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Information on Scams and how to Use our free Scam Checking Contact Form
We offer a free contact form for your web site with no adverts displayed.
If you are new to renting out your property then you probably won't have come across any scam emails regarding property rental as yet. But you will.
We provide some information here on what they are, how to identify them and how we can help. We provide a free scam checker to help property owners avoid these. This is designed for
- Owners who have their own web site.
- Companies providing advertising for property owners.
Our free scam checking service
We provide a form for email enquiries which can be used on your own web site whether it is your own web site or you are running an advertising site. Check the benefits below then see " Get my Contact Form Code Now.".
This can provide the following benefits.
- Checks the originating country where the email is sent from.
- Checks against a list of known IP addresses used for issuing scams.
- Checks against a list of email addresses used by scammers.
- Checks for commonly used phrases which have appeared in scam emails.
- Issues a follow up warning where any emails your receive are subsequently identified as scam from feedback from other users or from excessive use of the same email address to other users.
- Hides your email address from spam harvesters.
- Can either discard the email or add a warning to the email when sent to you.
If you are an existing user or want to use our service then see " Get my Contact Form Code Now.".
The more property owners who use this then the easier it becomes to identify scammers as our knowledge database expands. If a bad email is sent to one owner then we can quickly stop others from receiving them.
Index to scam emails
What are they
Scam emails (as opposed to spam) are designed to separate you and your hard earned cash and although many are obvious they can be time consuming to deal with. The best of them can either lose you money or even when you spot them can cause you to lose bookings as you may have reserved the requested time and lost other potential renters.
How they work
A typical scam request will look to book your property in the near future. This usually is appealing to you as you are unlikely to get a booking at short notice, especially out of peak season. The main reason for this is to give you very little time to make decisions, check details and it is designed to appeal to the need to fill that empty period.
You are probably most vulnerable if you need the income to pay mortgage, bills etc., when your need may overcome caution.
The typical scam operates roughly as follows below
- The payment that is made to you is more than required. There is often a reason for this such as:-
- "I am working/on contract abroad at the moment. My company/contractor will pay my wages to your account as I don't have a bank account here. I will collect the excess from you if that is OK."
- "We have agreed to hire a car from 'XYZ company' who need payment in your country. Can you do this for us?"
- "My secrectary has overpaid you by mistake. Can you refund the difference please? Please deduct any expenses you incur in doing this."
- Etc, Etc.
- You deposit the cheque and your bank account shows the money in your account after about 5 days.
- You then issue the refund or pay the car hire company or whichever account they have requested.
- About 2-3 weeks later your bank informs you that their payment has bounced and take the money back.
- You check your account and find that your refund/payment was cashed by special clearance.
- Result. Heartache.
The net result is that due to your helpful nature your have not only lost cash but now have almost no chance of getting a booking at such a late date.
How to spot them
It is not possible to spot all scams but there are usually signs, some but not all are fairly obvious.
- The location of the computer sending the email. It is often possible to identify the originating country from the sender's IP address. This on its own or in conjunction with the claimed location of the sender is often sufficient to spot a scam.
The following examples suggest possible reasons for suspicion or ourtight rejection.
NB. The second example can be genuine where you get a traveller on a 3 month or longer tour making bookings as they go. This is often clear in the email.
- Emails originating from Nigeria, even though they may be genuine.
- Emails from a country where the sender claims to be in another. E.G. if an email is from 'yahoo.ca' and the resident claims to be UK based then be careful.
Although the country and email match up there are individuals who use the same computer to send out emails although they use different email addresses. We here at villa-vacation.com keep a list of those that we have identified. The more people who use our scam checking service then the more we can add to this.
- Often the English used used is very peculiar. Not in the sense of someone translating from their own native language or just having poor grammar but in the manner of usage.
- I hope all is well if so we thank God almighty.
- i am coming ifor my long holiday and i choose your country as my place of holiday
- This is to humbly appeal to your highly esteemed apartment
- Am Dr. Fred, could please let me know if you can accomodate my family inn for their vacation
- i await your urgent response so as to make payment arrangements
- The reason for booking can often can identify a scam. The following examples can be genuine but usually are not.
The first three are easy to spot as you would always expect a business email address. They seldom do have one.
- Booking for a christian delegation.
- Booking for a business conferemce
- Travel agent booking on behalf of his clients.
- Booking a honeymonn at short notice as a gift.
- Model going on a 'shhoting assignment'
What to do
If an email has aroused any suspicions then carry out the following checks.
- Speak to them. Preferably not on a mobile.
- Check their address.
The bottom line
Hopefully you are never in the situation of receiving an overpaid amount as this means you have already wasted time and lost possible bookings. Consider using our free scam checker as this may help you avoid this.
But if you have one then Never Ever issue payments or refunds. Simple as that.