5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 26, 2012 5:05 AM by ckelly10 RSS

    Is this a scam!!!!

    New Member

      Hye I am at the moment dealing with a couple supposedly living in Germany. They wish to stay a week. They can pay by PayPal. He has just rang does not have a German accent, even though he said he was born there. I cannot trace his phone number that he called on, or see what country the cell phone is from. The land line number he gave me, I cannot get through on. It seems weird. What problems can I get into by sending him an invoice for PayPal, and giving him the permission to pay me. I'm relatively new at this and have only dealt with people in the same country as my listing. Hope you can help.I have agreed to send him a rental agreement.  Thanks

        • Re: Is this a scam!!!!
          Active Contributor

          PayPal uses the latest anti-fraud technology to safeguard seller from fraudster payors. If prospective renter is funding payment by the use of credit card through PayPal, PayPal performs an address confirmation of the buyer to make sure that the buyer owns the credit card. You will see in the Transaction Details in PayPal when you login, the address of the Payor, and you will have an opportunity to compare  this with the address the renter gave you. Hence I would have to say it is safe. Also, if the reservation is some distant away, the safer it is for you. You can also play it safe by not sending any money (ie. overpayment) other than by way of crediting back (ie. refund of security deposit) through PayPal using the same transaction.

          • Re: Is this a scam!!!!
            anja Senior Contributor

            Hi safehaven,


            To support  tfv --- PayPal's anti-fraud technology is quite effective.


            I want to say that I have lived overseas and worked overseas {including in Germany} for many years in my work life prior to starting my vacation rental business. I personally worked with...and have as friends....German citizens born/raised....who speak English with little to absolutely no accent. Actually, they usually speak with a British accent because they learn "Oxford English". They learn English in school...they travel a lot...they are exposed to English everywhere -- including television and cinema.  {When I first starting doing business there, it was not so.....but over the years they have become quite bilingual and multilingual.}


            I also advertise to the German-speaking population {Germany, Switzerland, Austria, etc..} and host many guests from Germany. All of my German guests have paid me via PayPal --- I've never had a problem with anyone from that country --- in fact, I'd go as far to say that they are tops in my "best guests list".  So, the fact that the guy speaks English with no heavy foreign accent is nothing to be suspicious over, in itself.  


            I understand, and agree that you should want to call him using the tel # he provided, to feel more secure.  If I were in your situation, and I really wanted the booking, I'd send the guy an email asking for  his address and do tell him that you are having trouble reaching him on his landline number he gave you--- ...ask him what time is the best to reach him, at his home phone number  {ref. time zone}.  If you still feel insecure, don't go forward with the booking. Whenever you feel unsafe...don't book it.  It's that easy.  


            I have  used PayPal for my rentals for years. Many overseas travelers pay me via PayaPal...from different countries. They usually use their credit cards....and on occasion they "transfer funds from their PayPal into my PayPal via bank to bank transfer.}  I work a lot to foster trust between us...and it is THEY who request the bank transfer via PayPal....I never ask for that method of payment.  They are safe as "the buyer" because PayPal will refund them if they raise a dispute {against the owner}....but here's the thing:  the disputes involving "rentals" are not as easy (for the owner) as when PayPal regards "purchasing items" online. 


            Using them for a "rental" payment is not viewed the same by PayPal as if this was a "shopping" transaction for a tangible a item online. [You'll have to read their "terms" inside the PayPal member area...they may have been modified,  over time,  it was a while ago I looked into this.]  Still, I used them and because I use PayPal all the time....for dozens of European, Asian and travelers from other regions, I feel secure because I do my due diligence with every guest inquiring...as you are trying to do! I've never once had a problem with any of the transactions. But, I do screen people, as much as I can, before I accept *anyone's* "reservation". ...regardless of where they come.  I have a bit of "back and forth" ...getting acquainted...for both parties to feel secure with each other.

              • Re: Is this a scam!!!!
                New Member

                Thank you for your advice.

                I actually contacted PayPal and spoke to an agent. The deposit was made and the agent watched the transaction go through. It gave me a peace of mind as he could see that the transaction was legit. He gave me some good pointers. I would advice any new person like myself to call PayPal directly before excepting the payment. This is a learning process, the more we can learn the better ..... Have a great day.

                  • Re: Is this a scam!!!!
                    gabriel Active Contributor

                    A word of caution on Pay Pal frauds, scammers offer to pay via PayPal and later send you a confirmation e-mail that seems legitimate; however, it is a fake e-mail and you may believe it is from PayPal because it is identical.

                    Then the scammer requests you to send back the excess (They always pay more) or in the case of the sale of an item, pressure you to send the item to a "mule" (term referred to someone who transports drugs for someone else; in this case, receives the stolen merchandise and resends it to the thief).


                    Whenever you get a PayPal payment, go to PayPal website TYPING THEIR WEB ADDRESS, not using the link in the e-mail, and verify the funds, and NEVER refund excess payment unless it is the security deposit after the rental.

                • Re: Is this a scam!!!!
                  New Member

                  Gabriel good post. I myself am very sceptic of everything and make sure to leave no stone un-turned when I am unsure about something but there are a lot of people who would receive a email such as this and just trust it as it would have all the markers of a real email from paypal such as the logo etc.