation through payment processing. You can do this using Stripe. If there is a problem with the pre-authorization or payment, the guest needs to update the card details on the OTA. If they do not do this by 6 pm on the same day you can cancel the reservation.
If the guest is successfully charged, schedule an Auto Message to be sent to the guest and let them know that there will be a self-check-in process. Ask them to provide you with their contact info. You can then use the contact info to verify this is not a fraudulent booking.
It is advisable to schedule Auto Messages for check-in only after payment has been received.
Approve & Review Documents
If everything including the payment and contact info is confirmed you have no need to worry. Make sure that you have copies of your guests’ passports for security reasons and if the reservation is last minute, we suggest increasing the deposit value (which should be stated as part of your policy).
For more fraud prevention tips about each individual OTA, please contact the OTA's support.