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A booking that looks too good to be true? It probably is too good to be true!

The scammers are getting cleverer. We are - always - mindful of bookings that display certain characteristics such as poor use of English. And that's "mindful" not "rejecting", since many of our hotel customers have very limited English.

A request for a booking in March came in the other day - "fishy", says I, for various reasons - a combination of poor English and other factors; differing email "from" and "reply to", and both of a pattern that appeared to include a tracking reference. Email addresses from easy-register services. Lack of personal reference to our place or part of the country. Willingness to move to a different week.

  On 4 Jan 2015, at 08:55, Micheal David wrote:
  
  Happy New Year
  Good Morning
  
  My name is Micheal David , I •[99]m looking for accommodation for one week to rent
  
  Starting from : 20 March 2015
  Checking out Date : 27 March 2015,
  Guest: 2 adult
  
  Hope to read back from you with the cost prices for one week and if its not available for the date , Please get back to me with available date
  
  Thanks


Lots of warning bells from my list - but I did reply with a reference to our website / booking engine, or a suggestion to call (email copies, with my concern noted, to our team). Reply received:

  On 5 Jan 2015, at 16:02, Micheal David wrote:
  
  Dear Sir, Madam
  
  Thanks for getting back to me, i am very happy that you will be able
  to rent your accommodation to us,I have discussed this with my wife
  and we have agreed to use your place, so i will want you to block
  other people from renting this following date:
  
  Arrival Date: 20 March 2015
  Departure Date: 27 March 2015
  Guest: 2 adult
  Rental Amount: [c2]ã 570
  
  Here is our company's name below :
  Company Name : Oil & Gas Association Ltd
  
   Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:
  
  Name : Micheal David
  Home Address: Queensberry Place
  South Kensington, SW7 4DN
  United Kingdom
  Tell : +447937425198
  Fax : +448435581071
  
   Regarding the payment arrangement,I am assuring you that their won't
  be any problem because our company's associate in Europe would be
  paying for our holiday expenses and they have inform me that they will
  be making the payment via Euros Bank Draft.
  
   The Euros Bank Draft that you will receive will be in excess, has
  Our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers
  Allowance)fee will be included with the rental fee base on trust. As
  soon as you have receive the Euros Bank Draft you would have it
  deposited into you account for clearance, you would deduct the rental
  fee and i will tell you how to send our trip expenses which include
  our B.T.A (Basic Travelers Allowance)fee to my traveling agent so
  that he can do all paperwork's, After the Euros Bank Draft has been
  cleared in your account.
  
   I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following
  information that will be need by our company business associate to
  make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the payment as
  soon as possible:
  
  Full Name on Euros Bank Draft :
  Full address:
  City:
  Zip code
  province:
  Country :
  Telephone Number :
  
  I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be
  looking forward to read back from you with the information needed
  above.
  
  Thanks


I'm thinking we'll give this one a miss. It looks just too much like a well known scam, which works like this:

* Booker says "I have a single payment coming to cover my whole trip"
* Deposit is made into bank
* Hotel pays excess back to agent as requested
* Bank informs hotel that payment is being pulled back as deposit was provisional and has bounced
* And of course no guests arrive

Net result - hotel has paid out to the fraudster the difference between the hotel rate and the payment, with no hope of recover. And hotel is left with unused and unpaid accommodation for the period in question.

See more at Independent Cottages Blog.
(written 2015-01-05, updated 2015-01-06)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G910 - Well House Consultants - Scams
  [4651] Pressure selling in the fire safety business - (2016-02-19)
  [3859] Youve Been Selected for the 2012 Edition of the Global Registry - (2012-09-16)
  [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)
  [3222] Clickjacking - another way to get you to follow a malicious link - Facebook issue - (2011-03-29)
  [2988] Not mugged in London! - (2010-10-08)
  [2895] Global Computer Maintenance Department - (2010-07-29)
  [2690] The World Company Register - is it another scam? - (2010-03-23)
  [2524] An update on legal changes from the FSB? - (2009-12-03)
  [2403] Hotel Booking Scam / Cost of calls to 070 numbers - (2009-09-12)
  [2373] Translation from Ghanaian to English - (2009-08-23)
  [1795] What have iTime, honeytrapagency and domain listing center got in common? - (2008-09-12)
  [1772] Ken Palm, iTime, and Domain Name Tasting - (2008-08-25)
  [1680] Astroturfing - the online definition - (2008-06-17)
  [1342] Google, wwmdirectory, Freshwater, ATP - new scam? - (2007-09-09)
  [1313] Tratum Technologies - (2007-08-21)
  [860] Warning - false emails, said to be from Paypal - (2006-09-09)
  [347] Frightening and from-friend viruses and spams - (2005-06-14)
  [178] Calling a spade a spade - (2005-01-15)
  [78] Domain Registry of America - (2004-10-07)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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