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40026 Views 80 Replies Latest reply: Sep 5, 2013 12:59 PM by tlunde RSS
Contributor 166 posts since
Mar 30, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 21, 2011 1:33 PM

Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

Hi,

 

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 roberthsmith01@gmail.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

     

    First Example

    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.

     

    Second Example

    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.

     

    Dr Roberth.

     

    Third Example

    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

     

    Hello,

    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

     

    FULL NAME:

    ADDRESS (NOT P.O.BOX)

    CITY:

    ZIPCODE:

    STATE:

    TOTAL AMOUNT:

    TEL PHONE:

     

    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

     

    Fourth Example

     

    Hi,

    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

     

    Claudio

    • sfvacationhut Community All-Star 643 posts since
      Dec 31, 2010
      Currently Being Moderated
      Apr 23, 2011 6:06 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Thanks for taking the time to put together this important information, Claudio.

    • sfvacationhut Community All-Star 643 posts since
      Dec 31, 2010
      Currently Being Moderated
      Apr 23, 2011 6:16 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      I highly recomend both of these web sites for more information.

       

      fakechecks.org

       

      scamwarners.com

       

       

      One of the web sites provides video testimonials by real people (not actors) who were scammed because of foreign cashier's checks. 

       

      It's heartbreaking and moving to watch.  It helped us a lot, because we were in the middle of dealing with some people who said they were from France and that they wanted to send us traveler's cheques.  We thought it was weird, but we were going to go along with it ... the people seemed so nice over the phone.  But ... after reading the info on the web sites above, we made a policy that we will not accept any foreign checks or traveler's cheques or money orders, etc.  We do accept credit cards and PayPal, and all of our other international travelers have had no problem paying with one of those two methods.  When we contacted the supposedly French couple, letting them know that we would only accept PayPal or Credit Card ... we never heard back from them again.  Interestingly, the had kept us strung along for six weeks before that, always saying that they were about to send the travelers' cheques, etc.  It was very strange.

       

      Anyway, I'm glad we avoided that.  Partly thanks to the info we received from the links above.  We actually found out about these web sites from a neighbor who is in our real-world vacation rental neigihbors' organization. For some reason at the meeting she happened to mention these sorts of scams.   And it made us say "Hmmm!"  So she sent us the links to those web sites, and thank goodness we found out about it, in time.

    • New Member 10 posts since
      Apr 27, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Apr 28, 2011 1:36 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      I had the over pay scam with 4 persons involved. I returned the check and never heard from them again  The  10 emails had very bad english and spelling errors

    • gotomike Contributor 38 posts since
      Mar 30, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 16, 2011 12:11 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Good for you to warn us all. By now, I think we all know what a scam email reads like and their unreasonnable demands, but it's always nice to hear that we ALL receive them (and more and more of them too.)

      I still wonder why the scammers keep trying or why - at least - they don't bother to use the services of proper translaters. They're really completely dum!

      Keep on your toes. Be careful y'alls...

      Michael

    • New Member 2 posts since
      Jun 16, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 16, 2011 7:29 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      I've been on homeaway and vrbo for a couple of months and have had two bookings so far. I received an inquiry a week ago that tried the over-pay scam. The writer stated she was traveling in Russia on a "project" for work. Stated that her husband recently died and she wanted to take her daughter on a Caribbean vacation for 10 days in September.

       

      It took a couple of email exchanges before I realized what this was ... It had all the red flags - poorly written emails, typos, she continued to call the property an "apartment" when it is a cottage, the "away in Russia" bit, etc.

      The writer stated she would send full rental amount via her travel agent. Foolishly, I gave my mailing address and phone number. There was another email stating that the check mistakenly included her travel costs. Would I cash the check, deduct the rental fee and send the rest back via Western Union.

       

      I cannot believe I did not recognize this as a scam immediately! Luckily, I read this thread on vacation rental scams before I did something really foolish.

       

      ##

    • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
      Feb 10, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 17, 2011 7:53 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      WOW - I, too, had one of these "odd" e-mails.  Katty Matt wanted to know if the "dates will be available and get me the price."  She explained that she was "out of the country on a business trip", but was very interested.  When I responded, I confirmed that they were, (as was clearly noted on our calendar) and gave her the rates for a 2- and 3-day weekend.  The next series of e-mails and my responses were like a trip to never, never land.  The language was broken and fragmented.  She kept asking me for my home address so that her "accountant" could send me a check.  I kept writing back asking how much time she wanted - didn't know what price to tell her.  I swear to God, it was almost like she didn't understand a word I was saying.  After the third series of e-mails, I figured someone was pulling my chain, and quickly wrote back that it was obvious we weren't communicating very well and I withdrew our offer to rent.  Never heard another peep out of her.  SCAM!!

    • method Contributor 48 posts since
      Jun 15, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 22, 2011 6:53 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Funny when I first started my vacation rental i got one of these, I became suspicious when he said he sent to large an amount and wanted me to send the excess so I called the bank and was forwarded to some sort of anti-scam agency who promtly told me what that probably was and not to send him any cash and to give him all the information on the subject. Was quite an eye opener since I believe this was only 3 or so weeks into the vacation rental business

    • caper72 New Member 9 posts since
      Jun 23, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 23, 2011 10:02 AM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Thanks for that info.

       

      The first year we rented our cottage, this type of request was the 2nd one we received.  "Jill" from England was coming to the states to shop at boutiques for her store and the check was to be in excess of the amount required.  Although I was new to this business, I immediately thought that this did not make SENSE.  I said to myself, "would I send a complete stranger a check for $3,000.00 and trust him/her to send me back $1,000.00?" I said I don't think so!    The crook sent us numerous emails, enlarging upon her trip, how far from the airport was the property, etc. We told Jill that we were NOT renting to her.   I had to leave the state for a week.  When I returned we received a money order from "Jill".  I emailed Jill and told her we had received her bogus check and to get lost and never contact us again. 

       

      We periodically receive one of these emails, but are now able to spot them immediately.

      • New Member 10 posts since
        Apr 27, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jun 23, 2011 11:26 AM (in response to caper72)
        Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

        I received a email in french and since I know french I responded stating I

        speak french and English  The next emails were in English stating he wanted

        me to rent my condo in Cabo for 3 months and pay in advance and received

        this email  as follows

         

        I'm sending you mail the check but it turns out that the item is on strike.

        I'm going to be DHL shipping information after you send the check I have to

        pay

        repaid when the check is delivered to your home in two days

        Please confirm me if you go pay 175 dollars to receive the check and I will

        send it by repay

         

        If you understand this let me know??  In French I told him what to do

    • New Member 1 posts since
      Jul 18, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 18, 2011 2:28 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Thank for sharing.

       

      Bad English is the first sign that caught my attention.  The 2nd sign was "too much information" that were not relevant to the rental inquiry.  When they volunteered too much, it's because they have something to hide.  The scam I received was from a Claire Bush and the email reads as follows:

       

      I will be happy to see your reply, am  not at home right now, as am in

      Scotland for our company's Project. We'll  like to complete the

      reservation before we get home. I'll make an arrangement  with our

      Accountant to make and mail a Bank Check for the full amount  through

      UPS COURIER SERVICE or FedEx and it will be issued so we can  be

      assured of our reservation.I don't have access to a bank transfer  nor

      have a pay pal account.. I can only instruct my Accountant to  issue

      the Bank check for easy cashing at your bank so i hope you  can

      understand. So provide me with the information she need  below:

       

       

      She will need the above information...

      Your Full  Name,

      Address {Not P.O.Box}

      City State, Zip code

      Phone number / Cell  phone

      Get back to me as soon as possible


      Claire

      • New Member 10 posts since
        Apr 27, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 18, 2011 3:36 PM (in response to tweester)
        Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

        I had the same bad English type email and they over paid the rent by $2k and

        wanted me to send the balance to a meeting place in Kansas City for some

        convention.. The check came, I copied it and returned to a 3rd party in

        Florida who set the check  Never heard back from anyone. Cheers

      • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
        Feb 10, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 18, 2011 5:13 PM (in response to tweester)
        Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

        OMG!!  I had the same exact letter from a Katty Matt - same project, same accountant, wanted all my information.  After about the third go round, it became apparent someone was pullin' my chain and I ceased communication.

      • New Member 7 posts since
        Jul 20, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 22, 2011 1:14 PM (in response to tweester)
        Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

        Hi there,

         

        Thanks for posting the contents of your letter. Just received the same one from a Ben Walters in the Ukraine.s

        He was fliexiable about dates. Put the red flag up. Will report him today. See content of my request below.

         

        Hello
        I'll not be able to  have a look at the place until my arrival,Thanks so much for the  mail.I'll be so glad if you can reserve the place for me second week in  August.

        Let me tell you more about myself .
        Country: Ukraine
        Education: higher
        Religion: Christianity
        Sex: Male

        I  am not at home right now, as we are in Ukraine for our company's  Project. l will like to complete the reservation befor i get home.
        I  will be making payment to move in and pay for the reservation to my  arrival, hence would like you to please send me the following details  for payment

         

        Your Full Name,

        Billing Address {Not P.O.Box}

        City

        State,

        Zip  code

        Phone number / Cell phone

        Thank you.

      • New Member 5 posts since
        Jan 5, 2012
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jan 5, 2012 4:24 PM (in response to tweester)
        Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

        Mine was to much info. He wanted to pay in full by check, the check was delivered by Fedex and was $1,200.00

        more then the agreement, he wanted me to send him the differance. be on the look out for Daniel Combs

    • Contributor 32 posts since
      Jul 12, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 18, 2011 3:27 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      I too hav experience this type of emails. I once received an email stating that they (a couple) in the UK was coming to the Us for vacation but the wife's employer was paying for the trip and i should send my address,Name contact info. so forth, so on. however his name was Carl Smith but email address was something else and he signed the email The smiths.What was funny i received an exact copy of that email from someone stating the exact same thing, different names and differnent email address also..

       

      Do these people think we are this stupid? i thought to myself. Just be on the lookout for people like this..

       

      I always call the people interested in my home and i might facebook them also.

      Facebook is a great tool!

    • Active Contributor 343 posts since
      Nov 18, 2010
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 20, 2011 1:20 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Hi everyone,

       

      Claudio, thank you for starting this informative thread. I wanted to chime in to let everyone know that you can always contact HomeAway's Trust & Security team regarding potential scammers. Our Trust & Security Department is more than happy to block the individual scammer's email address from using any of HomeAway's sites in order to solicit other property owners.

      You can click herehttp://www.vrbo.com/support/ to contact Trust & Security. Fill out the form by 1) indicating you are a property owner/manager;  2) choose "Suspicious Inquiry" from the dropdown menu; and 3) type in the scammer's email address along with a short explanation of what occurred.

      All the best,

      Laura

    • New Member 8 posts since
      Jul 16, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 20, 2011 3:24 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      I've gotten so many of these that I no longer reply to them. I get enough renters that I can afford to do a simple screen method. If I can't google the prospective renter, I don't even reply. My cell phone's on my site. Google that, and you can find out about me. If you don't have an internet presence in this day and age, that's a red flag.

      • Contributor 145 posts since
        May 12, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 26, 2011 10:44 AM (in response to jimw)
        Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

        The past few weeks I have started to receive what looks like scam inquires coming from just the HomeAway listings not VRBO.  The email address ends in yahoo.com yet the phone number is an International phone number starting with +44 and all of these inquires have unusual European names.  The inquiry only says things like Do you take pets ?  or Is your villa kid friendly ?  The one today says "Is the estate available for these dates ? These inquires are only coming to my high end homes that rent for $5k - 10k a week so I have ignored them as they seem to be spam.   Normally when we recieve International inquries from a yahoo account the email address ends with the country not com.   Is anyone else seeing these types of inquires ?  

        • Currently Being Moderated
          Jul 26, 2011 5:24 PM (in response to vacationlady)
          Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

          Yes, I have received some of these - they seem to come in waves, with certain inconsistencies in address, language, etc.  They do seem to target "high end" properties, and my spidey-sense sends up a red flag that this is probably one of those money-laundering schemes where the client's agent sends a check for the rental amount plus an allowance for food and travel.which you are supposed to refund by mail.  You know the scam. Run from this one!

    • New Member 10 posts since
      Jul 5, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 26, 2011 1:23 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Thanks for the advice on this thread, I recently started renting my home and I am still in the learning process This really helps!

    • Contributor 32 posts since
      Jul 12, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Aug 21, 2011 8:52 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Hi everyone.

       

      It’s been a while since i have received an email that I did not immediately was suspicious of, Like the ones from Craigslist or some other site (not that I am saying only scammer prowl craigslist) however last week I received an inquiry from VRBO, It looked legitimate so I did not question it I just send a reply with a quote. This is the email I received, which made my Scammer alert go off!

       

      Hello

      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 Magarita Anderson

      86/2 Maladochny , 82430 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

      FULL NAME

      BILLING ADDRESS

      CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBER

       

      Hope to hear from you soon

       

      Regards

      Magarita Anderson

       

       

       

      I send a reply: Unfortunately i only take reservations by credit card. VRBO online system is safe, convenient and secure and with updated fraud protection integrated, you will be protected.

      If this is not acceptable, i do apologize but i do not accept checks.

       

      Have a wonderful day.

       

      Hopefully they get the message.

    • New Member 4 posts since
      Aug 30, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Aug 30, 2011 1:02 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Our scammer "Lubov" said he was from the Ukraine.  We needed $500 to hold his reservation - he sent a check for $4800.93, explaining "There was a mix up in the payment sent...please deduct your rent and remit the balance to my travel agent."  We then withdrew our offer to rent, and reported this to our local police, who advised us to let HomeAway know that their website is being used by scammers.  BEWARE!  I could see honest, well-meaning owners easily falling for this...  Sad.

      • New Member 10 posts since
        Apr 27, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Aug 30, 2011 1:43 PM (in response to kathypepper)
        Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

        I had the same type over pay, copied the check and sent it back

        • New Member 15 posts since
          Feb 26, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Aug 30, 2011 7:22 PM (in response to ken)
          Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

          This may have been posted elsewhere earlier or in a separate discussion, but these recent posts remind me of a simple, yet recognizable scheme:  money laundering.

           

          Any time an entity (person/business) sends you a check or funds in excess of the original amount and wants you to send money back to a separate entity (other than the one who sent you the funds) is a form of money laundering. 

           

          For example:  When someone "from Ukraine" sends you excess funds "in error" and wants you to send funds back to a "travel agent" is engaging you into laundering their money.  They are having you disguise the source of funds.

    • New Member 1 posts since
      Feb 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Sep 30, 2011 1:30 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Hi claudio,

      Thanks for the info.

      Just got a request three days ago from the Ukraine.  My "Spidy" sense started tingling when they were so quick to want to rent without location information or need for any details.  I answered them with my usual and asked if they would like me to send the request for deposit through PayPal, and they responded that the "internet is not secure" so they wanted to send a certified check for the amount, (which they had not confirmed yet.)

       

      Wondering how I could get scammed for this, I went to my bank and asked how long to know if funds are good from a certified check, and he said, "In the US, the same day, but on banks from another country we have to send it to collections, it could take 4 to 6 WEEKS."  That's enough time for them to come and stay for free, or more likely, decide they suddenly had to cancel and want their (fake) money back.

       

      I wrote them and said I would be happy to take American dollars when they arrived, or they could pay through PayPal.  I have not heard back.

      Jeanette

    • New Member 2 posts since
      Dec 1, 2011

      I received a very similar email from a guest from Columbia. I insisted on Paypal or Wire Trasnfer but she refused. At the end I just asked for cash and never heard back from her.

       

      Beware of scammers!

    • New Member 9 posts since
      Dec 19, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Dec 19, 2011 1:06 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Good information! Thanks very much. I just set up a posting on Craigslist linking to my Homeaway URL and have been receiving the honeymoon scam at least twice a day. One was stupid enough to ask for two different stays with a break in between for their "honeymoon".  If it "walks like a scam, talks like a scam and quacks like a scam, it is a scam"

    • ttaylor0 Active Contributor 425 posts since
      Apr 1, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Dec 20, 2011 10:40 AM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Help Please!!!!

        This is first time that I have someone not from the U.S. who wants to rent my house in Colorado. They are from Canada and want to pay with Cashier Check. I have seen all the reports of scam involving cashier checks and need to know what I can do in a timely manor to be sure this is not a scam? Any help at all will be greatly appreciated.

      • New Member 9 posts since
        Dec 19, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Dec 20, 2011 10:53 AM (in response to ttaylor0)
        Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

        I would get on the phone with them to verify them as a credible renter.  If they won't give you a phone number, it speaks for itself. Also check with your bank to see how long it will take for the check to clear and make sure it does before the rental period if at all possible. Most important to follow the quidelines in the above comments. No refunds, no acceptance of a Certified Check in amounts greater than the due amount etc.

        • ttaylor0 Active Contributor 425 posts since
          Apr 1, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Dec 20, 2011 11:01 AM (in response to lipkindj)
          Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

          I have called the number they gave me, it's a Law Firm, but I only get a voice mail saying so, and it is a man's voice. He states this in both English and French. But I have never had anyone call me back. I guess I am getting paranoid with all the scams going around, but I just cannot afford to lose rent. And does anyone know why someone from Canada with all their mountains would want to come to Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado to ski?  They say it is for 4 people and they only want 4 nights. A long way to come for just 4 days of skiing I would think. But again..paranoid.

          • New Member 9 posts since
            Dec 19, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Dec 20, 2011 11:22 AM (in response to ttaylor0)
            Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

            ttaylor,

            Paranoid is good in this game. Were I you, I would stay firm on a contact. If a scam they could have set up the number figuring if you got through to a law firm it would be an indicator that it was square.  Since you have an email I would write them and let them know you need contact and have left messages with no response. Kind of like "it is our policy to personally contact and "meet" every international guest we can via phone.  If you get no positive response (the phone contact) I would walk on it.

            • ttaylor0 Active Contributor 425 posts since
              Apr 1, 2011
              Currently Being Moderated
              Dec 20, 2011 11:26 AM (in response to lipkindj)
              Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

              Thank you for all the great information. I will take your advice.

            • New Member 9 posts since
              Dec 19, 2011
              Currently Being Moderated
              Dec 20, 2011 11:27 AM (in response to lipkindj)
              Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

              One more thing. Having worked in Canada I know virtually every law firm has a website. On them are usually color photos and bios of the lawyers. You should be able to get some info there to determine if it is real.  I always use, Facebook, LinkedIn, People Search etc to find out as much as I can about potential guests.

              • New Member 7 posts since
                Jul 20, 2011
                Currently Being Moderated
                Dec 28, 2011 10:51 PM (in response to lipkindj)
                Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

                Hi guys,

                 

                Does this sound familiar?

                 

                "Thank you so much for the quick respond! ... Am so happy to see your reply

                and also agreed with the conditions and the price listed i think we will

                have a nice time there as you specially explained the fun and how beautiful

                it is there, we are both not at home right now, as am in France for our

                business trip and we will be returning straight to your place and that is

                why we making the booking now to avoid any delay. We'll like to complete

                the reservation before we get home. I'll make an arrangement with our

                Accountant to make and mail a Bank Check for the full amount through

                Regular Mail so we can be assured of our reservation because we will like

                to make full payment. I will instruct my Accountant to issue the Bank check

                in US Dollars for easy cashing at your bank. So provide me with the

                information she need below:

                 

                She will need the above information...

                Your Full Name,

                Billing Address {Not P.O.Box}

                City

                State,

                Zip code

                Phone number / Cell phone

                 

                Get back to me as soon as possible....." Walter Gewson

    • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
      Feb 10, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Dec 31, 2011 6:21 AM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Okay, here's my latest....

       

      Dates of stay:     8/31/12 to 9/3/12

      No. in party:       4 including 1 child

      Message:          Would like to know if available for Memorial weekend in May pease for 3 nights.  2 & 3 floor only small children. Please! Thank you.

       

      Now I ask you, what would give this away....the obvious tone of desperation that is included in this e-mail?  That [she] doesn't know that LABOR DAY is not Memorial Day; that Memorial Day falls in May and not Aug/Sept?  That my home is not rented out by the floor?  Never mind that the VRBO calendar indicated that the weekend is filled... In my mind this is either a scam, or it's a blast.  In either case, I am getting tired of these "inquiries" and think HA/VRBO should work such that if the time is indicated as "filled" on the calendar, you wouldn't even receive inquires like these.  My thought is that if any of you get an inquiry like this, it's bogus!

    • New Member 6 posts since
      Jan 29, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 29, 2012 3:33 AM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      Our vacation rental clearly states that we only have room for two people.  These people asked if four could come.  We probably should have seen that red flag immediately.  When we responded that we have another place that might suit them better we received this letter.  It seemed fishy... After checking this forum we now think it best to ignore our inquirer in Kiev.

       

       

      Hello

      Thanks for the updated information.

      We are okay with the accommodation and cost of the house.  We would also like to confirm  the reservation on the following information:

         - Mrs Aluona Koocherova

       

          7/15 Garadokova, 83209 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

       

       

          FULL NAME

          BILLING ADDRESS

          CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBER

       

       

          Hope to hear from you soon

       

          Regards

       

        Aluona Koocherova

    • New Member 5 posts since
      Feb 1, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      Feb 1, 2012 10:44 AM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      This has been a great thread to follow.  I am concerned about my most recent inquiry, what do you think?

       

      2 people, Canadian.  Looking to rent my nightly rental for 6 weeks.  I gave replied with the amount, but told them I had another reservation that would push back his stay by 5 days.  He responded that he would come later and stay 6 weeks.  10 mins later he emailed No, I'll stay 8 weeks.  I gave him the option of paying via PayPal.  He says he's been burned by PayPal, how does he know I'm even a real rental, and why can't he just show up, get the keys, check the place out and then hand over cash?  15 mins later another email, why don't I send him my bank info with full name, etc and he will transfer the funds?  I replied that we take credit cards and require a 50% deposit to hold the reservation.  I am not giving him my banking info.  His next email was ":I would much rather do it bank to bank that way I know who you are u know what I mean, and not saying you are a scam but I never do these internet deals cus I got taken for 12,000 not to long agao for a motor cycle that was not there when I got there so im just trying to have a sure thing I would feel a lot safer about it let me know.."

       

      I kinda feel like a scammer is telling me I'm a scamer.  Any feedback?  I am sticking to the credit card policy, along with the deposit.  But I am almost afraid to go thru with this one.  This is our first year renting our cottage in the Bahamas, so still a little suspicious....

      • New Member 15 posts since
        Feb 26, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Feb 1, 2012 12:09 PM (in response to doghouse)
        Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

        Are they wanting to wire you funds?  I can understand where the emailer is coming from, but i wouldn't give him my bank account details.  What I would do, if this is a nice profitable rental, is to get a new bank account just for this transaction.  If possible, tell him YOU will REQUEST funds FROM him into your account.  Once funds are in your account, transfer them to the account you normally use.  Your new account will sit empty.

         

        Or see if there is anything you can do to ensure the emailer you are the owner of the property.  If they still won't budge and have trust issues, they shouldn't be on the internet looking for vacation rentals. 

        • New Member 5 posts since
          Feb 1, 2012
          Currently Being Moderated
          Feb 1, 2012 12:37 PM (in response to sirjohan)
          Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

          Thanks for the feedback!  I really feel shaky about this possible renter, and would be ok with giving up the 2 months rent rather than having possible problems.  His query came via the flipkey site, and I have verified my ownership to them already.  That is one of their requirements.  So again, thanks for the advice.

          • New Member 6 posts since
            Jan 29, 2012
            Currently Being Moderated
            Feb 1, 2012 12:46 PM (in response to doghouse)
            Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

            I definitely think you should go with your gut.  Don't even bother responding these people.  Unfortunately they will just move on to their next victim.  If it doesn't feel "right" then move on.

                                                                                            Seek Advice. Get Answers. Optimize your Vacation Rental Business.

                                                                                            Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

             

             

                created by doghouse in Scams - View the full discussion

             

             

             

            Thanks for the feedback!  I really feel shaky about this possible renter, and would be ok with giving up the 2 months rent rather than having possible problems.  His query came via the flipkey site, and I have verified my ownership to them already.  That is one of their requirements.  So again, thanks for the advice.

             

             

                 Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on Community

                 Start a new discussion in Scams by email or at Community

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          • New Member 5 posts since
            Jan 5, 2012
            Currently Being Moderated
            Feb 1, 2012 2:08 PM (in response to doghouse)
            Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

            FYI If his name is Daniel Combs. DO NOT RENT TO HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

             

             

             

             

            Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 12:37:33 -0600

            From: community@homeaway.com

            To: heffe44mag@hotmail.com

            Subject: Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for - Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

            Seek Advice. Get Answers. Optimize your Vacation Rental Business.

             

             

             

            Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for created by doghouse in Scams - View the full discussion

             

             

             

            Thanks for the feedback!  I really feel shaky about this possible renter, and would be ok with giving up the 2 months rent rather than having possible problems.  His query came via the flipkey site, and I have verified my ownership to them already.  That is one of their requirements.  So again, thanks for the advice.

             

            Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on Community

            Start a new discussion in Scams by email or at Community

             

             

             

             

             

             

            © 2010 HomeAway.com Inc. 1011 W. Fifth Street, Suite 300, Austin, TX 78703

            Please add us to your address book to ensure you continue receiving HomeAway emails.

             

            View our Privacy Statement | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions

        • New Member 7 posts since
          Jul 20, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Feb 1, 2012 9:20 PM (in response to sirjohan)
          Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

          Further to my last comment - I have two bank accounts that I use. I have

          the money sent to one and as soon as it's there I transfer it into my main

          account.

      • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
        Feb 10, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Feb 1, 2012 2:18 PM (in response to doghouse)
        Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

        Oh my, where to begin..?  My philosophy is one that if a guest cannot understand why you wouldn't want to just mark your calendar as "occupied for 6...no 8 weeks", and turn down other business, wait until he/she shows up and "checks out the place" and then provides you with your rental funds, they have no business renting property.  Walk...run... away from this inquiry.  If you commit to it, you'll be regretting it from minute one.  Do business with someone who respects that you are running a business and will comply with your requirements.

        • New Member 5 posts since
          Feb 1, 2012
          Currently Being Moderated
          Feb 1, 2012 2:23 PM (in response to marym)
          Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

          Exactly what I was thinking!  I would be a wreck wondering what he was doing in the rental the whole time if he did show up!  Sent an email back saying basically good luck with your search on finding a more suitable rental, we are obviously not a good fit for you.  And I thanked him for not actually calling ME a scammer, just implying it.  Sorry, but I was insulted by the idea that I was running a scam!

          • gotomike Contributor 38 posts since
            Mar 30, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Feb 1, 2012 2:33 PM (in response to doghouse)
            Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

            Whether you are a seasoned property owner or a newbie, you can be guaranteed that if a propspective guest wants to rent your vacation home for an entire month or more, it's a scam. No one would; or could afford your vacation rent for a whole month. It's a scam. In addition, if any payment offer is attempted or proposed outside of the website payment processing where your property is listed, it's a scam.

             

            Think of it for a moment. You can have a very nice hotel room with full service for a fraction of the price of a private home for your vacation. It just doens't make sense.

             

            Also, as tempting as it is to be 'nice' and 'courteous' to these scammers. DO NOT REPLY. First, there is a good chance that they care less about you being nice and second they now have your contact to harrass you more and sell that email to other scammers.

             

            Be locigal for a moment and don't feed your bait to scammers. Simply drop the email in your Trash and concentrate on legit families who rent without obsolete and complex payment questions.

             

            Voila...

            Michael HomeAway 382677

          • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
            Feb 10, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Feb 1, 2012 2:35 PM (in response to doghouse)
            Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

            doughouse, keep in touch with this community.  I don't always agree with the Mgt., or everything I read, but there is SO MUCH help here, so many ideas,  from a lot of good people.  good luck with your rental!

      • Active Contributor 343 posts since
        Nov 18, 2010
        Currently Being Moderated
        Feb 1, 2012 3:16 PM (in response to doghouse)
        Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

        Hi Doghouse,

         

        I'll chime in and reiterate what many folks have already said in this discussion thread: go with your gut and stick to your vacation rental policies.

         

        For the Traveler's sake, credit card payment is the safest method because he is protected that way. If you decide to continue your conversation with the prospective traveler, you might also suggest he consider the Carefree Rental Guarantee, which will protect his vacation rental payment up to $10,000.

         

        Finally, I'd advise all owners to read this Update on Scams, Identity Theft, and Phishing since it includes valuable advice for both owners and travelers.

         

        Thanks, and stay safe and seure out there!

         

        Laura

        • New Member 5 posts since
          Feb 1, 2012
          Currently Being Moderated
          Feb 1, 2012 6:53 PM (in response to laura)
          Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

          so after sending the email basically thanking this guy for only inferring that I am a scammer and telling him to find another rental, I get 2 emails back, 10 minutes apart.....

           

          1st -" no im not saying you are at all, we will take the place for march 21st to may 26th,  im sorry for giving you the wrong imprecation iv just been hurt real bad on the net befor I am really sorry and would love to take the cottage off you from thous times.. "

           

          2nd - "and if its better for you then will come back on the 2nd of may or the 9th since u stop renting on the 11th let me know and I am sorry again I just have a really hard time trusting thinks over the net cause of bad past experiences. this would be really nice if we could do this its for my wife for her birthday get back to me thank you very much."

           

          now he sounds desperate, and I know there are cheaper monthly rental here he could get.  Think I am just going to ignore these and have no further communication.  Weird!

           

          Thanks again everyone for your input!  Going with my gut on this!  And what's with his spelling??

          • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
            Feb 10, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Feb 1, 2012 8:41 PM (in response to doghouse)
            Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

            doghouse, this fellow could have done a number of things  - called you; checked with previous renters if possible; googled you, checked with HA/VR cust. support - to verify that you were legit.   My thought is that the relationship has started off on the wrong foot, and that it would be better not to go any further.  Desperation is not a good basis to enter into a business relationship.Thank him for his interest in your home and give no further response.  Move on.  Enter into a healthy relationship with a new guest. 

          • gotomike Contributor 38 posts since
            Mar 30, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Feb 1, 2012 9:42 PM (in response to doghouse)
            Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

            Doghouse,

            • This reeks of a Russian scam, big time.
            • The spelling, the grammar, the whole thing in general and really...
            • How can someone plan such a lenghty and involved vacation without his wife knowing...
            • For your own good, stay away from this. Invent any kind of excuse and save yourself a huge trauma.
            • There are plenty of legit renters out there and a genuine rental process always goes smoothly.
      • New Member 7 posts since
        Jul 20, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Feb 1, 2012 9:18 PM (in response to doghouse)
        Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

        It could be a scam or they may truly feel that way. I have money wired to

        my bank all the time and haven't had any problems doing that. I do require

        a 50% deposit and a refundable damage deposit of $250 at the time of

        booking and 50% 30 days before. If someone bulks at that then I know they

        are likely to be trouble all the away around.

    • New Member 2 posts since
      Sep 20, 2011

      I am a new owner and received this just a few days ago.  I wish I would have read this blog sooner.  It is the same language as severaI other posts.  I just said we only take credit card through the reservation manager because it easy, safe and secure. The emails also seem to come in around 1 am, probably from a foreign country.  I didn't even bother with calling the number (546-468-5760). 

       

      1st e-mail: I will be happy to see your reply, am not at home right now, as am in Canada  for our company's Project. We'll like to complete the reservation before we get home. I'll make an arrangement with our Accountant to make and mail a Bank Check for the full amount through UPS COURIER SERVICE or FedEx and it will be issued so we can be assured of our reservation.I don't have access to a bank transfer nor have a pay pal account.. I can only instruct my Accountant to issue the Bank check for easy cashing at your bank so i hope you can understand. So provide me with the information she need below:

       

      She will need the above information...

      Your Full Name,

      Address {Not P.O.Box}

      City State, Zip code

      Phone number / Cell phone

      Get back to me as soon as possible.

      Jeff

       

      2nd e-mail: Well provide me your information so as the check will be issued to you.  Thanks Jeff

       

      I wish there was a way for HA/VRBO to filter, monitor or block these inquires since they seem to keep happening.  Something else for them to work on!

    • New Member 1 posts since
      Nov 10, 2012

      Most of this discussion has revolved around scams involving checking accounts.

      I have come across another form where they promise to pay by credit card but ask for a commission, usually around 12% of the total fee.  They will want you to pay them the 12% and then the booking will be cancelled.

       

      The inquiry I received came from South East Asia, flexible rental dates and usually loner term, 15 days.  To make any money on commission, they need a large booking.

       

      They often provide a lot of additional information trying to convince you that everything is legitimate.  The reality is, if we're paid for a rental that's non-refundable, do I really need to see a travel itinerary?

       

      Mike

    • kberish New Member 2 posts since
      May 8, 2013

      I miss the days when I put an ad in the paper and people would call and I could get a sense about the person..a real discussion.  Ah convenience  of the Internet!

    • tlunde New Member 1 posts since
      Sep 5, 2013
      Currently Being Moderated
      Sep 5, 2013 12:59 PM (in response to claudio.meira)
      Re: Example of Scam Emails and What to Look at for

      I also got this exchange:

       

      Good afternoon

      I am sorry for all the delay in payment .

      There was a mix up in the payment sent to you ,I was suppose to receive two separate payment one for you and the other for my traveling agent But all payments was issued in your name and sent .

      I tried to correct this but it was in vain as i was ask to resolve the problem myself. It would have to go through a very long process to change this error . Please I don't know what to do.

      I have been advised me to contact you since these checks where issued in your name , so you should be able to clear them into your account. As soon as you have the checks cleared to your account you are to deduct your rent and remit the balance to my travel agent Please do let me know how you can help on this issue .

      Thanks

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