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3006 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: May 6, 2012 1:52 AM by maureen RSS
New Member 24 posts since
Jun 7, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

May 2, 2012 10:50 AM

Was this a scam?

Hi there!


I was wondering if anyone can help us out with our last interaction with some potential guests.They sent us an inquiry and my red flags went off right away. I thought that they gave away too much information right from the beginning. They said that they wanted to give their father a trip of a life time and  that he had wanted to go to southern Spain for years. Then they told me who all was involved in treating him to the trip. They were also a bit too flattering. While I think our property is nice, it just seemed that they were too gushy and said that our villa would be the perfect place for him to have a lasting memory. They said that they wanted to secure the villa for the first week in June and please tell them what they had to do to accomplish that. My red flags went up because I had read somewhere in the HomeAway Community that guests who give too much information up front are usually not legitimate. But they hadn't asked for money or anything obvious suspicious, so my husband and I decided to proceed with caution.  I wrote back quoting the rentand I never heard back from them. I forget what this is all about. What are people trying to accomplish when they do this sort of a thing? Please help me understand. Was this some kind of scam that they were trying to pull off?



  • sophie Senior Contributor 967 posts since
    Mar 4, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2012 11:05 AM (in response to maureen)
    Re: Was this a scam?



    This doesn't scream anything unusual to me. I've had some prospective renteres give me tons of information on inquiry and some that don't say anything at all.


    I personally wouldn't worry about it!

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,353 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 2, 2012 12:39 PM (in response to sophie)
      Re: Was this a scam?

      Maureen, I agree with Sophie. This doesn't sound odd to me at all.  Maybe it's a difference in how Americans communicate ( we can tend to be wordy!). Maybe they were just excited to be able to make this trip.


      I actually prefer to have MORE information from an inquiry. It makes it easier for me to decide if our home is a good fit for them (and gives me a chance to provide a little extra something special, if I know a certain celebration is involved).

  • New Member 1 posts since
    May 2, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2012 12:50 PM (in response to maureen)
    Re: Was this a scam?

    I agree with sophie & msdebj. This happens to me all the time. A lot of the time I blame it on Google translating as my guests come from all over Europe and the english version of what they are trying to say can sound a bit gushy.

    But it really just boils down to manners and etiquette or lack thereof. They expect an immediate reply from everyone they enquire with and then don't have the courtesy to let you know if they have decided to go elsewhere. There is one particular country in Europe that is reknowned for this and when I get enquiries from there I take them with a pinch of salt and only block off the dates when I have received a deposit!

    • thale HomeAway Employee 136 posts since
      Oct 27, 2010
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 4, 2012 6:50 AM (in response to madeiraowner)
      Re: Was this a scam?

      As others have written in this thread, more information in an inquiry is usually a good thing to help you know your potential guest. Also, in my experience, scam emails tend to be short and can have odd capitalization or mispellings. That being said, a harried traveler in need of a vacation might also make a typo or two, so it's never a sure fire signal.


      So that you know, scammers (aka phishers) sometimes send inquriries to get your email address so that they can send you a phishing email in an attempt to gain access to your email account.


      Read this blog post on the community to learn more about Phishing scams and what HomeAway is doing about them.

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