Bogus booking requests can be difficult to spot, as scammers become more sophisticated it is sometimes hard to spot if the booking request is in fact an attempt to defraud your business or a genuine enquiry.
Accommodation providers that are members of North Wales Tourism are encouraged to forward suspect bogus booking enquires to firstname.lastname@example.org we will then post the content here for quick and easy access.
If you have been a victim of fraud please contact the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
How to spot a scam booking.
A few things to look out for that could indicate that a booking enquiry may be a scam.
- Use of words like we are coming to your area or province
- An unusually long stay
- A request for the total cost / total fee
- They ask availability for but they are fixable on dates
- Payments will be made by the company they work for
- Use of the sentence “confirm if the property will be open for the date…”
- Use of the sentence “make a hotel reservation for my guest”
These are just a few of the common terms used in some bogus emails, however, there are many more. If you to think something is just not quite right about the enquiry as a rule of thumb “if it sounds too good to be true…”
How does the scam work?
The most common scam is that after a few emails have gone back and forth the “customer” pays for the whole stay and often extras with a credit card, then for whatever reason the booking is cancelled. The refund is requested to be sent as a money order to an overseas bank. The original credit card transaction is fraudulent or the card is stolen.
The latest bogus email bookings notified to North Wales Tourism.
The below email has been sent via the email contact form on our gonorthwales.co.uk website, we have since updated the form to require a reCAPTCHA conformation to reduce the chances of a robot spamming the site. In the example below the from address is NOT a spam address.
Enquiry regarding **********
I hope you are having a good day, I am writing to find out if you have availability for 3 whole weeks for me and my husband. The arrival date is the 22nd April to 12th of May 2019. Please send me the details with the rate for the 3 weeks. We are a bit flexible with our dates and we can change our arrival and departure date a bit incase you don’t have the exact date that we want. I will be waiting to hear from you as soon as possible.
Mrs ********** (**********@gmail.com)