Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Friday, November 17, 2006

Holiday rental scam warning

I received an email warning earlier in the week from one of the sites I advertise on, which I thought worth passing on ...

Several holiday home owners have contacted us regarding a scam booking for a "Christian Summit" conference held near their holiday home.

One owner wrote to us: "A Rev Ken Bryan from the UK made a booking for 11 days in May for a Christian Summit in Rotorua. I became suspicious when both his grammar and spelling were inadequate for such a person. Also a phone call came from him at 4.00 am with a middle eastern accent. He then requested a conversion of the rental into pounds and sent a cheque for 3x the correct amount, requesting the balance be returned by immediate TT to a bank account in the UK..... I cancelled the reservation without any loss and have not heard from them again. Upon checking in Rotorua there were no Christian summits being held."

Fortunately I've not seen this particular scam although I do occasionally receive enquiries that "don't seem right" - usually they're asking to accomodate far more people than we have room for, the English is incredibly poor, or it's for what looks like a scammers email address like
What I usually do is register for a one-month disposable email address with and reply back using the temporary reply-to address - that way if it is a scam then I haven't given out my real email address and contributed even further to the mountain of spam and junk mail I already receive.

The email then went on to explain that they've setup a blog to collate reported scam messages (which for some reason has now been suspended by wordpress) and ended with some useful advice to all holiday home owners:
  • Use caution and common sense when dealing with any financial transaction
  • NEVER wire funds to a distant buyer, via Western Union or any other carrier
  • Be wary if the other party wants to use an escrow service such as BidPay or Squaretrade
  • NEVER give out personal financial information (bank account number, SSN, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
  • Trust your instincts, and always remember the most important rule -- BUYER BEWARE

So far we've been OK (or maybe just lucky) and all our guests have been genuine - keeping fingers crossed that it remains that way.

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  • That's why it is imporatnt to book only with legit sites. check around first before you actually book your vacation.

    By Anonymous Holiday Lettings, at May 05, 2011  

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