14 Replies Latest reply: Jun 17, 2012 8:00 AM by george.ellinas RSS

    potential scam?

    New Member

      I've been reading about scams orginating in Ukraine, many with a Kiev address. I have just recieved an inquiry below:



      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 Katrin KXXXXXXXX


           XXXXXXXXX,  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




      Until this contact, there was no indication this person was from overseas. I have emailed them regarding why someone from Kiev would want to come for one week to the forest of northern Michigan.

      Dear Katrin,


      Thank you for your inquiry on my vacation rental (385771).


      My property is available from Aug 19, 2012 to Aug 25, 2012 but not the 18th. If you have questions or would like to reserve the property, please call or email me.


      I look forward to speaking with you soon.


      William Semion

      Here are the details of your inquiry
      Traveler Name: Katrin KXXXXXXXX
      Traveler Email: rxxxxxxx@hotmail.com
      Traveler Phone:
      Total Children: 0
      Total People: 4
      Traveler Comment:

      This smells very fishy to me. How about anyone else?

        • Re: potential scam?
          stjvilla Active Contributor

          Fishy!  It's practically word for word what other owners have received from scammers.

            • Re: potential scam?
              New Member

              I will report what they respond with, if anything. I have also asked for a U.S. contact since that i believe is required on U.S. customs forms.

                • Re: potential scam?
                  thaxterlane Senior Contributor

                  I recommend not responding to obvious scam emails.  I believe not responding discourages further emails from the individuals or groups running the scams.   Responding simply validates the email is active and I can't imagine this is in the email recipient's interest.   In my opinion, there isn't anything to  be gained by responding - it's not as if you will stop the scammer or prevent him or her from attempting to scam someone else.  Posting the informaiton as a warning to others is certainly useful, responding seems a poor use of the email receipient's time and effort. 

                    • Re: potential scam?
                      New Member

                      Good advice. It's the cop/reporter in me who wants to know!

                        • Re: potential scam?
                          thaxterlane Senior Contributor

                          I completely understand the urge to let the scammer know you are aware of their intentions, perhaps draw them into a fruitless (you know, they don't) email exchange.


                          In looking over your initial post, it appears you provided your full name in your response to the inquiry.  I wouldn't provide a full name in an initial response.   I receive  inquiries from a range of online sources, some sources paid and some unpaid, and it can be difficult to authenticate the legitimacy of each and every one.  When I am not certain, but feel the inquiry meets most standards, I reply but do not supply any identifying personal information.   I'm concerned about information being gathered piece by piece until someone gains enough data to cause problems for me.


                          Maybe my concerns are unfounded . . . . .  I hope they're unfounded. 

                            • Re: potential scam?
                              New Member

                              Yes, understand. Only until the check was mentioned did I know this was an overseas inquiry. I will heed your advice. I almost always either check a phone number or email address on an initial inquiry, and google the name. I didn't this time.

                    • Re: potential scam?
                      Community All-Star

                      It is definitely a scam.  There have been many past posts about inquiries like this one.  I myself received one two months ago.  The "renter" sends the owner a check that is more than the rental amount and asks the owner to refund the difference to them.  Of course, the check that the renter has sent is bogus.  The scammer is hoping that the owner will send them the money before the owner discovers that the renter's check does not clear.

                      • Re: potential scam?
                        Active Contributor

                        If ever I get an email inquiry like this, I will reply to it using another email address of mine that doesen't identify me or my rental, and provide the following information the inquirer (Scammer) asked.


                        Please do forward me the following details for payment

                            FULL NAME = I will provide the name of the Chief of Police in our City

                            BILLING ADDRESS = I will provide the address of the Police Department of our City

                            CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBER = I will provide the Police Department telephone number and advice to    re-direct call to me (Chief of Police as far as the Scammer thinks)


                        Good luck to the Scammer when he calls the Chief of Police. (I'm allowed to report a crime in progress, right?)

                        • Re: potential scam?
                          New Member

                          Can I ask has anyone come across a company web-site called Sunnyrentals.com.

                          I was called by them, they are based in Denmark with most of their sales team are Indian, but say they are living in Copenhagen but don't speak Danish and who took my telephone from homeaway.com web-site.


                          I have done some searches to find the company independently on search engines but nothing comes up other than the normal property rental web-sites. They have a good web-site and they even dropped their price from 199 euros to 99 euros because I was taking my time in giving them my details and saying "yes" to advertising with them.


                          If a web-site does not come up in a search does it mean that no one will be able to find it and so book?


                          Not sure what to do. Pay the 99 Euros or just say no...has anyone else been called or heard of sunnyrentals.com



                            • Re: potential scam?
                              New Member

                              Drop your "business" with them like a hot potato!!!  This definitely has SCAM written all over it....... and deep down I know you realize it.  Don't give them any personal information, agree to any of their special deals, or hand over a cent.  Only ever advertise with well-known, reputable sites that you choose YOURSELF and that you feel comfortable with. 


                              Scams are becoming prevalent in the rental business - we have been approached 4 times in the past couple of months alone, but we recognize the signs now, and just immediately hit the delete button.  If you have any suspicions whatsoever, don't open up any messages or click on an unknown website.


                              Stay vigilant, and listen to your gut instinct....... your holiday rental is too precious an investment to risk taking any chances with!


                              Good luck!

                            • Re: potential scam?
                              New Member

                              Yup!  Just posted a warning.  Our inquiry was for 1 week for 4 adults. 

                              • Re: potential scam?
                                New Member

                                Inquiry Detail

                                Hello sir/madam,my name is Mike Libermann.I'm seeking a place to stay in your city in the month of September.I would need your services to book this facility for me and my family(my wife and children).I would like to make reservation ahead of our arrival. We planned on staying for a duration of 7 days.Arriving on September 1st and depart on September 7th.Please send me the details and cost of accommodation and every other important details that will be of help in securing this accommodation.


                                I hvae had two of these in the last week...identical apart from name....beware all....