U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today announced her support for bipartisan legislation to prosecute fraudulent online hotel reservation sites that target unsuspecting consumers through bogus websites and online ads.
The Stop Online Booking Scams Act of 2019 (S.2229) would use the Federal Trade Commission Act to prosecute scams perpetrated through third-party online hotel reservation sites.
“Mississippi has cultivated a successful campaign to increase tourism, and these visitors shouldn’t have to worry about bogus hotel reservations or rewards scams. This legislation would protect consumers by giving federal authorities and state attorneys general the ability to shut down these fraudulent sites,” Hyde-Smith said.
S.2229 would give the Federal Trade Commission additional authority to shut down and prosecute fraudulent and misleading third-party hotel reservation websites. It would make it illegal for third party online hotel reservation sellers, who are unaffiliated with the hotel, to advertise, promote, or sell a reservation if they state or imply they are the actual owner or operator of the hotel.
This legislation also gives state attorneys general more power to pursue legal action against these websites.
The measure, authored by Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.), has been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.