3 Replies Latest reply: Mar 22, 2012 11:07 AM by gmajay RSS

    Smells Like a Phish!


      I received a call from an alleged potential renter asking about our VR for his mother a couple of days ago that was blatantly scammy! The caller, with a thick accent, said he had tried 4 times to contact me through our website (didn't say which one) and stated that it wasn't working. He asked for my email address over the phone so he could contact me directly. When I refused letting him know that he could try a different website, he started yelling at me over the phone demanding that I give him my email address! I just hung up on him. 


      Does this seem like a variation on the potential phishing scam theme? Has anyone else had a similiar experience? I unfortunately deleted the number quickly from my saved calls list.

        • Re: Smells Like a Phish!
          Active Contributor

          Although I have not received a similar call, I am of the opinion that the caller is a scammer based on the following.

          • Many Owners in this forum has reported receiving similar calls and with similar characteristics: inquiring for his mother, thick accent, your website is not working, so caller is asking for your email address.
          • Of course the website wasn’t working for him because his inquiry is being blocked (not being sent to the Owner) because of distinguishable scam like behaviours he has engaged in the past. In short VRBO/HomeAway is blocking his inquiry from being sent. So, now they are resorting to calling. (I accidentally discouvered this recently because through experimentation, I noticed one email I have doesn't allow me to receive an Inquiry if I do a Test Inquiry. I suspect it is listed in their "Scammers List", so I sent an email to HA Support to take it out)


          Morale: I encourage Owners to submit suspected scammers to VRBO/HomeAway so they can be entered in their database or "scammers list".

          • Re: Smells Like a Phish!
            anja Senior Contributor

            I was recently reading an article about how scammers operate. It seems there are two reasons a scammer will phone:  first, to verify that the phone number {you have} is a working telephone number; second, if you answer the call, they will tell you that they tried to email you but could not...so they ask for your email address. Why? Because the scammer is actually composing a list of phone numbers and email addresses to sell...on the "scammers' market".  There's a lot of money involved for "verified" contact lists.   This person probably harvested your phone number from one of your advertisements --- or he got it from a phone list that he purchased...and is now trying to "upgrade" the value of the phone list by harvesting [your] verified email address {if you give your email address, that's the easiest way for scammer to know the email is verified!}.

            You did the BEST thing...you HUNG UP!

              • Re: Smells Like a Phish!

                Thanks to both of you.  I probably should have reported it to VRBO/HA as you suggested tfv, but deleted phone number too quickly.  I tried to find a similiar Community thread to post this, but didn't find it. Sometimes so many of these get going it is difficult to sort through them.


                I feel that question has been aswered--Morale is if it smells like a phish, it probably is one!