What could be nicer for and Bed and Breakfast owner nicer than to receive an interesting reservation request? Well, easy: the thing that mostly happens when guests leave after a great stay with us and nothing has gone wrong, also not financially speaking. It is the latter part that sometimes is a challenge especially to newcomers. A mail we got this week was another scamming attempt that reached us. It read:
I want to make a reservation in your facility for Six (6) newly ordained priests from Greece will be visiting your country for a seven(7)days religious program in the month January and March 2016
- Arrival Date :24th February 2016
- Departure Date: 1st March 2016
- Number of guest:6
- Number of rooms:3
- Kindly confirm availability and get back to me with cost so we can pay a deposit so that the rooms will be reserved for them, I am waiting for your swift response. Regards, Clancy
(as we were bcc-ed on the mail it was probably sent to dozens of other accommodations)
Every year we get a number of these mails and we know by now to not to react, let alone accept it. The deposit will be paid by a cheque in a much higher amount than the reservation costs and when you contact the ‘guests’ they will say that they made a mistake and asked you to transfer the balance (via Western Union). After you have done that your bank will inform you that he cheque has been stolen and they will debit your account for the cheque amount and bankingcosts. The transferred money is gone, of course, and the priests cannot be reached. Probably on holiday…..
But also for you holidaymakers it is also important to be careful out there: Be careful when booking accommodations. Fake websites appear to offer travellers a convenient way to reserve hotel rooms, but they are just making money for scammers.
You are planning a trip and need to book a hotel room. You see an online ad promoting hotel rooms at a cheap price, and you click it. You are directed to a website that looks legitimate. It may have a URL similar to the real hotel website or established third-party booking site. The website may also use the same logo, colours and/or design of the legitimate site.
The website might look okay, but it’s a fraud. Scammers are creating fake hotel booking websites to steal money from travellers by charge you for a room that simply doesn’t exist, otr the booking isn’t passed on to the hotel.
It isn’t that hard to avoid the pitfalls, don’t get over excited when you see the bargain and look for a secure connection. Make sure your personal information is being transmitted securely by ensuring the web address starts with “HTTPS” and has a lock icon.
Be sure to compare and shop and be suspicious of a site that has prices significantly lower than those listed elsewhere. We all know: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.