A WOMAN was left stunned after more than 100 tourists turned up at her home – claiming they had booked it for a holiday.
Gillian, who lives in north London, revealed how a Booking.com scam meant poor holidaymakers thought her house was for rent.
She told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme how it started on July 4, after a "poor, tired woman and her daughter" arrived from Hong Kong knocked on her door, saying they had booked it.
She was forced to tell them that her house has never been up for rent – and it then escalated with more people arriving that day.
Gillian said: "A few hours later I had about three or four people visiting knocking on my door saying they’d booked my house with Booking.com.
“They came from all over the world: Australians who’d just arrived, there were some people from Saudi Arabia, some people from the north of England, and I just couldn’t believe it."
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For the rest of July, she had another 80 people turn up at her door, with some families paying more than £1,000 to stay.
After checking the website for herself, she found her address being listed, but that pictures had been used from an entirely different property.
Some of the guests said they had even called Booking.com before arrival to confirm it was genuine.
Gillian continued: "It was obviously a scam, and someone had used my address.
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"I felt so sorry for those tourists knocking on my door – all I could do was send them away."
Gillian also said that while she felt bad for the tourists, she was left feeling "very vulnerable" in case other guests become more aggressive.
Booking.com said they removed the listing on July 13 and would be in touch with everyone who had booked it, as well as apologising to them and Gillian.
A Booking.com said spokesperson said: "We take safety and security very seriously, and every week, we facilitate millions of stays with the vast majority taking place with absolutely no problems.
“Scams are unfortunately a battle many industries are facing against unscrupulous fraudsters looking to take advantage and it is something we are tackling head on.
“We have a number of robust security measures in place, but in the very rare instance there may be an issue with a specific property we always investigate immediately."
There are lots of scams Brits have been warned about this summer.
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In Spain, a new bird poo scam has caught tourists out while a number of tourists in Greece have been caught out by a very expensive restaurant scam.
And one man said he was nearly charged for broken furniture after booking a place to stay in a fake fine scam.
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