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I think you can spot these things right away just from the poor grammar and punctuation. The ones that I don't catch at first are always caught on their reply when they say something like, "my agent in the United States will submit the funds," etc. I usually reply to these with an email full of expletives that basically tells them to get a life and that they are going to hell for trying to con innocent people. I obviously never hear back. It's also been a while since I've received one so maybe they've taken me of their list. :-)
I'm afraid I got that one too. Beware of Irka GXXXXXX <gXXXXXXX8@hotmail.com> also known as John TXXXX SXXXXX
I reported him with the FBI. I wish VRBO would warn us. if they can send e-mails advertising they can send warnings
"I wish VRBO would warn us. if they can send e-mails advertising they can send warnings"
I think it is our own responibility to determine whether an inquiry is legitimate. I certainly don't want VRBO to make that kind of decision for me.
Vrbo actually doesn't forward inquiries coming from e- mails that have been reported to be scams, so they are making that kind of decision for you. That's why this crook from Ukraine always gets a new e-mail address. What I meant is that I wish they could send a warning as the kind of scams going on.
VRBO/HA has issued many warnings via email, in this community, etc. And we all (homeowners) are issuing warnings through this community. As with any business, as owners we must be on top of what is going on in the environment around us. You have done the right thing participating, learning and contributing to the community of owners.
Lets keep fighting these criminals that are affecting the reputation of the industry.
This post proves one thing, that we live in a world where technology is being used for our benefit but brings new threats that we must deal with. Just like cars en early 20th century were very convenient, over time risks of high speed, no airbags or seatbelts, texting & driving, DUI, etc have affected us all, but we keep driving, just a bit more careful and with better vehicles.
With technology we can make rentals, get paid electronically and live thousands of miles away from the property. But we will get scammers, fake reservations, false checks, web pages that copy our ads and collect the money from unsuspecting guests, etc and we have to be smarter than the crooks to protect ourselves. I am sure Homeaway is working hard to find ways to protect partially from the threats, but we must do our part to complete the circle of protection.
I've filed an IC3, FBI and Interpol report. I'm also communicating with his bank to have his account closed. I just can't believe he's been doing it for 2 years in total impunity. very upsetting.
I know. I've been renting my house for 3 years and this is the first time I get scammed. the pill is hard to swallow and I'm fighting back. Bank of America actually recognized their mistake (they credited my account with the foreign fraudulent check...Duh!!!) but I want this crook stopped and I won't stop until his account is frozen.
I guess I don't understand what these warnings would be. I can't imagine that they could keep abreast of every scheme that goes on in the on line rental industry, especially not specific ones. In any case, whatever time they devote to something like that, we're going to be paying for it. I'd just like to have everything that HA/VRBO is already offering to work correctly. I don't like to see anyone victimized by con artists, but there's bound to be a limit to what HA can do.
I am really glad to see this discussion. We have a rental request for Oct 20-27, 2012 from Anyutochka Businska in Kiev, Ukraine. The lack of detail in the inital request bothered me, but I responded and received this reply. What do you think? Fraudulent or real? Have any of you asked for a cashier's check from an international bank? Would that even help?
I'll appreciate your thoughts on this. I haven't yet responded to the below email.
Thanks for the updated information.
We are okay with the accommodation and cost .
we would also like to confirm the reservation on the following information:
- Mrs Anyutochka Businka
14/12 Alexseeva street, 81239 kiev, Ukraine.
Also , due to the unsecured use of credit card online or on the phone, I have arrange for payment inform of check
Please do forward me the following details for payment
CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBER
Hope to hear from you soon
Sorry Deborah, that looks like a few scam emails I've gotten. Except that she's not mentioned the accountant she's routing everything through yet.
I feel like I should add something to this conversation, I have this past year had two successful bookings from Eastern European countries, one from the Czech Republic, another from Romania. I was hesitant on both counts because of the Eastern European scam attempts, but the inquiries were different than above. I actually phoned both of them (check your time differences before you do) and was fortunate that both spoke English. The payments went through well (both paid by credit card through VRBO's reservation system) and both took very good care of the condos, no complaints from the cleaners. One of the guests asked to meet me, and since I live close by, I went over and we had a nice visit.
So, moral of my story - be careful and do your homework! And don't write off all potential guests from Eastern Europe because of a couple of scammers. Good luck everyone!
100% SCAM! Don't bother responding. "We are OK with accomodation and cost" and "due to unsecured use of credit card online..." is a dead giveaway. I have received several with the same or very similar wording. Again, don't even bother.