Columbus, OH – August 11, 2017 – According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), every 60 seconds, Americans make 500 hotel bookings online and there has been an astounding increase in the number of consumers who have fallen victim to online booking scams. In fact, over the past two years, booking scams have increased by over 250 percent. Fraudulent booking websites are duping travelers to the tune of 55 million bogus bookings per year totaling almost $4 billion.
To combat this, the AHLA created the Search Smarter campaign, encouraging travelers to book directly on hotel websites to save hours of aggravation, check the URL and website address to make sure it’s not a third-party vendor and sign up for loyalty programs to save money and receive exclusive perks.
Now, Red Roof, the leading economy hotel brand, is announcing its own campaign in support of Search Smarter: Type Don’t Click. To protect consumers from scam booking sites, Red Roof urges travelers to type the hotel’s name directly into their browsers to assure it’s the authentic site.
Booking directly also gives travelers the peace of mind that their reservation is safe and the confidence that their information isn’t ending up in the hands of possible identity thieves. To make sure you’re safe, here are 3 tips to help you avoid these rather clever scams and protect your money, time and identity.
Always book direct. The next time you want to book a hotel room, travel experts suggest that instead of doing a general search, consumers should directly type the hotel’s website URL into their web browsers. Clicking through search engines and third-party websites exposes consumers to the dangers of illegitimate booking websites, but by typing RedRoof.com directly into their browsers, travelers can avoid booking scams, lost reservations, additional fees and ruined vacations while guaranteeing that they receive the room and rate they reserved.
Booking on a hotel’s site directly also has many advantages. Booking on Red Roof’s site is easy, simple and economical. Plus, with their RediPromise Guarantee, travelers can be sure that they will receive the lowest available rate. Book a room using an online Red Roof reservation channel (on the official redroof.com website or their mobile website). When travelers book on RedRoof.com, if they find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking, Red Roof will not only adjust the reservation to the lower rate, but also take an additional 15 percent off the price!
Always use a credit card to book your reservation. Although we have all come to depend on our handy debit cards, experts say credit cards can provide much better fraud protection than debit cards. So, try to always use a credit card when booking online. Many cards have built-in safety features that defend and guard your purchase in the event of any dubious interactions that are not your fault. You’ll also have a record of your transaction for future reference.
If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. When booking a hotel online, be careful if a price pops up that seems like an incredible bargain. Scam sites often appeal to a traveler’s desire for as low a price as possible for a hotel stay. But when the price seems unbelievable, it usually is. With Red Roof, there’s no need to search any further for a lower rate. Red Roof has some of the lowest rates in the industry and will match the rate from another legitimate brand if it is lower than theirs. Plus, as a RediCard (Red Roof’s loyalty program) member, you can enjoy savings off their best available rate when you book directly with Red Roof at least two days in advance.
Remember, fake sites use URLs that are similar to the real ones. Make sure you type in the correct website address instead of doing a random search that can return fraudulent results and turn your dream trip into a travel nightmare.