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Just received this one too...
We are ok with accomodation and the cost.
We would like to confirm the reservation on the following information.
-Mrs. Nyuta ***********8
109/22 kamorova; 87209 Kiev, Ukraine
Also, due to the unsecured use of credit card online or on the phone, I have arranged for payment in form of check
So... this is the second time I've gotten something like this from UKRAINE.. SO DELETE THE INQUIRY!!
Just to add to the list, I got one and when he gave me the bit about needing to send a check for a larger amount I got suspicious and checked with VRBO about known scams. They tipped me off to the procedure.When the check arrived it was a cashiers' check drawn on Capitol One Bank. I took it over to the nearest Capitol One branch and they confirmed it was a forgery. Good one too, complete with watermarks, etc.
I think when he tries to follow up with me I'll tell him he's fallen for a scam - I'm a phony front orgaization headquartered in the Ukraine, bilking people into sending deposits on non-exsitent properties.
I've worked in banking many years ago, and there are some things scammers have done in the past that might be in play here.
Routing numbers: U.S. routing numbers (the first numbers on that little row of numbers at the bottom of every check) begin with numbers that are specific to region. Anyone remember "Catch Me if You Can?" the story of Frank Abignale? He printed checks with the routing numbers incorrect in such a way as to increase float time, the time between depositng the check and actual withdrawal of the funds from the maker's account. What with everything being so digital these days I'm not sure exactly how much that issue comes into play anymore. I know If I write a check often I'm just handed the check back, because they use it as a debit card transaction.
One would think that Home Away and VRBO would send out some kind of warning letter - we all get those advertising letters from them.
One of the things that Capitol One caught was that they had some way of
knowing a number associated with the emplyee who supposedly signed the
cashier's check, and that employee did not exist.
Just had this happen, but we caught it. The check was a legit bank, etc. The bank returned it as 'stolen'. The scammer is using the name of another vacationrentals.com owner. They wanted me to send them $2,000! Ha!
Same thing just happened to me! I received an inquiry with the exact verbiage as other posts...that they needed the money sent to their "travel agent". The inquiry was from Lia KXXXXXXXXXX, Leninakan, Kiev, Ukraine. The check is from PNC Bank, Delaware and was for $4,950.00. This scam is the classic "overpayment scam". I went to the bank and explained the situation, and they felt the check was 95% fraudulent, so that's when I started looking online and found this post. My bank said that if I had deposited the check and it came back a fraudulent, they would have closed all my accounts! They said that is the new policy at Wells Fargo and most other banks. What a problem that would have been! Don't fall for this scam...it could do way more damage than a returned check fee and a loss of a booking...
Wow, I use Wells Fargo and appreciate that heads up. What kind of customer service is that for people who have banked with them for years??!!
I've heard other people on this forum have a second account that they use for deposits -- mostly bank transfers, but I suppose you could use it for checks also. The money is transfered in or deposited first there and then they move it out quickly to their real house account. This keeps your real account number private from your guests, and if the second account were at a different bank, would prevent a complete shutdown of all your accounts like this.
I asked Wells Fargo about having a designated account. They said that ALL my accounts would be shut down for a fraudulent check, not just the account I made a deposit in! They said it was my responsibility to know who I was dealing with, not theirs. I was floored.
Sent from my iPad
I checked with my credit union and they said they would freeze my accounts and have me come in. If I brought proof that it was a scam (the emails, etc.) they would unfreeze my accounts and probably suggest I change my account numbers.
I love small credit unions!
These guys are still at it. Luckily I listened to my gut and didn't send the money, although I wish I would've looked here before actually cashing the check. I like the folks who have the policy of not accepting checks over the amount owed. I will use that one from now on.
Glad to know I'm not alone...but jeez!
My bank, Wells Fargo, actually said it was MY responsibility to know who I am dealing with and only accept checks from known and verified customers. Yeah, right, like that is possible in this business!
When possible, I take the checks to the bank they were written from, if there is a local branch near me. I have them verify funds and and cash the check. That way, it is not against my account and if it's not good or cancelled, I know right then and it doesn't have any reflection in my account.
Live and learn!
Also, just for fun, I am letting these scammers think I am still going along with sending a personal check for their overpayment "mistake". Here's the info they sent me for mailing payment to their "travel agent"...TOYIN SXXXXX GALUGINA, GORODOK LUGANSK 91002 UKRAINE ...SEND AMOUNT $1972, WESTERN UNION FEE $128, TOTAL $2100. I tried to find a way to let Ukraine authorities know about this, but I didn't find anything online. If anyone out there knows a way to contact Ukrainian police autorities who may be interested in this information, please let me know! I wish there was a way to place a lit paper bag filled with dog excrement on their doorstep...
I would also encourage anyone who has this happen to play along as far as possible. Maybe when they waste tons of time and get no results, it will help stop it. I like the idea of them thinking they have money coming that never arrives!
I got one of these Ukraine requests today. I dont have time to entertain these scammers. I sent a return email with a full rental application which requires, basic demograpic information, social security number, picture of drivers licence or any type government issued Identification and full employer and landlord references. If they are real they will email back with full application filled out and send a $40 check for background criminal and credit,
This has worked for me for years! Nigerian scammers included.
I also verify the address in Kiev is a actual address on google maps and i research the IP address for location of sender. You can google how to do this. The one today was sent from Los Angeles. Hope this helps!