Apr 21, 2011 1:33 PM
I'm starting to get more emails from scammers and I have to admit some pretty good. Hopefully you haven't been scam.
From what I see there are two different people that scam.
1. Individuals that will send a certified check for an amount more then you charge and want you to send them excess money back via Money Gram. Or they need to cancel it and need a refund right away.
So how is this a scam you ask.
Well let me tell you how it happens. You deposit the certified check thinking it's like cash.Certified check could take 5 to 10 business days to clear maybe more depending what bank it is. Before that date is up, the scammer will email you that they can't make it or they paid overpaid. They will request that you send the money back to them via Money gram or an money wire company. You send the money back thinking the certified check has been deposited. The only problem is that a couple days later the bank will call you stating that it was a bad certified check and you are out the money you sent them via money wire.
2. Companies or Individuals that want you use their services to advertise your cabin. They either promise lots of inquiries or they will display your rental unit to specify groups.
I will be discussing the 1st one since I know a couple of people who fell for it and the second doesn't seem to happen as much
The easy way to detect if an email is from a scammer
- They use bad grammar
- Email is not propertly formatted. It just doesn't look correct or it's written in haste.
- They usually have an excuse on why they can pay via credit card. (i.e. they are going on honeymoon and their company is going to pay for it but they can only do it via certified check. Or they maxed out their credit card and only can pay via check)
- They don't seem to read your listing and write items that doesn't make sense. (i.e. They write that they want to go to the beach but there isn't a beach for at least 300 miles from the rental unit)
- Their email address is different from their name. (i.e. email from email@example.com, but they address themselves as Linda)
- They seem to use common statements. Below are some common ones
Kindly check if we can use 3 nights
I await your swift response
do you accept cashiers check as payment method
- And of course the one big thing, They can only pay with a Certified check and need your complete address including telephone number
Here are some examples that I have received
Their request email
Hi,my name is Ben Hoffman,i work for an international organisation in Haiti,i am married with no kids,i and my wife will like to spend our 1 week vacation in the states,so pls i will like to know if your place will be comfortable enough for our stay,and also i will like to know the total cost for 7nights(all facilities included),when the place will be available in september,pls do you accept cashiers check as payment method?if so,so my company in the US will forward payment to you to cover my entire trip expenses,then you will help me send the excess of the fund to my travel agent hear in Haiti to process our travelling cos US certified check cant be cashed here.Thanks and hope to hear from you asap.
Their request email
Hey,Good day to you. Kindly check if we can use 3 nights (dec 21,22,and 23)
at your place. I want you to email me the availability an cost.We are 2, My
Wife and I.We are coming for our honeymoon. we dont smoke and we dont drink
neither do we have pets.I await your swift response.
Their request email
Hello,i want to know if me and my husband will be able to spend seven
days at your place,the days start from 23 to 30th of March ,Get back
to me with the total cost for the seven days..Thanks
I responded to their request since I was interested to see what their reply was
Their reponse to my email
Thanks for your prompt response.I have discussed this with my husband and we have agreed to use your place as for the cost,we are alright with it. I have a financier that is based in the States and he will be handling the rent deposit payment on my behalf,All transportation arrangements are being handled by my travel agents from the airport and all other modalities will be arranged on our arrival. My financier will be paying for my flight,
accommodation and all other holiday expenses,so payment will be sent to you from him. I will instruct my financier to send you a certified check on my behalf covering the total cost of our stay. For this, I would need your
ADDRESS (NOT P.O.BOX)
Go ahead and provide these information ASAP, so that payment can be instructed to you.We have been looking forward to this trip for a long while,so you can also make all necessary document with my name,await you prompt response
My name is Doctor Scott ,am contacting you today to know if me and my wife can use your place for 5 nights we are coming for our honeymoon so we decide to use your place,from FEB 15th to FEB 20th or any available date upfront, We don't smoke and we don't drink And also we don't have any pet.get back to me if the place still available
What if I accept only checks or have a certified check?
If you do get tricked and send a rental contract. You will get a certified check. You can deposit the check but wait until it has been deposited and contact your bank to verify it. You only get scammed if you send money back via money wire.
The scam happens mainly to people who don't accept credit cards and only accept checks. Usually when I get a request to have payment via certified check. I request them to pay by credit card and of course don't hear from them back.
Hopefully this helps you