5 Replies Latest reply: Oct 25, 2018 12:47 PM by feibus RSS

    Possible Scam?

    roger.realsen New Member

      Hi All, looking for suggestions from the group on a booking request we received today.

      We advertise an Oct/Nov special to book 4 or more nights and get one weeknight free. We received actually two booking requests -  broken up into two stays, for 9 sequential nights (4 nights, and 5 nights). Usually guests provide at least a short sentence or two about their stay, but there was no message, just the booking request. We assumed it was to try to get TWO free nights, but sent a response asking for clarification. No response through VRBO, so we sent a text to the phone number listed and got a response it's a wrong number.

      The member just joined, and there is no other information about them listed. We hate to lose a 9 night booking, but I have a feeling this is a scam. Any thoughts?

        • Re: Possible Scam?
          ohst8er Senior Contributor

          It could be a scam.  It could also be that the person put their phone number in incorrectly by one digit.  I do get instant bookings from time to time that have no info in them, and I have to call them to find out their details.  I think most people thing they are just talking into cyberspace and don't want to give alot of pertinent info.

           

          I'd call them right away, except you cannot obviously, so your next step is to send an email and say, tried to reach you , wrong number, please give me a call at XXX-XXXX to discuss your details. 

           

          Edited:   And off topic, but when I first started on the community there was a discussion about taking international bookings, and I had mentioned that I don't like to be advertised internationally.  Someone asked a leading question that made me assume they thought I didn't like "foreigners", when really it was just that we are a very domestic location so we get NO international bookings (except Canada, barely international) and I'm also uneasy about all these overseas scamming operations.  It's really as simple as that.  Interestingly, one day later I got an inquiry from someone in the UK, the first (and only) one I've ever received, and I assumed (being a skeptic) that it was some sort of setup?   But I went along with it all the way through, and sure enough it was a real, live person who actually stayed and left a nice review.  Go figure. 

            • Re: Possible Scam?
              roger.realsen New Member

              yeah the whole thing has been odd. we did email (twice) and have gotten no response. The first check in date has already passed and still no contact. It's just odd that they would put credit card info in and disappear (unless that was fraudulent of course). We called support within that first 24 hours and they suggested we change the amount by .05, which supposedly gave us 3 days extension before accepting/declining, and got no response to that change either.

               

              We have been very lucky since we started renting a year ago. no real problems and have not had to decline anyone yet. The 3 days is close to up on this one so we will have to decline. Even if it's legitimate, not sure we want someone who's taken this approach staying at our condo. Sometimes I think you need to listen to instincts.

               

              Glad your international guest worked out too!

                • Re: Possible Scam?
                  feibus CommunityAmbassador

                  If I understand you correctly, if you changed the request to book by 0.05 just to keep the 24-hour time limit from expiring, there's nothing you need to do except let it expire.  You can't "decline" it, it got converted to a "pre-approved booking request", and those don't count one way or the other when they expire.

                   

                  If I didn't understand... then disregard.

              • Re: Possible Scam?
                feibus CommunityAmbassador

                Assume that yes it was to get two free nights.  Also assume that if they gave over their credit card it may or may not be a scam... but until you have a signed agreement and a valid ID you shouldn't let them enter your home anyway.

                • Re: Possible Scam?
                  dinamight Contributor

                  How is this a scam? Did they break any rules by booking twice or are they just taking advantage of your stated policy? I would do the same.