I would like to make a suggestion to HomeAway/VRBO regarding email frauds like this sent to owners of vacation rentals, and render this type of fraud impotent and obsolete. We owners can forward to you suspected email frauds. Upon your review, once you have verified it was a fraud, you can enter the IP address (identified in the email header) of the sender to a database. Thereby, whenever an initial rental inquiry is sent through HomeAway/VRBO, you have ways of determining the IP address of the computer being used, and cross reference it to your database. If there is a match, the inquiry is not sent to the owner. Instead an email is sent to the fraudster with a stern warning to cease and desist his/her fraudulent activities. Pretty soon, they will come to the realization that their scheme ain't working since the owners are not getting their inquiries anyway, and will cease their fraudulent activities. Please let us know if this is possible. Thanks.
Ok, so I got this same one but didn't realize it until this morning when I received a message like tommyc. I decided before responding to come in here and take a look at all the names you have listed. So here is what I sent to my inquirer.
First and foremost I do not accept anything other than a credit card for a deposit. I don't accept checks that are accidentally written over the dollar amount due. Mahalo Kristin
Anja they made it all the way to Hawaii. LOL
SCAM ALERT! I too received this scam from Kiev, Ukraine. She just sent the following e-mail to me this morning:
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 .
I told her likely I had someone else to rent our unit & would she like for me to return the checks or rip them up?
I just received a "cashier's check" in the amount of $3,424.96 from the Ukraine asking that I return about 1/2 of that to their travel agent, the check is on a Red Canoe credit union check. It is obviously bogus because they have said the exact same thing to others above as to how there was a "mixup" and please help them send their travel agent the overpayment. Watch out owners. There are scammers out there for sure. I just don't know if the authorities will do anything. Don't even know who to notify.
This scam is also being perpetrated by XXX - also Ukrainian and also with the same address. Here is what I received today:
Thanks for the updated information.
We are okay with the accommodation and cost .I would also
like to confirm the reservation on the following information:
I have arrange for payment inform of a cashier's check
Please do forward me the following details for payment
CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBER
Hope to hear from you soon
I simply wrote them back, asking if they were related to the Korot family so they get the picture we are on to them. Pathetic.
I just sent all my info to the credit union that the bogus check was supposedly written from. They told me this is a huge scam involving thousands of checks. The Korots were nice enough to email me today to tell me places very close to my home in order to wire the funds to them. Hopefully, with more of us turning info into the authorities these scammers will be caught. By the way, the credit union told me that XXX is a victim in all this. Her name was on the check and I figured she was part of the scam. I'll let you know if I hear any more from the credit union. Thanks!
I too have had an inquiry from lovely people out of Odessa Ukraine with the exact same inquiry wording. Shortly after I had an inquiry through Flipkey from the Czech Republic. I was very skeptical. However, after talking with him (yes, I did phone him in the Czech Republic), the guy ended up being legitimate. Scammers are everywhere (Eastern Europe but also very definitely in the US), be careful and do your homework.
Thank you for contributing to this thread and helping to educate the Community about vacation rental scams.
As the moderator I have had to remove specific names and email addresses because it violates Community Guidelines to share personal information of others.
However I have collected all of that information and passed it along to out Trust and Security Department. Our Trust & Security Department can help in blocking these scammers from emailing through our sites if you report them using our help forms
Online Community Coordinator
I got it too. Twice. Same replies. Is there someplace we can report these emails to HomeAway and VRBO? I don't advertise on Craigslist for tihis exact reason. I never expected to start getting scam emails for an ad I pay for!
BTW the second email had the same name, different email address. Anyone else get these?