Just when you think it’s not possible to be scammed out of $13K on a faux hotel site, well it is. Actor James McAvoy was in the process of planning a family vacation to Spain, then shared a message on Instagram to warn his fans about the fraud:
“Hello, there! I’m James McAvoy. I have just avoided being scammed through a cyber scamming scheme online and I’m just making this video to draw your attention to it.”
The 39-year-old actor showed a picture of the website, then noted:
“Don’t use them. They nearly took 10 grand off of me, which is a ton of money. Some guy called Joaquin emailing me back and forth, [I] nearly made a bank transfer. Very convincing. Their website is actually better than the Ritz-Carlton’s website. It’s extremely convincing, replete with a phone number, stuff like that. Just very, very convincing.”
What happened was, McAvoy tried to book a trip to The Ritz-Carlton, Abama through a website that was better than the actual hotel’s website. Once he had filled out a reservation form, and was asked to make a payment of almost $13,000 via bank transfer with a passport photo already sent, he stopped to ask for advice from a travel agent who quoted 1/10 of the price the website was asking for.
The Split actor explained, “That’s something that I’ve done before in the past which seems legit. Paying by bank transfer instead of credit card or check actually seems like a safer way to do it. You also get a 10 percent discount, they say by doing a bank transfer. Again, more incentive to get excited about it.”
While McAvoy warned The Ritz-Carlton of the situation, here are ways you can avoid to be scammed:
1. If it’s asking for bank transfer rather than credit card payment.
2. Verify the website’s URL.
3. Call the hotel to double check on the price of the booking to see if the numbers match.
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