“This bill will reduce fraud and give law enforcement more tools to protect travelers,” said one of the sponsors, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, on Wednesday.
Hotel industry groups claim the problem is hijacking up to 15 million reservations a year worth more than $1 billion.
Sponsors say the Stop Online Booking Scams Act would require third-party hotel booking websites to disclose clearly they are not affiliated with the hotel the traveler is ultimately seeking. Violators would face fines of up to $11,000 per infraction. It would also give more power for state attorneys general to go after violators and encourage federal officials to simplify fraud reporting procedures.