Frankel, Ros-Lehtinen, Shuster Introduce Bill to Combat Online Hotel Booking Scams
Today, leading a bipartisan effort, Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-22), Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), and Congressman Bill Shuster (PA-09) filed the Stop Online Booking Scams Act to combat online hotel booking fraud. With these scams, con artists set up phony websites that pose as a hotel’s official site, tricking consumers and pocketing their money without making an actual reservation or fulfilling promises.
“Booking a hotel room for a dream vacation should not lead to a nightmare,” Rep. Frankel said. “This bill will reduce fraud and give law enforcement more tools to protect travelers.”
“I’m proud to work with my colleagues, Lois and Bill, on stopping fraudulent hotel booking websites,” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said. “So many Americans conscientiously save for their vacations and are deeply disappointed when they discover they have been victims of a crime. Congress should do all it can to crack down on these perpetrators of fraud who take advantage of both families and the businesses the websites impersonate.”
“There’s an alarming problem with rogue websites defrauding families that are simply looking to find a nice place to stay while they enjoy their vacations,” Rep. Shuster said. “I was happy to support this measure as it will make it harder for these scams to occur and make it easier for travelers to know that the websites they are using to book their stays are legitimate.”
According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), close to 15 million reservations were made on deceptive hotel booking sites in the last year alone, resulting in guests finding themselves out hundreds of dollars for either a worthless reservation or one that delivered much less than promised. AHLA estimates that these scams cost U.S. travelers upwards of $1.3 billion per year.
This bipartisan bill would address this widespread problem for consumers by:
The measure is endorsed by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the leading group representing the nation’s hotel industry.