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3013 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Jul 16, 2012 3:19 PM by cruisingal2 RSS
cruisingal2 Contributor 70 posts since
Aug 7, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 11, 2012 2:01 PM

Strange name - rental request

I have a request from a strange name, and that is not the part I am concerned about.  There was no message, but a request for a week, 4 adults.  The first name appeared Russian, and the last name perhaps African.  I research my requests and can't find anything that clues me in.  On the chance it is a request from Russia or Africa, what forms of payment do you generally accept.  The date is for November.  Thanks for your help.  The email is a hotmail account.

  • New Member 5 posts since
    Jul 11, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 11, 2012 2:29 PM (in response to cruisingal2)
    Re: Strange name - rental request

    Oddly enough I have been struggling with the same issue today and wondering if I should respond to the inquiry or ignore it. My gut feeeling is that it is a scam or someone phishing, and after reading your post, I think I will ignore. Mine is the same exact situation...strange name, appears to be Russian, no telephone number. Name is included in the hotmail address. The date of the inquiry is November 2- November 9. 6 Adults, no children. I am new to VRBO so I am trying to be very careful not to make any "mis-steps."

        • New Member 5 posts since
          Jul 11, 2012
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jul 11, 2012 3:27 PM (in response to cruisingal2)
          Re: Strange name - rental request

          Like you I could find not find ANYTHING out there that clues me to exact origin. And while the name is strange, that part doesn't concern me as much as the lack of information or details. My calendar was updated today so they would see it was available, but not the first remark or phone number to reach anyone, which I prefer to do to get a better idea of who is looking to rent.  Six adults in the off season for our lake house rental in Alabama is also odd. Is there any harm in responding to their request through VRBO site in terms of phishing and them having access to my email account if it is a scam? I have done a fair amount of reading today on the community forum and certainly don't want to compromise my account by not knowing how secure my VRBO responses are.

          • anja Senior Contributor 1,560 posts since
            Aug 9, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jul 11, 2012 3:39 PM (in response to lakeview)
            Re: Strange name - rental request

            Hi lakeview,

             

            I do not like "revealing" my email address, by responding, when I feel very insecure or suspicious over an inquiry ...especially from an inquirer who crafts a request to me which is  *void*  of  basic identity and *untraceable* on the Internet.  But, I find that a lot of inquirers {legit ones} actually do not inquire adequately...they leave out essential information I'd like to know, from the first inquiry. I also find it harder to "screen" an email address these days....many people use "throw away" emails that have no history to trace online {that's making my screening frustrating}.

             

            But, if you use the VRBO Dashboard's  "REPLY" button responding with their server, your email address will *still* be revealed to the inquirer.

             

            So, decide if you want to reply at all....or maybe just open a free email account {Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail} to answer this type of inquiry, so they don't phish your real email address.

  • anja Senior Contributor 1,560 posts since
    Aug 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 11, 2012 3:22 PM (in response to cruisingal2)
    Re: Strange name - rental request

    My 2 cents:

     

    You are (all) right to be careful.  If you feel insecure with an initial inquiry -and-  are not completely satisified with an inquirer's response...in any way...at any time during the process of the deal.....use CAUTION.  Do not proceed when insecurity exists.

     

    Having said that:   I'm not in favour of "lump" judgments on any "nationality" ....there are good and bad people...there are respectful people and "loathes"  in our human race everywhere...from every country.

     

    I heed all warnings, use common sense, caution and listen to my gut  *every single day* that I permit myself to give the keys to my home to any stranger.

     

    The bad rap:

    I've had  nice guests from Russia (more than once)...the last was a small family who spent the Christmas/New Year holiday at our place --- they were not USA-mainland immigrant Russians...they flew here from St Petersburg to see the USA and went so far as Hawaii.   I've had nice couple from South Africa who were touring the USA on a six-month holiday, visiting Hawaii as the last stop....and a charming gentleman from Mali a few years ago who came to my State for university-related matters, and visited my island for a few days, hosted by me {a pleasure}. They were all from countries that have been given a very bad reputation...by Internet scammers ...they can thank those monsters who ruined their countrys'  reputations.

     

    The very name, Ukraine, conjures "scam artist" for me in an inquiry.....if it's written in that "style" we can spot a mile away.  We've all gotten them.  But, I have Ukrainian friends from days I worked with that country. They travel internationally. {They are aware of the fraudsters using the Ukraine's name}.  I'm sorry for the good people of any country whose gotten a bad reputation because of some ill behaved "guests" in someone's home...or Internet scammers!  We know honesty and disrespect has no "nationality".

     

    We have to be so careful with every inquiry that does not sound/feel genuine, to us.

     

    Regardless, I do not deviate from my rental terms and conditions -- for anyone -- regardless of where they come from {whether my own country, my neighbourhood or another country}.

    • New Member 5 posts since
      Jul 11, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 11, 2012 3:38 PM (in response to anja)
      Re: Strange name - rental request

      Anja,

      I completely agree with everything you have said and certainly do not wish to be one who jumps to any conclusions regarding any "nationality." I have been treated with kindness and respect when traveling to other countries and certainly want to return those same courtesies to those traveling here.

       

      There certainly are "good" and "bad" people in every country and I am just having to learn how to trust my instincts when as you said, I am turning over the keys to our home.

       

      Thank you for your response and the advice to be cautious, intuitive, yet remain open.

  • New Member 5 posts since
    Jul 11, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 16, 2012 1:27 PM (in response to cruisingal2)
    Re: Strange name - rental request

    UPDATE: My inquiry turned out to be one of the Ukraine Scammers. I got a "confirmation email" this morning that read just like the ones I saw last week on the forum!! So glad I had this resource and for everyone's feedback.

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