The fraudster uses the site to make a booking enquiry usually for a long period. After several email exchanges which appear to be quite legitimate they offer to pay for the rental of the property by sending you a cashiers cheque or bankers draft for considerably more than the rental amount due. They then ask you to send the unused balance of the cashiers cheque or bankers draft to a third party for some other transaction unrelated to the rental of the holiday property, their travel agent, a business contact, or other such story.
After you have paid the money to cover the unused balance on the cheque, the cheque you have received, and paid into your bank is shown to be a fake, and is returned by your bank. The 'customer' never shows up, and you have lost the rental money, and the balance you sent on the third party.
There are several clues. The rental request is usually for a long period of time, the English is often badly written, but the most notable feature is that you are asked to accept a cheque for more than the rental amount due.
NEVER accept a cheque for more than the amount due for the rental. If you are offered more, just insist on receiving only the amount due, or just stop communicating with the 'customer'.
This fraud relies on most people's ignorance of how the cheque-clearing system works. For example, cheques in the UK take three days to clear, but if there is not enough money in the account or the bankers draft is a fake, it is only on day four or subsequently that your bank will realise there is a problem. Delays in the system, the post, weekends and bank holidays will all add to the time elapsed. Although your bank account statement may show that the money has been deposited, the bank may subsequently take the money back out of your account when they realise that there are no funds in the issuer's account to cover the cheque, or that the cashiers cheque or bankers draft is fake.
We do NOT claim to be an expert on the intricacies of the various banking systems around the world. So, if you have any suspicions, we would strongly suggest that you take advice from your own bank on these issues.
All enquiries made on our website are stored in our database. Our enquiry system tries to identify fraud enquiries in realtime and when detected, the fraudster will be denied further future access to our website instantly. We use advanced techniques and IP filters to protect our customers but when you have received an inquiry you do not trust you can always inform us by email and we will investigate the enquiry.
Please do not reply or send any information to the following person(s):