UNFORTUNATELY running a website for your gite or holiday home opens you up to the increasing number of conmen and pirates out there.
I have written in the past on what to look out for (see Ditch dodgy email) but recently I’ve had more crooks pass though my inbox than normal.
The scam that appears to be on the rise is the innocent email asking how much it costs to stay in your property, usually for a month or more, and whether you would be willing to act as a guide.
The message I have received over the past few days is from Prince Hamad Bin Maktoum from Dubai, who is not sure where I live as he is ‘planning a vacation trip to your country’.
The way this scam works is that people reply with a price thinking it is a genuine enquiry and our friendly prince sends across a cheque for the amount.
But before you know it he decides he only wants to spend two weeks on his ‘vacation trip to your county’ and can you send the balance back.
If you do then you’ll soon find that the original cheque from our good prince is worthless and you are quickly out of pocket.
The other thing to remember with these messages is that you should not even reply to say ‘no thanks’ as you have now told the scam artists that someone reads the email address, this 'cleans' their list and will be sold on to other crooks.
Below is the full email so you can get an idea of just how devious these messages can be:
Subject: Guide/Holiday Homes
Greetings from Dubai,
I am Prince Hamad Bin Maktoum from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. i'm planning a vacation trip to your country.
I will be needing your services for a guide and family suites or holiday home during my visit with members of my family.
i will like you to get back to me with the availabilty of a family suites or home for the afforemntioned family for a period of one month from 10th September - 08 October 2006 in order to make reservations and proceed further as soon as it is confirmed available for these dates.
Possibly quote your charges so that we can discuss.
Prince Hamad Bin Maktoum.
In the light of truth...INSHALLAH
[THE ROYAL COURTS]
1, JUMEIRAH ROAD
DUBAI – UAE
If you have had similar experiences or have tips to pass on to others please feel free to add a comment below.
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