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      • 495. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
        swlinphx Premier Contributor

        Sounds good.  Shouldn't be too hard for HomeAway and/or FlipKey to develop scripts that compare the response from the "owner" with the actual owner's IP address and/or e-mail address on file.

         

        As far as logging in, we have to put that responsibilty on HomeAway.  They do know when you're logging in from a different computer or browser and then require the extra authentication.  That part is not really ours to solve.  They shoud at least take care of their own site.

        • 496. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
          Contributor

          "at least they now have the ability to filter out whatever they want"

           

          I think this is what they really want, to filter out whatever they want!  Just think of all that great marketing information that we now pass back and forth privately between the guest and owner.  They are already marketing to our guests to stay somewhere else!

           

          I don't think they will really stop the fraud problem.  They might give the impression that they have, at least for awhile!  In reality they will just make the bad guys work a little harder and create new ways to fool the fools and the system.

          • 497. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
            swlinphx Premier Contributor

            In reality they will just make the bad guys work a little harder and create new ways to fool the fools and the system.

             

            Which is the point and job of almost all security systems in any regard.  No security is 100% no matter what.  It's like arguing, "Why put a lock on your door if they can just break a window?"

             

            All three things (the e-mail confirmation system suggested earlier, a phone call before paying and never wiring money) are all great precautions.  One of those alone would prevent most fraud, but all of them together is virtually foolproof!

            • 498. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
              twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

              http://abc.go.com/watch/2020/SH559026/VD55219088/2020-713-vacation-confidential

               

              I thought this was interesting...has nothing to do with this conversation....just thought that some of you would enjoy!

              • 499. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
                Contributor

                RE: Post #486

                 

                Why never wire money??? Never use certain facilities such as Western Union, yes. But never wire money? There is no reason for that. What do you do with foreign travelers? The most effective way is for them to wire the money (bank transfer) and that seems to be their preference.

                • 500. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
                  Contributor

                  RE: pcb-randy post #487

                   

                  That's not reasonable at all. We have 4 computers in our house, 3 of which are laptops, and the emails might come from any of them.  And we don't pay for a dedicated IP so it could conceivably change even on my "most used" computer.

                  • 501. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
                    Contributor

                    In reply to POST #497

                     

                    Hey, I have a radical idea .... why don't we all use common sense regarding inquiries we receive and weed out the obvious scams. And keep HomeAway/VrBO/Flip-Key out of our personal business altogether.  Just google the email for anything you think is suspicious and if it really is, you will get lots of hits. There's a UK group that maintains a database of such scam emails that I have encountered in my googles.

                     

                    But most of the time, I just simply delete the trash and go on. It's not worth wasting my time.

                    • 502. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
                      Contributor

                      In reply to POST #476 (hope I am remembering these crazy post numbers correctly).

                       

                      Thanks, Meredith, but it doesn't really help. First, I don't have time to sit on this board all day wading through stuff. That's what the email notifications are supposed to be for.  Second, even if I click on "go to the message..." and then REPLY, my reply has absolutelly no link or indication back to the post I am replying to.  So it is still useless.

                       

                      You really need a threading system that shows the post & replies in a chain for that particular post. Otherwise this is just too much waste of time to try to find the original post. And everything is out of context unless you take the extra effort to copy the poster & text. Is there some easy way to do that? I doubt that it is even semi-automatic, as I noticed you replied to multiple people and quoted multiple posts in one of your posts. At least I think it was yours ... way too hard to go back and try to find it without spending a lot of time going over each page ... and this is already up to 34 pages.

                      • 503. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
                        Active Contributor

                        ==> That's not reasonable at all. We have 4 computers in our house, 3 of which are laptops, and the emails might come from any of them.  And we don't pay for a dedicated IP so it could conceivably change even on my "most used" computer.<==

                         

                        It’s not a concern really. All of these are solvable with intelligent programming. Even if your IP keeps on changing, the IP reflected on your extended header when sending an email will still reflect the city or area where you are. So, if a scammer is responding to a traveler interested in your property, the scammer’s IP will point to a completely different location. That’s how they will be flushed out. The point being, the security method employed by Flipkey, brings the level of security the same as what HomeAway is contemplating, and yet Flipkeys method allows the continuation of email communication. In both methods, the website provider gets to intercept email communication, thus they have a chance to filter non-legitimate traveler or owner. The rest is details and all a matter of intelligent programming.

                        • 504. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
                          Contributor

                          Besides, I see no reason to really follow this topic anyway. If HA/VRBO have made up their minds to do this silly thing and make us send all our private communications through them, then I see no reason to pay them money for that. It's irking enough as it is to have them include ads for other rentals on so many things now. I pay them to advertise my rental, not to boost the competition when I already have someone interested.

                           

                          So letting them read all my private email just so I can pay them to put up an ad? We did our own advertising for 10 years before I signed up with VRBO and we can certainly resume doing so.

                           

                          Phishing indeed ... but who exactly is doing the phishing in this case??? Said slightly tongue-in-cheek.

                          • 505. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
                            twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                            You are just taking a risk in wiring money to someone especially out of the US. I had a lady from the UK stay in my place and she used paypal. Can't other countries also use it too?

                            • 506. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
                              Contributor

                              In reply to POST #506 http://community.homeaway.com/message/30617#30617

                              twobitrentals wrote:

                               

                              You are just taking a risk in wiring money to someone especially out of the US. I had a lady from the UK stay in my place and she used paypal. Can't other countries also use it too?

                              Oh, I see what your concern is. I don't wire funds to the guest; they wire to me to pay for their rental. Any refund I send them for their security deposit or a canacellation is via a USD check. 

                               

                              PayPal also ends up charging quite a bit, especially for international transactions.

                               

                              Note: I see I can copy the link of the original post and/or quote the post ... but I still have to manually do these, which means I have to remember to do them. Good luck on that. 

                              • 507. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
                                twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                Yes, VRBO/HA is saying that "wiring" funds is risky because that is how many people got scammed. Apparently there is a scammer in the UK that has intercepted e-mails of legit owners and asked that the guest "wire" money to them in the UK and then the guest never hears from them again. The true owner of the property was never aware of the scam to begin with.

                                 

                                I did notice that someone had said that sometimes the guest asks if they can "wire" the funds to the owner. I think if that is the case that would be different, because it is the guest requesting, not an unknown owners asking for the funds to be wired.

                                 

                                I still believe very strongly in the "buyer beware" theory, meaning as a traveler guest, do everything that you can to make sure that the person that you have contacted to rent a property from is the true owner of the property and that the property truly exists.

                                • 508. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
                                  anja Senior Contributor

                                  I agree with Geckohale / Post # 500.

                                   

                                  Guests wire money to me ....often ...and all have been flawless transactions!  I wouldn't scam anyone...I have always been careful with emails (spoofing)...I never have (ever) clicked on any link in an email (even if my sister sent me one....I do  not click on email links - period)...I learned that years ago. 

                                   

                                  Payment....

                                  I offer my guests a few different ways to pay...and they may choose which is the most convenient for them....and one way is a direct bank-to-bank transfer of funds from their account to my biz account.  That is one method that some of my overseas [European] guests wish to pay me with ...and that method is *always* at their request....and I have never had a single issue with it. By the time we get to a "transaction", we have already established trust with each other....and I'll do what makes them feel comfortable before any money exchanges hands....(phone, whatever I can show biz validity / biz history, too)...but I make sure to keep in touch with them after the transaction. They get a lot of information from me, that I pace the sending of,  prior to their arrival....I stay in touch with them.  I'm very sensitive to their need to feel safe with me.

                                   

                                  Personally, I don't really have a payment method preference...they ALL come with fees...they are all vulnerable and they are all as safe as we MANAGE each and every transaction and work with the attitude to "keep everyone safe". 

                                   

                                  As long as my guests want to use that method, I will oblige them....but, I never "dictate" payment method via wire transfer to anyone because I think that could create suspicion.  

                                   

                                  If and when people stop asking me to accept a bank transfer -- fine with me.  I already do a lot *invoicing* to guests via PayPal for overseas transacations {I just sent an invoice to Belgium last night for a deposit via PP}.  I will also sign up with RM...just so I can also offer them THAT choice, as well.  I'm all about offering choices to anyone (that I'm interested in) who wants to grace my place with their guest presence.  I'll sign up with RM,  at some point...I'm looking  into the newest offer for group listings, etc., as my listing is due for renewal  at VRBO soon.  If someone tells me  that is the  way they want to pay me,  with RM, today....I'll sign up today!  So far, not a single prospect has ever asked me about RM since it was launched. 

                                   

                                  People  who want to use their credit cards can also pay me with Google Checkout and with Intuit, as well as PayPal, if that is what they are used to.

                                   

                                  I've never had a single problem with anyone's transaction, whether it be by USA personal check, certified bank check in US dollars from overseas (all paid with good time to clear my bank), or a credit card via PayPal,  or bank transfer via PayPal, or a direct bank-to-bank transfer.  As my own biz policy, I never (ever) accept a very last-minute booking to arrive next day or same day ...or a booking through a third party....I've had a few bad experiences when I was in my first-year's learning curve.

                                   

                                  I simply will not deal with anyone that gives me the impression of being "flakey" during the "acquaintance process"....and if I do not get the basic information that I ask for in my ads, on my website...in any way the person is not forthcoming .... they do not get even to first base with me....they do not get my  "offer" ! 

                                  • 509. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries.
                                    Contributor

                                    You mean that you accept payments other than HomeAway Payments "This property offers HomeAway Paymentssm – the most secure way to pay for your vacation rental"?  I wonder how they would feel if they knew that they were not using "the most secure way to pay"!

                                     

                                    You might need to watch out!  They might start switching to other listings that carry the giant Payments Badge on the front of their listing.  After all, they use "the most secure way to pay"!  They also get preferential treatment in the sort sequence so they got to have a better property than yours!

                                     

                                     

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