X-Men actor James McAvoy has warned of a scam that nearly cost him thousands of dollars after trying to book a hotel on the Spanish island of Tenerife through a fake booking site.

The British actor posted a warning on Instagram to prevent others making the same mistake.

"Just avoided being scammed online trying to book a holiday for my family at The Ritz Carlton Abama hotel in Tenerife," McAvoy wrote in the caption.

After being duped by a fake hotel site, McAvoy emailed back and forth with a man called Joaquin and nearly transferred £10,000 ($19,500) for the booking.

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"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," he said.
McAvoy said he had alerted the hotel about the fake site, saying, "they know now".

In a second video, he said he had filled out a booking form and was asked to make payment by bank transfer after sending a picture of his passport.

"That's something that I've done before in the past which seems legit," McAvoy said. "Paying by bank transfer instead of credit card or check actually seems like a safer way to do it. You also get a 10 per cent discount, they say by doing a bank transfer. Again, more incentive to get excited about it."

However, after thinking the deal was too good to be true, he contacted a travel agent for advice.

The star was asked to pay by bank transfer and send a photo of his passport. Photo / Instagram
The star was asked to pay by bank transfer and send a photo of his passport. Photo / Instagram

"I doubled checked it through a travel agent and it was a tenth of the price it should be.
"Stay away. If you've been scammed by them, hit me up."

According to Forbes, fake hotel sites are a common scam targeting holiday-planners.
Take time to check the URL of a site before booking and if there is any doubt, call the company and check.