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Hotel Booking Scam / Cost of calls to 070 numbers

In my email, a juicy hotel booking ... 10 days for five double rooms ... which we shall not be accepting.



Dear Sir/Ma,

I am Andrea Paula,I write to introduce our Ministry " His Grace Ministries". Our main importance of sending this mail is to crave your sense of honesty and sincerity with respect to this enquiry. We want to enquire from you if you can book an accommodation for the Church team who will be arriving Evangelical Program. We would be most appreciative if you would be willing to do so.

Number of Guest: 10
Date of Arrival: 10th OCTOBER 2009
Date of Departure: 20th OCTOBER 2009
Type of Room: Double Bed
Persons Per Room: 2
Number of Rooms: 5



We welcome ... genuine visitors to Melksham, except this one is not genuine (have a look here for other reports). The email goes on:



For prompt action, we would be very grateful, if you can send with the total cost for of the accommodation to effect the prepayment and the following details:

1. TOTAL COST FOR THE ACCOMMODATION (In $USD Currency)
2. FULL MAILING/POSTAL ADDRESS OF HOTEL
3. CONTACT NAME
4. TELEPHONE NUMBER

We would be expecting your prompt response so that we can forward our Credit Card Details for prepayment.

Thank you and God Bless,
Best Regards,
Andrea Paula.



If past experiences reported elsewhere are to be followed, it goes on like this:
a) Booking made and payment taken (note - they want to prepay).
b) Booking cancelled, refund made (to a different account at client's request)
c) Bank says original payment was on stolen card / had another problem and revokes the payment to the hotel. But by this time there's no way to revoke the refund.

Don't be comforted by the UK phone number on the end of the email:



PHONE LINES:
+44 702 408 2930
+44 702 406 4815



Those are to personal numbers ... UK numbers which can then be routed anywhere in the world ... with the bill being picked up by the caller.

To quote The Register "Callers to personal numbers have in the past called 070 numbers thinking they are mobiles and have been shocked at the sometimes high cost of making the call. [snip] Calls to personal numbers from mobile phones can cost as much as [c2]ã2 for a 10 or 15 second call."

So ... let's see. The scam can cost you serious money to set up a deal. And theny you're out of pocket when you get stung for the refund. And while you have had those five rooms booked, you've lost further income by turning away other potential bookings. Nasty, Nasty, Nasty!
(written 2009-09-12, updated 2009-09-17)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
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  [3480] Direct Message: Really horrible blog about you ... a clever phishing trip, said to be from an MP - (2011-10-14)
  [3291] Pay and refund scam - alive and kicking against Melksham businesses - (2011-05-16)
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  [1313] Tratum Technologies - (2007-08-21)
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M102 - Well House Manor - booking system
  [4232] Not wanted here - hotel guests who will not be happy - (2013-12-30)
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  [4144] Getting the best hotel rates - customer and hotelier viewpoints - (2013-07-27)
  [4138] Should a hotel accept guests who book for just one night? - (2013-07-11)
  [4122] Well House - booking through agents - (2013-06-23)
  [3976] Easy pricing, quick and easy checkout - (2013-01-15)
  [3932] River nearly bursting its banks in Melksham - (2012-11-23)
  [3825] Well House Manor - direct hotel bookings help us improve the customer experience - (2012-08-04)
  [3281] Does Well House Manor Hotel in Melksham offer lots of discounts? - (2011-05-07)
  [2705] Hotel booking in Melksham made easy! - (2010-04-03)
  [2436] Melksham Hotel Rooms - pictures - (2009-10-04)
  [2377] Wiltshire / Melksham Weddings - guest accommodation - (2009-08-26)
  [1907] Melksham Hotel Rates - (2008-11-25)
  [1815] Hotel Guest Surveys - (2008-09-28)
  [1554] Online hotel reservations - Melksham, Wiltshire (near Bath) - (2008-02-24)
  [1311] What do people look for on a hotel web site? - (2007-08-20)
  [1084] Writing terms and conditions for conferences and other events - (2007-02-17)
  [864] Add to shopping cart - NO VACANCIES sign - (2006-09-13)


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