Scam artists have not yet given up on attempts to try their luck at sending fraudulant cashier's checks to vacation rental owners.
While many of our owners can usually indentify these scams there are still cases of owners who have almost been out of pocket. Even experienced owners who have been renting their homes for years, sometimes are taken in by some of the more cleverly written ones.
We recently sent a warning to our members regarding an email sent to some of our owners of United States vacation rentals. The content of this very suspicious inquiry was as follows:
I will want to rent this house for friends who will bestaying there for thierhoneymoon ,it's my gift to them since iwont beable to attend thier wedding,3rd march-18 march 2007 is the expected time frame,please advice.
Dr Stanley Stanford."
One of our owners of a vacation rental in Humacao Puerto Rico wrote us the following letter relating an experience that he would like to share with us:
"I think it is great that Ideal Vacation Rentals is sending warnings of scams. Better to have warnings than problems or even inconveniences from these. I have a fraudulent $5000 check pinned to my wall which came from Africa but was drawn on a bank in Indiana. It looks most convincing. The preceding correspondence was convincing for awhile as well.
Renters should all work together to defeat these scams. I applaud your effort. Here's the version of your noted scam that reached me. I'd played "tennis" with these guys this week, before deciding they were up to something. Note the reference to credit card payment, when I gave up on them I believe they were about to change to a check payment, but it began to smell bad, so I dropped out.
You may post this to your blog if you like.
The following is the scam that he almost fell for:
I enquire for reservations for 3 couples coming for their honey moon at your property,I would like you to get back to me with the following.
1. The availability of the dates
2. The Daily cost for the required dates
3. The total cost for the lenght of their stay.
4. Do you accept credit card payment.
5.the total cost of the 3 rooms for 15 days. The arrival date for the couples will be 31st May and they will depart on 15th june 2007 ,
Their stay will last for 15 days. do get back to me with the requirements as stated above.
Mobile:+44 70457 07507
In conclusion just remember not to ever send any money back as a refund, unless you are sure that the original check has cleared the bank. For frequently asked questions on this topic read Internet Fraud Targets Vacation Rental Industry.
Please comment on this blog if you have similar stories to share with us.