Category: Owner Information

Holiday Home Owners: Tips To Help You Spot A Scam

Scam alert sign

It’s an old scam that has been around for years, but it’s still catching owners out! Technology is not the only thing that moves forward, so do scammers and their techniques in conning people out of money.

Over the years we have seen numerous scams but the one that appears to be the most common, and keeps rearing its ugly head, is the ‘holiday maker’ (aka scammer) who wants to pay too much money. If anyone ever wants to pay more money than the value of the rental (however plausible the reason may appear), our advice is to stay well away as it is highly likely to be a scam.

The principle behind this type of scam has not changed over the years. The scammer will book the accommodation, make an overpayment and request the overpayment value be paid back once the funds have cleared in your account. The reasons for the overpayment are often work related (e.g. their company is paying and can only make one payment which includes travel, expenses etc) so it may appear plausible. But (and there has to be one!)… whilst the payment will initially appear to clear in your account, a few weeks later the payment will bounce and the scammer will be long gone with the money you paid them back (i.e. the sum of the overpayment).

These scams used to be easier to spot as the scammers had very poor use of English. However, they are getting smarter, have a better use of English, telling more believable stories and at times quote contact details for both themselves and their companies which at first glance, adds a feeling of authenticity to the enquiry.

We thought we would share with you two recent scams that are currently being tried. Hopefully this will help you familiarise yourself with this type of scam and also provide details of two scammers that are currently contacting cottage owners (however, names and email addresses do change).

The first scammer calls himself Francis Martins and this was his initial enquiry email:

scammer1As you can see, grammar is poor. First tip: If you receive an enquiry that contains poor grammar, the alarm bells should start to ring. Do not automatically disregard it as many legitimate foreign holiday makers have limited English, but be cautious. Second tip: ‘Greetings’ is a word that scammers often use. But, it can also be used by foreign holiday makers (I have had genuine enquiries from Holland which include this term) but more often than not it appears on scam emails. Third tip: If a phone number is provided, phone it. It is highly unlikely you will get to speak to a scammer (as is the case above)!

This is the second email ‘Francis Martins’ sent to the owner:

scam2

As you can see, the grammar is a little better on this email (although the response is standardised which is another giveaway) and the reference to the company name is a clever tactic in creating trust. However, the owner did contact the company quoted who confirmed that this was not genuine. Fourth Tip: Should anyone ever want to make an over-payment, our advice is to walk away from the booking and cease communication. It is not worth the risk and highly likely to be a scam. Fifth Tip: If something appears to be too good to be true, it probably is! Scammers are often very flexible about their arrival date, happy to pay over the odds for the accommodation and quick to book without asking many (if any) questions about the accommodation itself (only payment). This next scam is a classic example:

I personally received this scam for one of our cottages from  ‘Mr & Mrs Lewis Garcia’. As you can see, the use of grammar is better on this enquiry but it rang warning bells firstly because of the use of ‘good day’ (just like ‘greetings’, this is another popular phrase used by scammers). The mention of ‘total cost’ and ‘tax’ also raised concerns, as did the appearance of flexibility on arrival date.

scam3

When I went back to the scammer and offered an alternative date and price, this was the response that I (unsurprisingly) received:

scam4

Needless to say, I did not take the booking from the Garcia’s!

Hopefully the tips and examples above will help you to easily identify this type of scammer.  Some scams are very easy to spot but others are harder and more convincing. Cottage owners should also be aware of telephone scammers.

If you receive a suspicious enquiry, do some research online. Search under the ‘scammers’ name and email address to see if any forums have reported the scammer in the past.  It is also worth searching any unusual requests such as ‘Certified euro cheque’ as in the ‘Garcia’ case above. As you can see, there’s plenty of information online to indicate it’s a scam:

scam5

If you are ever in doubt, feel free to email us and we will more than happily take a look and give you our view. It is also really useful for advertising websites like ourselves to be made aware of scammers so we can ensure we stop them contacting other owners.

Have you recently been contacted by a scammer? If so, please help spread the word and make other owners aware by leaving the details below.

100 thoughts on “Holiday Home Owners: Tips To Help You Spot A Scam

  1. Rachel Fyfe

    While this is not strictly a scam, I thought it might be of interest to other cottage owners – a young man rang at short notice to book our cottage for a few days for himself and his girlfriend. He paid in cash (as asked) as it was for the same day. However, having got the key, he did not appear again until the middle of the week when he was there overnight driving a newish Range Rover. Then off again, and did not come back or return the key. Next thing was the police chasing the stolen Range rover, which he had sold on from our cottage claiming he lived there. In the drawer were some car invoices with our address on. We did not expect to hear any more but he then reappeared at the cottage the following week (which had new tenants in) and tried to get them to leave claiming he had paid to be there – and of course he still had a key. He was in another Range rover which also turned out to be stolen and had organised to meet another unlucky buyer there. Fortunately the tenants phoned me and the police caught up with him. However his friend was back on the phone to us trying to re let the cottage from me so they may try other cottages with vacancies (this was the Northamptonshire area). He was generally quite plausible, said he came from Oxford, approx 25, white and clean shaven and originally drove a black skoda. All other details were false!
    Be warned, it took up a lot of time sorting things out.

    Reply
  2. Jan Blythin

    I have just had communication with a scammer who called himself Michael Bay who stated he wanted to rent my cottage for a week in November and who used exactly the same wording as the first example in this blog. He gave me an address in Birmingham to send any paperwork. I told him that I could not take excess payment to pay to his agent but he replied insisting that his company could only pay one French bank draft for the total amount of his holiday including flights so I dread to think how much “excess” he was expecting me to pay him.

    Reply
    1. Dorweiler

      Dear Jan,

      you can´t loose anything, if you accept a cheque from a scammer.
      You only have to avoid giving it to your bank because that will cost a fee/tax and this would be a loss for you.
      Just put the cheque into an nice little frame and hang it into your toilet.
      I`ll do the same with a fake cheque from Mr. Frederick Sillich, California.

      Greetings from good old germany

      yours
      Dorweiler (Rheinland-Pfalz)

      Reply
  3. Sarah Jarvis Post author

    It would appear that the above scammer (Francis Martins) is up to his old tricks again but this time he is calling himself Fredrick Sillich (using a gmail email account), claiming he is from California, again supposedly working for Oil & Gas Association Ltd and looking for a break in December. Beware of Fredrick Sillich, he is a scammer.

    Reply
    1. Dr Malcolm Marks

      He is back again, this time in France at our chambres d’hôtes calling himself David Martins but still working for the same company. Still using the standard request and polite acceptance.

      We are logging this with the police as such crimes are taken seriously here.

      Thanks for the info, although the poor typing and grammar got me suspicious in the first place!

      Reply
      1. Sarah Jarvis Post author

        You are very welcome. I worried for a moment that you meant our poor typing and grammar! Thank you for your input and I hope you find our other owner related articles useful.

        Reply
  4. Katie pierce

    I have just received an email from fredrick sillich. We have a holiday let in north wales. I immediately googled it as it looked strange. He only filled in the email info and not the other details. Always makes me suspicious!

    Reply
  5. Wendy Taylor

    We had an email over the weekend from Jean-Pierre W Prévost, asking for a specific week at our property (we have 4 properties and the particular one was not specified). The email rang some alarm bells as the email address it came from (barris.michealkufor@gmail.com) was not the email address that came up automatically when we pressed reply – this second email address was (williams23_09@live.com). There was also no visibility of who the email had been sent to (where it would normally have our email address). This together with the poor use of English and not specifying which property on the enquiry put us on our guard and we replied cautiously without sending our normal full details about the properties.

    Today we have received a ‘booking’ from Jean Pierre – see below. We will not be accepting this ‘booking’ and wanted to warn other owners:

    ‘Thank you very much for getting back to me and I am very happy that you are able to rent your accommodation to us,my wife and I we are presently in Spain and we going to be here for couple of more weeks I will Instruct my partner to send Crédit Agricole Cheque for 4300Euros its will covers for both the holiday and travel expenses base on trust,As soon as you have receive the Crédit Agricole Cheque, you would have it deposited into you account with negotiation process for clearance, you would deduct the full payment for the rental fee and i will tell you how to send our trip expenses to our traveling agent in London there after.

    For the payment to be sent i will need to have the details below.
    Your Name…
    Full address:
    City:
    Zip code
    Country :
    Mobile
    Telephone Number :
    Checking in: 22th Nov 2014
    Checking out Date:29 Nov 2014
    2 adults.
    Jean-Pierre .P
    8A rue du Douric 29250
    SAINT POL DE LEON
    FRANCE

    Many thanks and kind regards,

    Jean-Pierre .P

    Reply
  6. Andrea Love

    Hi, I just wanted to warn everyone that I have received what looked like a genuine enquiry from a man calling himself Jean Pierre Prevost, his email contained a couple of grammatical errors but not enough to make alarm bells ring. I replied to his enquiry, his response was this:
    **********************************************************************************************************
    Thank you very much for getting back to me and I am very happy that you are able to rent your accommodation to us,my wife and I we are presently in Spain and we going to be here for couple of more weeks I will Instruct my partner to send Crédit Agricole Cheque for 4300Euros its will covers for both the holiday and travel expenses base on trust,As soon as you have receive the Crédit Agricole Cheque, you would have it deposited into you account with negotiation process for clearance, you would deduct the full payment for the rental fee and i will tell you how to send our trip expenses to our traveling agent in London there after.

    For the payment to be sent i will need to have the details below.

    Your Name…
    Full address:
    City:
    Zip code
    Country :
    Mobile
    Telephone Number :

    Checking in: 22th Nov 2014
    Checking out Date:29 Nov 2014
    2 adults.

    Jean-Pierre .P
    8A rue du Douric 29250
    SAINT POL DE LEON
    FRANCE

    Many thanks and kind regards,
    Jean-Pierre .P

    ******************************************************************************************

    Obviously I have now blocked his emails and certainly won’t be replying but thought you should all know there is yet another scammer on the loose!

    Reply
  7. Jenny Linfoot

    this is interesting reading as we have just received the same enquiry for the same people! Jean-Pierre w prevost. He obviously wants to stay in a few places at the same time. We received a cheque from him yesterday despite my reply telling him that we would only accept cash on arrival(I didn’t,t trust their initial enquiry) am so glad that I have made these enquiries and found other similar scams. Who should I contact to report this ? Many thanks

    Reply
  8. Ivyretreats

    Just received a email from Fredrick Sillich. He is still around and as always the grammar was awful and the email was exactly as above. Oil & Gas Association. Any advice how we can report these people?

    Reply
  9. Pia Saunders

    I have received a very suspicious enquiry/booking from the following:

    (gonzalezjeff90@gmail.com) on behalf of (danielchristopher208@gmail.com)

    Once the connection had been made it changed to just the (danielchristopher208@gmail.com) address. He made an enquiry, and then asked to book. He wanted to pay an amount in excess of the booking from a French bank, and then wanted me to refund him the difference. I was sure I have heard that it is a scam and wanted to warn other owners.

    He came straight through our own website, and not Independent Cottages, but I thought it was worth warning others.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Jarvis Post author

      Thanks so much for providing this information and for everyone else who has contributed with details of this and other scammers. It really does help to keep cottage owners informed of current scams.

      Reply
  10. Another prospective victim

    Thanks for posting this. We’ve had the same email address trying the same story. Nothing to do with Ind.Cotts.

    Reply
  11. Phil Docherty

    Yes I do agree, I have had enquiries from a number of suspect, one even left an answer phone message.

    Have received 2 emails today for winter breaks
    (danielchristopher208@gmail.com) when I replied received > Mailbox now disabled

    (gentleheart39691@gmail.com)
    Bonjour,
    Can you please confirm if the property will be open for the date below.
    Arrival Date: 06 Dec 2014
    Departure Date:20 Dec 2014
    Check-in time is at 2pm and check-out time at 11am
    Guest: My wife and I…
    I will be waiting to hear from you soon with the
    availability and also the total price .
    I am waiting for your immediate response.
    Best Regards
    Piet & Catherine Gérard…

    Reply
    1. Lucy Glaister

      We also received a fishy enquiry followed by a cheque from Mr Piet Gerard for the same dates. We returned the cheque. Surely these fraudsters should be stopped in their tracks.
      Anthony

      Reply
      1. Sarah Jarvis Post author

        Thanks for your response Lucy. You would think they should be wouldn’t you and they are certainly on the increase currently.

        Reply
  12. Sarah Jarvis Post author

    … and another name to add to the list for this scammer is Richard Parker (parkerrichard90@gmail.com) looking for a break for himself and his wife in January, stating his company’s associate in Europe will pay (overpay!) via French Bank Draft.

    Reply
  13. M Steel

    All, thanks we just got this in, on reply our email bounced from the mail server.
    Point to note, from and to in the email are the same, so our email is in the bcc.
    Thanks to this site , which came up when we searched on the email address.

    > Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2014 12:55:18 +0100
    > Subject: Holiday inquiry
    > From: (danielchristopher208@gmail.com)
    > To: (danielchristopher208@gmail.com)
    >
    > Greeting
    > Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Daniel Christopher and
    > I’m interested in rent your accommodation for 1 week and i will like
    > start from
    > Arrival Date: 24 January 2015
    > Departure Date: 31 January 2015
    > Adults : 2
    > I will be looking forward to read back from you very soon
    > Greeting
    > Daniel Christopher

    Reply
    1. Sarah Jarvis Post author

      I am pleased we could be of assistance and it is thanks to all the cottage owners for keeping us updated!

      Reply
      1. sue Gillings

        Thank you SO much!!! I have lots of european guests who have limited english but something about this query didn’t ring true. When I googled Oil & Gas Assc ltd up popped your page and word for word a letter matching my query from William Matthew.

        Reply
        1. Sarah Jarvis Post author

          I am pleased we could help and a big thank you to all the owners who have left comments and helped keep owners updated with the latest scams.

          Reply
  14. Sarah Jarvis Post author

    Matthew Escamilla is the scammers latest name (claiming to live at 1119 Fern Hollow Dr, Liverpool, NY 130888, USA, Tel : +1 516-630-3368, email: (robanscotland@gmail.com)). He claims his company name is Oil & Gas Association Ltd and states payment will be by French Bank Draft and will include travel expenses (including a travel allowance fee) which will need to be returned back to his travel agent once funds have cleared. There are so many over payment scams going around currently so beware!

    Reply
  15. Louis Maine

    I have received the same scam (but from Thomas Green – (thomgreen917@gmail.com)). He also claimed the payment would include overpayment for BTA, would be paid by French bank draft and referenced Oil & Gas Association Ltd.

    Reply
  16. Sarah Jarvis Post author

    The latest name for the scammer is Eduardo Pierce or Eddy for short (pathfinder17170@gmail.com). The style of this overpayment scam is the same but this time he claims he works for Anglo American Mining Ltd.

    Reply
  17. Kathryn Dewhurst

    I received the following scam correspondence (note the spelling & requirement to refund some of the deposit):

    Dear Sir, Madam
    Thanks for getting back to me, i am very happy that you will be able
    to rent your accommodation to us,I have discussed this with my wife
    and we have agreed to use your place, so i want you to book it for us
    for the following date:

    Arrival Date: 11th April 2015
    Departure Date: 18th April 2015
    Guest: 2 adult
    Rental Amount: £460

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Name: Mr & Mrs Graham Williams
    Address: 18 Manse Road
    Lairg
    Sutherland
    IV27 4RG
    UNited Kingdom
    Tel: +447031914804

    The payment would be made to you by our company French associate who
    has promise to pay for our holiday expenses and they have inform me
    that they will be making the payment via French Bank Cheque

    The French Cheque that you will receive will be in excess, has Our
    trip expenses which include our Travelers Allowance fee will be
    included with the rental fee base on trust. As soon as you have
    receive the French Bank cheque you would have it deposited into you
    account for clearance, you would deduct the rental fee and i will tell
    you how to send our trip expenses which include our Travelers
    Allowance fee to my traveling agent, After the French Cheque has been
    cleared in your account.

    I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following
    information that will be need by our company business associate to
    make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the payment as
    soon as possible:

    Full Name on French Cheque :
    Full address:
    City:
    Zip code
    province:
    Country :
    Telephone Number :

    I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be
    looking forward to read back from you with the information needed
    above.

    Kind Regards
    Graham

    On 1/8/15:
    Dear Graham,

    thank you for your enquiry. I can do those dates for you, the price would
    be £460. I hope that is of interest.

    Kind regards,

    Kathryn

    On 8 Jan 2015, at 14:56, Graham Williams
    wrote:

    Good Afternoon,

    Am Graham Williams, I am interested in renting your accommodation for one
    week, and below is our desire date:

    Arrival Date: 11th April 2015
    Departure Date: 18th April 2015
    Number of Night: 7 nights
    Number of Guest: 2 Adult

    I will be Looking forward to read back from you with the availability and
    the total price for the period of the booking

    Kind Regards
    Graham Williams
    Tel: +447031914804

    Reply
  18. Ian Hunt

    He’s trying again as Martins David with a general dated enquiry! If you reply, you get the long email with all the over payment and French Bank draught payment dtails! Don’t waste your time replying!

    Reply
  19. ruth

    Latest scam I think :
    From: Richardson Moore
    Subject: [Bulk] Booking Inquiries
    Date: 27 January 2015 14:25:52 GMT
    Good Afternoon,

    Am Richardson Moore, I am interested in renting your accommodation for one week, and below is our desire date:

    Arrival Date: 11th April 2015
    Departure Date: 18th April 2015
    Number of Night: 7 nights
    Number of Guest: 2 Adult

    I will be Looking forward to read back from you with the availability and the total price for the period of the booking

    Kind Regards
    Richardson Moore
    +447031914804

    Reply
  20. Christoph Mistelbauer

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    We own 4 small apartments in the South of Austria and we got contacted as well by ‘Mr & Mrs. Andrews’.

    All the best
    Christoph

    Reply
  21. Sonja

    Seems like this guy is now fucussing on Germany! We recieved the following email including the German translation:

    > Hello,
    >
    > I am Steve Andrews, I am interested in renting your accommodation for
    > one week, and below is our desire date:
    >
    > Arrival Date: 2nd May 2015
    > Departure Date: 9th May 2015
    > Number of Night: 7 nights
    > Number of Guest: 2 Adult
    >
    > I will be Looking forward to read back from you with the availability
    > and the total price for the period of the booking
    >
    > Kind Regards
    > Steve Andrews
    >
    >
    >
    > Hallo,
    >
    > Ich bin Steve Andrews, Ich interessiere mich für die Vermietung Ihrer Unterkunft für eine Woche, und unten ist unser Wunsch Datum:
    >
    > Ankunftsdatum: 2. Mai 2015
    > Abreisedatum: 9. Mai 2015
    > Anzahl der Nacht: 7 Nächte
    > Anzahl der Gäste: 2 Erwachsene
    >
    > Ich werde gespannt sein, wieder von Ihnen mit der Verfügbarkeit und > den Gesamtpreis für den Zeitraum der Buchung zu lesen
    >
    > Herzliche Grüße
    > Steve Andrews

    followed by ths email:

    Hello,

    Thanks for getting back to me, i am very happy that you will be able to rent your accommodation to us, we have agreed to use your place and we are very much okay with the price, so i want you to book it for us for the following date:

    Arrival Date: 2nd May 2015
    Depart Date: 9th May 2015
    Number of Guest: 2 Adult
    Rental Price: 266 EURO

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Name: Mr & Mrs Andrews
    Address: 18 Manse Road
    Lairg
    Sutherland
    IV27 4RG
    UNited Kingdom
    Tel: +447031914804

    The payment would be made to you by our company business associate who has promise to pay for our holiday expenses which include the rental fee and our flight ticket fee and they have inform me that they will be making the payment with a French cheque.

    The French cheque that you will receive will be in excess because Our Traveling Allowance which include our Flight ticket fee will be included with the rental fee base on trust. As soon as you have receive the French cheque you would have it deposited into you account for clearance, you would deduct the rental fee and i will tell you how to send our traveling Allowance which include our flight ticket fee to my traveling agent, After the French Cheque has been cleared in your account.

    I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following information that will be need by our company business associate to make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the payment as soon as possible:

    Full Name on French cheque:
    Full address:
    City:
    Zip code
    province:
    Country :
    Telephone Number :

    I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be looking forward to read back from you with the information needed above.

    Thanks
    Steve Andrews

    Reply
  22. Ruth

    An ambitious traveller that Mr. Steve Andrews. He is really looking for the best places. From Germany he went on to lovely Austria ;-). Sonja, I received the same e-mails (inquiry for the same dates, same name, same address) and he seems to be very busy, it took him 14 days to answer my offer. Guess what, he wants to stay with us;-) !
    A best practise tip from my side: Forward ‘relaunched’ scams, pishings,… to your tourism office and ask them to spread that ‘innovation’.

    Reply
  23. julia rice

    Hi I received this email after the person made initial enquiries via another advertising website. Seems like a different variation on an old scam.

    Hi my friend,

    guess you had a wonderful weekend with your family and i also wish you a pleasant week ahead. my wife just inform me 1000 Euro Traveler Cheque has been mailed to your provided address. she doesn’t know what the exchange rate may be due to currency different and am sure your bank will charge some certain amount to clear the Traveler Cheques and the exchange rate all necessary bank charge should be deduct from the money. but am very sure we still going to have some amount left with you after deducting your Deposit Payment for our booking. so i will advise you on how to reimburse me the amount left. how much is your Deposit Payment for our stay? i will like to the Deposit Payment immediately you receive and Deposit the 1000 Euro Traveler Cheque, also direction to where the accommodation is located. please you need to get back to me immediately you receive the cheque so i can tell you the instructions to follow before you proceed to deposit the Traveler Cheque. i’m waiting to read from your deposit payment rate?

    Regards,
    kem mine.
    reply : (kemmine61@gmail.com)

    Reply
  24. wendy moore

    The name being used is now matthew williams of 67b hunters way, dinnington, sheffield, S25 2TH so beware!

    Reply
  25. Ben Eggleston

    Hi to all home owners doing holiday lets.
    In the past 3 weeks we have received 4 scam enquiries almost certainly from the same people but using different names etc. The new twist is sending an attachment of a passport photo id page of a woman from Costa Rica/Brasil, silly thing is they use the same id for 4 different enquiries made in other names. They always say dates requested are flexible which raises my suspicion immediately.
    Names to watch out for : Asford Sussan. Greg Holly. Adelave. Jane. The last two didn’t even give a surname.
    Stay safe everyone, don’t let these maggots win.

    Best regards Ben.

    Reply
  26. Tim Hopes

    Now calling himself Freddie Lucas

    Dear Sir, Madam

    Thanks for getting back to me, i am very happy that you will be able
    to rent your accommodation to us,I have discussed this with my wife
    and we have agreed to use your place, so i will want you to block
    other people from renting this following date:

    Arrival Date: 19 June 2015
    Departure Date: 26 June 2015
    Guest: 2 adult
    Rental Amount: £xxxx.

    Here is our company’s name below :
    Company Name : Oil & Gas Association Ltd

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Name : lucas freddie
    Home Address: 1049.10 b acres, Greenfield Lodge Farm Strixton,
    Wellingborough, Northamptonshire,NN29 7PB
    United Kingdom
    Tell : +447053844865

    Reply
    1. Carol

      Yes we had an enquiry from Lucas Freddie also, gave his address as Field of Dreams (which may cause nightmares!) in Scotland. Same bad grammar and French cheque etc

      Reply
  27. emma harrison

    We’ve had the same email today using the name fredie lucas:

    Dear Sir, Madam

    Thanks for getting back to me, i am very happy that you will be able
    to rent your accommodation to us,I have discussed this with my wife
    and we have agreed to use your place, so i will want you to block
    other people from renting this following date:

    Arrival Date: 18 July 2015
    Departure Date: 25 July 2015
    Guest: 2 adult
    Rental Amount: £525

    Here is our company’s name below :
    Company Name : Oil & Gas Association Ltd

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Name : lucas freddie
    Home Address: 1049.10 b acres, Greenfield Lodge Farm Strixton,
    Wellingborough, Northamptonshire,NN29 7PB
    United Kingdom
    Tell : +447053844865

    Regarding the payment arrangement,I am assuring you that their won’t
    be any problem because our company’s associate in Europe would be
    paying for our holiday expenses and they have inform me that they will
    be making the payment via French Bank Draft.

    The French Bank Draft that you will receive will be in excess, has
    Our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers
    Allowance)fee will be included with the rental fee base on trust. As
    soon as you have receive the French Bank Draft you would have it
    deposited into you account for clearance, you would deduct the rental
    fee and i will tell you how to send our trip expenses which include
    our B.T.A (Basic Travelers Allowance)fee to my traveling agent so
    that he can do all paperwork’s, After the French Bank Draft has been
    cleared in your account.

    I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following
    information that will be need by our company business associate to
    make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the payment as
    soon as possible:

    Full Name on French Bank Draft :
    Full address:
    City:
    Zip code
    province:
    Country :
    Telephone Number :

    I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be
    looking forward to read back from you with the information needed
    above.

    Thanks

    Reply
  28. Juliet

    We’ve just had the Fredie (sic) Lucas one too! I googled the address he gave and came up with this page – same details as previous reply.

    Reply
  29. Penny

    We have had Lucas Freddie contact us at the end of April. I thought it was a scam but couldn’t find anything until I discovered this site. We have just started our business so are a bit new to this and expect everyone to be honest. He was again flexible with his dates, and the home address he uses is a farm that is up for sale but he used the acreage of the farm as part of the address which is a bit odd. Thanks for the heads up.
    Penny

    Reply
    1. Sarah Jarvis Post author

      Thanks for your comments Penny. A useful tips is… If anything seems too good to be true (for example if they are overly flexible on dates, how much they will pay etc) then alarm bells should ring. We have also written an article on phishing scams which are becoming a common problem so please take a look at this – forewarned is forearmed!

      Reply
  30. Kevin Rolph

    Just had “Martins David” request a booking. Smelt a bit especially as a French translation was provided this time. Otherwise, generally using the same format as has been described here. Thanks for confirming our suspicions.

    Reply
  31. Steve

    Just had the same request from Martins David – (martinsonholiday19@gmail.com)

    Exactly the same email and request.

    Reply
  32. Linda

    Had exactly the same today,

    Arrival Date: 1 August 2015
    Departure Date: 8 August 2015
    Guest: 2 adult

    Here is our company’s name below :
    Company Name : Oil & Gas Association Ltd

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Name : Martins David
    Home Address: 2500 Holton St
    Tallahassee, FL 32310
    United State
    Tell : +1 305-900-2565

    I was suspicious having had this sort of email before but the initial request seemed plausible but as soon as he came back with the overpayment details I realised it was another scam.

    Reply
  33. Robin Edwards

    New to this site and guess how I found you… Googled (martinsonholiday19@gmail.com).

    Seems like this man is a real holiday enthusiast as he wants to book for two people at our cottage the week after Linda above. It has a french translation so looks like someone put it through a translator program that is almost OK (or a poor French speaker.)

    Watch out for Davids Martin

    rob

    Reply
  34. linda

    Haha. I have had absolutely loads of these. I love receiving their cheques and then sending them to the police. I also quite like winding them up about it. I say I haven’t received the cheque. Or I say I haven’t got round to depositing it yet. Or I have double booked and I am so sorry, they will have to sue for the money. I obviously have too much time on my hands

    Reply
  35. John Fisher

    He is now (grahamwilliam340@googlemail.com), living in a house that doesn’t exist in Swansea.

    John

    Reply
  36. steve

    Just a quick line to say that I received a call from a chap tonight who said he was looking for accommodation for some travelers who were visiting the country. I smelt a rat and put the phone down. He was very gushing about the cottage which he referred to as a guest house as well. The call was faint and sounded as if from another country. He spoke with an Indian accent. I dialed 1471 and the number was withheld. He has not called back.
    No doubt this one of the advance payment scams where a larger cheque is issued and the balanced asked to be returned. I have had those before and just got very cross so decided to just put the phone down on this occasion before he got into more detail.

    Reply
  37. paul guerin

    the email booking scam continues this time in ireland and his name is now michael david and sent this,

    Here is our company’s name below :
    Company Name : Oil & Gas Association Ltd

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Name : Micheal David
    Home Address: 2500 Holton St
    Tallahassee, FL 32310
    United State
    Tell : +1 305-900-2565

    Regarding the payment arrangement,I am assuring you that their won’t
    be any problem because our company’s associate in Europe would be
    paying for our holiday expenses and they have inform me that they will
    be making the payment via Euro Check.

    The Euro Check that you will receive will be in excess, has Our trip
    expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers Allowance)fee will
    be included with the rental fee base on trust. As soon as you have
    receive the Euro Check you would have it deposited into you account
    for clearance, you would deduct the rental fee and i will tell you how
    to send our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers
    Allowance)fee to my traveling agent so that he can do all paperwork’s,
    After the Euro Check has been cleared in your account.

    I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following
    information that will be need by our company business associate to
    make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the Euro Check as
    soon as possible:

    Full Name on Euro Check:
    Full address:
    City:
    Zip code
    province:
    Country :
    Telephone Number :

    I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be
    looking forward to read back from you with the information needed
    above.

    Reply
  38. Mark Pearse

    Thanks for this article, It has confirmed my suspicions about an enquiry I have been dealing with from a Micheal David of 2500 Holton St, Tallahassee. His second letter was identical to that quoted by Paul Guerin above, and I shall not be responding!

    Reply
  39. Catherine Jackson-Thompson

    I have, over the last couple of days (October 6th/8th 2015), received a couple of e-mails from an accommodation booker. I am often accused of being too skeptical when taking bookings so I decided, in this instance, to make further inquiries I found your site and can’t thank you enough for the information you provided. The script I had received was standard “Scammer” speak and all of the points you flagged up were relevant. I even tried the telephone number provided – to find that it was unobtainable (surprise surprise) This information was invaluable and once again – Thank you

    Reply
  40. Anita

    Here’s a warning for others – don’t be taken in by this one:

    We have just had a suspicious cold telephone call claiming to be from the HSE (Saturday morning too!), saying we have not completed a ‘Health & Safety Return’ for our holiday let, something we have never heard of.

    When asked, the man said he was Brian Smith and gave a phone number, (which we later rang, and of course the person the other end was nothing to do with HSE and had never heard of Brian Smith).

    He offered to verify who he was via our computer, which of course we would not do. He rang off, no doubt fed up with our questions.

    Dialling 1471, the man had withheld his phone number.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Jarvis Post author

      Much appreciate you making us all aware of this Anita. You clearly need to beware of phone scammers as well as online!

      Reply
  41. Sarah Jarvis Post author

    Just to let you know that the new name of the scammer doing the rounds (claiming to work for Oil & Gas Ass) is Mrs & Mr Christ (supposedly located at 2500 Holton St, Tallahassee, FL 32310, United States).

    His/her email is mmeonholiday@gmail.com

    The usual scam claiming that their company will pay via bank transfer and pay in excess to cover trip expenses. Beware!

    Reply
  42. Pete

    The email booking scam continues this time in Somerset, UK, requesting to book a Holiday Cottage in January 2016 but wanting to pay more to include his holiday expenses being paid by his European Associate company and request the excess funds be repaid to him. His name is now Jeff Nicholas, quoting a Liverpool address. Previous scammer names used in above reports that have the same wording, include Freddie Lucas, Michael David and David Matin. I initially accepted the booking worth £350 and in due course a cheque was sent for 2995 Euros with instructions to deposit the cheque in our bank account, then send the excess back to him.
    We cancelled the booking at this point and will forward the cheque to the police.

    Reply
  43. Bob Daniel

    Mr and Mrs Christ seem to be everywhere. Just got this-

    Good Morning
    My name is Mrs Christ, I will like to know if your places is still available for One week rent .
    Booking date: 30 Jan 2016 till 6 Feb 2016
    Guest: 2 adult
    Hope to read back from you with the cost price .

    Thanks
    —-
    The return adress is, guess what,

    I ask in all innocence (!), what’s to stop me getting the cheque, paying it in, closing the account and being quids (euros) in? Not that I would do that of course.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Jarvis Post author

      Hi Bob, thanks for your comments. Interesting question! I am not sure but I have a feeling that whilst the funds ‘appear’ to have cleared in your account, if you went to draw the money out, you may not be able to as they may not be fully cleared and available. However, this is only a guess – has anyone else any idea?

      Reply
  44. Mary Jack

    We have had one of these today from the mmeonholiday@gmail.com outfit. Very annoying and so very crafty, apart from the stupid name it could easily have been an enquiry from a non English speaker trying to be polite! Grrrrr

    Reply
  45. Glenda Calvert

    Once again I have received a scam enquiry for my cottage,. I have had them before but as stated in Sarah’s blog the grammer etc was much improved, email address more plausible so not so easy to spot. The second email I received echoed the above warnings e.g. wanting all my contact details; bank details and wanting to overpay and then expecting me to transfer money to another account. A definate NO NO.

    This time the enquiry was from Mr & Mrs Christ
    Email address: mmeonholiday@gmail.com
    Address: United States
    Comany Name: Oil & Gas Associations Ltd

    Its all very familar, very annoying and worrying that someone will fall for it.

    Glenda Calvert

    Reply
    1. Sarah Jarvis Post author

      Thank you for keeping us updated Glenda. The grammar/use of English is definitely getting better. I myself have had one today from Robert Bennett who’s initial email was stevewichmann009@outlook.com and then the follow up email confirming he would like to book was from bennett10th@gmail.com. He gave his address as Seagate, Dundee, Angus and also provided a working mobile number (although no-one answered!) so it did look more genuine than some. Again there would be an over payment from his French Company to include expenses…… no need to say any more!

      A couple of things I have noticed which may be worth looking out for: people communicating via different email addresses (although genuine enquirers may use multiple email addresses); the scammer often takes a little longer (a couple of days) to confirm back that he/she would like to book (but again so can genuine enquirers and scammers may also respond quickly, depending on how busy they are!) and they are often enquiring about dates a couple of months (or longer) away. These are purely personal observations which can also be applied to many genuine enquiries. Scammers also operate differently so the best advice is to avoid anyone who wants to make an over payment.

      Reply
  46. Bob Daniel

    Another one this morning. From williamsdanny246@gmail.com
    —-
    Hello Sir/Madam,
    This is Mr & Mrs Danny Williams, i will like to book your Place for one week, below is our booking details:

    Arrival Date: 09 January 2016
    Depart Date: 16 January 2016
    Number of Guest: 2 Adult

    I will be Looking forward to read back from you with the availability and the total price for the period of the booking

    Kind Regards
    Mr & Mrs Danny
    —-
    The “read back” phrase seems common.

    Reply
    1. Diane Reynolds

      Hi
      Thanks for this alert. I’ve just received this email for accommodation at my B&B:

      Good Morning Sir/Madam,
      How much would it cost from 14th to 21st May,2016. I hope to read back from you with the availability of the dates and the total price for two guest.

      Thanks
      Mr & Mrs Danny

      Reply
    2. Bea Smith

      I have had most of the names mentioned above and been lucky to recognise a scam. I have just received Mr and Mrs Danny.(Or Danny Williams) I have Googled it straight away because you can usually recognise a possible scam and it came up under the phone number. I once phoned Barclays Poultry Branch to tell them I had received a fraudulent cheque but all they could say was they had never heard of this scam and it was a genuine cheque from a genuine London company.
      Obviously the cheque was stolen and when I returned it to sender (in Spain) it came back not known. I still have this cheque for £1700 from a couple of years ago. Keep up your good work because I know of other b&b’s who do believe these scammers. Must do I suppose or they would give up.

      Reply
  47. Louise

    Thank you for this invaluable advice. After receiving a perfectly ordinary enquiry from a Mr Gary Benefield, I received the following which as per the above is an obvious scam. His email address is [garybene77 AT gmail.com] – not to be trusted.

    Dear Xx
    Thanks for getting back to me, i am very happy that you will be able
    to rent your accommodation to us,I have discussed this with my wife
    and we have agreed to use your place, so i will want you to block
    other people from renting this following date:

    Arrival Date: 5th April 2016
    Departure Date: 30th April 2016
    Guest: 2 adult
    Rental Amount: 1800 €

    Here is our company’s name below :
    Company Name : Oil & Gas Association Ltd

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Name : Gary Benefield
    Home Address: 2500 Holton St
    Tallahassee, FL 32310
    United State
    Tell : +1 (757) 932-0240

    Regarding the payment arrangement,I am assuring you that their won’t
    be any problem because our company’s associate in Europe would be
    paying for our holiday expenses and they have inform me that they will
    be making the payment via Euro Check.

    The Euro Check that you will receive will be in excess, has Our trip
    expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers Allowance)fee will
    be included with the rental fee base on trust. As soon as you have
    receive the Euro Check you would have it deposited into you account
    for clearance, you would deduct the rental fee and i will tell you how
    to send our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers
    Allowance)fee to my traveling agent so that he can do all paperwork’s,
    After the Euro Check has been cleared in your account.

    I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following
    information that will be need by our company business associate to
    make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the Euro Check as
    soon as possible:

    Full Name on Euro Check:
    Full address:
    City:
    Zip code
    province:
    Country :
    Telephone Number :

    I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be
    looking forward to read back from you with the information needed
    above.

    Thanks
    Gary.

    Reply
  48. Yvonne Reay

    Hi
    We have received the same e mail from a Lucas Freddie with all the same details as above. We googled his name and came up with this web page so thanks so much for the warning. we will report this to the police immediately, but wanted you all to know the details – see below:

    Hello,

    Thanks for getting back to me, i am very happy that you will be able
    to rent your accommodation to us, we have agreed to use your place and
    we are very much okay with the price, so i want you to book it for us
    for the following date:

    Arrival Date: 7 April 2016
    Depart Date: 14 April 2016
    Number of Guest: 2 Adult
    Rental Price: £1,700

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Name: Mr & Mrs Lucas Freddie
    Adresse: 51c Waver Street,
    Silloth
    CA7
    Cumbria
    United kingdom
    Tel: +4470319557XX

    The payment would be made to you by our company business associate who
    has promise to pay for our holiday expenses which include the rental
    fee and our flight ticket fee and they have inform me that they will
    be making the payment with a French cheque.

    The French cheque that you will receive will be in excess because Our
    Traveling Allowance which include our Flight ticket fee will be
    included with the rental fee base on trust. As soon as you have
    receive the French cheque you would have it deposited into you account
    for clearance, you would deduct the rental fee and i will tell you how
    to send our traveling Allowance which include our flight ticket fee to
    my traveling agent, After the French Cheque has been cleared in your
    account.

    I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the
    followinginformation that will be need by our company business
    associate to make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the
    payment as soon as possible:

    Full Name on French cheque:
    Full address:
    City:
    Postal Code:
    Country :
    Telephone Number :

    I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be
    looking forward to read back from you with the information needed
    above.

    Thanks
    Lucas Freddie

    Reply
    1. Mike Brett

      Hi we have just received the same e-mail as above but in the name of Mathew Turner e-mail [mathewturnner AT gmail.com] note slight change of name with an extra ‘n’.The Silloth address is the same. He is now looking for June 2016 dates.

      Reply
      1. Victoria Williams

        I have also received a suspicious email – same as all of the others above from this mathewturner – only saw this site once I had gone through several emails with him. Fortunately I was not happy with his payment method so he went silent. Same Silloth address. Wonder who really lives here!

        Reply
  49. George R

    Here is a sample scam, terminated early thanks to this website.
    ———————————————

    Hello,

    We have decided to let the room out to others. I am sorry that you are unable to make a bank transfer.

    George & Claudia.

    On Tuesday, 1 March 2016, Mr&Mrs andrews wrote:

    Hello

    Happy to read back from you,i will have prefer to make the payment by
    cash on arrival or by bank transfer but Like i have already inform you
    that our company business associate will be paying for our holiday
    expenses which include our rental fee and our Traveling Allowance.

    And i have speak with the head of our company’s business associate
    and he has inform us that the payment will only be made by Euro Cheque
    which will only take just some few working days to clear at your place
    and you don’t need to worry about the bank charges has the bank
    charges will be included so make sure you get back to me with the
    details below so that you can receive the Cheque via post mail and
    below is the company Name:

    Oil & Gas Ass Ltd

    Hope to read back from you with the payment details below.

    Full Name on Euro Cheque:
    Full Address:
    City :
    Postal Code:
    Country :
    Telephone Number :

    Looking forward to hear from you with the details so that you can
    receive the payment as soon as possible.

    Thanks

    Reply
  50. B

    I have today received the identical enquiry for Mr. and Mrs. Danny – or Danny Williams. I have been receiving these scams for some years and you just get a feel for them. It does help when you Google the scammers name and it comes up. A few years ago I received a Barclays cheque for £1700. on Poultry Branch which I knew was a scam. Rang Barclays and they just said it was a genuine cheque on a company account. Obviously had been stolen and company had not realised. Barclays said they had never heard of the scam! I sent it back to sender from Spain saying not interested but it came back Not Known from Spanish travel agent. Still got it in a drawer somewhere. Thanks for all your help.

    Reply
  51. Julie Edwards

    I have received this email after answering a booking enquiry …..

    10-Mar-2016

    Hello

    Thanks for the updated information.We are okay with the accommodation and cost .I’ll make an arrangement with our Accountant to make and mail a Bank Check for the full amount through Regular Mail so we can be assured of our reservation.I don’t have access to a bank transfer nor pay pal account.I can only instruct my Accountant to issue the Bank check in UK pounds for easy cashing at your bank so i hope you can understand.So provide me with the information she need below:

    She will need the above information…
    YOUR FULL NAME
    BILLING ADDRESS
    CITY
    STATE
    ZIP CODE
    PHONE NUMBER /CELL PHONE

    We would also like to confirm the reservation on the following information:

    Mr & Mrs Richard Christopher
    Lenina Street, 35/17.,
    Kharkov 61000,
    Ukraine,

    Hope to hear from you soon

    Best Regards

    Richard Christopher

    Reply
  52. Sarah Jarvis Post author

    A big thank you to everyone for sharing so much info to other cottage owners. We wanted to make you aware of the latest person doing the rounds. This person emailed a number of cottage owners through our website over the weekend (and we have been informed they are also making enquiries through other advertising websites). The enquiry was from a Marry Collin [marrycollin2015 AT hotmail.com], claiming to live at ‘via moro 5’ looking for accommodation from 15th June 2016. Upon checking, their IP address was listed as being from Italy.

    The enquiries looked suspicious so we notified owners immediately. This was the initial enquiry wording:

    ‘Special Requirements:
    Hello, Sir /madam
    I want to know if the period of two weeks is aailable from 15 june to 30 june. Please let me know if you have the space available for the specified period. My dates are flexible.
    Thank you.’

    As you can see the grammar is poor, the use of ‘sir/madam’ is suspicious and they are ‘flexible’, all things to ring warning bells.

    This is the response back that confirms our suspicions are correct and the person is indeed a scammer:

    ‘Dear MA/SIR,

    Thank you to keep these booking dates, (2 weeks),

    reserved for our vacation stay in your charming flat. I’m a
    shipbuilder/shipwright. Right now, I’m supervising an engineering job on a
    cargo ship on the Pacific Ocean, we’re repairing JJ SKY CARGO SHIP owned by
    SHANGHAI JIN JIANG SHIPPING IMO 9347968. I’m currently very busy at the
    moment due to nature of my job. I want my booking confirmed and the payments
    made before we arrive.

    I paid another Uk landlord whose villa got damaged some days ago:
    flooding in the villa from an exploded water boiler in the kitchen. The
    villa will no longer be available to rent for a couple of months to do the
    repairs/renovations. This is the main reason why we’re booking your property
    now, I hope you understand?

    They are ready to refund back my total rent with a Pounds Check from their
    bank account today. I decided you handle the Pounds cheque as you also live
    in Uk. I’m a german Citizen and currently working on the ship in the
    Pacific; it’s advisable I use same money to pay your own rent now. I’m going
    to instruct the landlord to send the 100% refund your postal address. All bank charges will be deducted from
    cheque difference.

    Use my full name and family residential address to prepare the rental contract / booking reservation today:

    *NAME: Muller klus

    ADRESSE .Adolf-Silverberg-Str. 46

    CITY …… Bedburg

    PLZ …. 50181.

    LAND ….. Germany

    NUMBER OF ADULTS: 2 ;

    CHILDREN: 0

    EMAIL: [mullerklus2016(at)gmail.com]

    SEND THE NAME TO BE WRITTEN ON THE FRENCH CHEQUE, POSTAL ADDRESS AND YOUR

    TELEPHONE NUMBER.

    Reply
  53. Sue Jackson

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks so much for the information regarding ‘Marry Collins’. I received the same enquiry and response, which I will now obviously ignore. It’s good to have this invaluable information on these scams and I will certainly be very cautious if I receive anything like it in the future.
    Many thanks for all your help.
    Best regards
    Sue

    Reply
    1. Sarah Jarvis Post author

      Hi Sue, you are very welcome and we much appreciate everyone sharing this information – it makes it easier for cottage owners to search and identify scams.

      Reply
  54. Tim

    Here is our company’s name below :
    Change of name – note spelling – but the same scam
    Company Name : Oil & Gas Association Ltd
    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:
    Name : Micheal Jacob
    Home Address: 2500 Holton St
    Tallahassee, FL 32310
    United State
    Tell : +1 (331) 431-6282

    Reply
  55. Jennifer Penny

    from Jenny@croyde.co.uk

    Thank you for all the info on this site – we have just had our first scam booking – from Micheal Jacob of 2500 Holton St Tallahassee – the name looks new the address and form of the letters are featured in earlier posts as set out above.

    Same company – Oil and Gas Association Ltd (which suggests a UK company)

    Bad spelling, we were going to be paid in Eurocheques (not used in UK) overpayment as it included a BTA (Basic Travellers Allowance fee (never heard of that) and the address directory did not show him as a resident – properties nearly all rented – and the phone number looks iffy compared to the others in tallahassee.

    I cancelled the booking – if it happens to you DO NOT TELL the con man what he did to arouse your suspicion. That way with luck he will keep making the same mistake!!
    Jen

    Reply
  56. Juliet

    Just had a new one but same content as previously about sending the French Bank Draft. This time it’s Jeff Nicolas from Kingston upon Thames.

    Reply
  57. Neil Bowden

    Hi,
    We have a B&B in Australia and have rcv”d a booking request from a Micheal Jacob from the Oil and Gas Association in Tallahassee Florida in the US . Guess he still at it. Thanks for warning guys.
    Neil

    Reply
  58. Kel

    Hi from Australia,
    Guess what these scammers are trying to scam AUSTRALIA now too !!!!! They use the same wording…….almost word for word from all the posts on this website……….but just use a different name each time. This time the guy is calling himself Michael Jacob and he enquired about booking our holiday flat through a pet friendly website that we are listed on. I thought it was a little strange as why would he be wanting “pet friendly” accommodation when coming from the USA !!!! I sent a reply that the flat was available and and then he emailed straight back wanting our details so he could forward a “check” including his travelling expenses.

    This is his initial enquiry that was emailed through:

    “Message
    —————————
    Good Morning Sir / Madam

    my name is Micheal Jacob from florida in United state of America , I’m looking for Two week accommodation

    Booking details
    Arrival day : 2 july 2016
    till : 16 July 2016

    Hope to read back from you with the cost prices for two week and if its not available for the date , Please get back to me with available date

    Thanks

    Contact details
    —————————
    Phone Number: 320-433-5674
    Email address: [michealonholiday198(at)gmail.com]”

    Then after I replied this email came through:

    “Dear Sir, Madam

    Thanks for getting back to me, i am very happy that you will be able to rent your accommodation to us,I have discussed this with my wife and we have agreed to use your place, so i will want you to block other people from renting this following date:

    Arrival Date: 2 july 2016
    Departure Date: 16 july 2016
    Guest: 2 adult
    Rental Amount: $ 1000

    Here is our company’s name below :
    Company Name : Oil & Gas Association Ltd

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Name : Micheal Jacob
    Home Address: 2500 Holton St
    Tallahassee, FL 32310
    United State
    Tell : +1 320-433-5674
    Office : +1 (331) 431-6282

    Regarding the payment arrangement, I am assuring you that their won’t be any problem because our company’s associate would be paying for our holiday expenses and they have inform me that they will be making the payment via US Check.

    The US Check that you will receive will be in excess, has Our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travellers Allowance)fee will be included with the rental fee base on trust. As soon as you have receive the US Check you would have it deposited into you account for clearance, you would deduct the rental fee and i will tell you how to send our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travellers Allowance)fee to my traveling agent so that he can do all paperwork’s, After the US Check has been cleared in your account.

    I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following information that will be need by our company business associate to make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the US Check as soon as possible:

    Full Name on US Check:
    Full address:
    City:
    Zip code
    province:
    Country :
    Telephone Number :

    I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be looking forward to read back from you with the information needed above.

    Thanks”

    As you can see this is also linked with the Oil and Gas Association !
    I just wish these scammers would just give up as everyone now is knowing these enquiries are not legit.
    Kel

    Reply
  59. Carol

    Hi all:
    This same scammer just appeared in my inbox here in Alberta Canada.
    BEWARE and delete if you see this :
    “Michael Jacob seeking accommodation for July 2 for 2 weeks. ” The reply email was same as posted above from Australia.
    Alarms bells rang, especially with the cut and paste style , poor grammar reply. And the very unusual method of payment.

    Reply
  60. G daniela

    [Marrycolinn2015 at hotmail.co.uk] are advertising job and sending travelers cheques in mail that are fake. Beware

    Reply
  61. Peter

    From: “Williams Danny”
    X-Sender: [drfuchs at medconusa.com]
    To:
    Subject: Accommodation Enquiry
    Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2016 02:44:32 -0700

    Good Morning,

    How much would it cost for a week from 20 to 27 August,2016. I hope to read back from you with the availability of the dates and the total price for two guest.

    Best wishes
    Mr & Mrs Danny

    Reply
  62. Dave Martin

    Obviously the same scammer as previous comment. The giveaway is “to read back from you”.

    Hello,
    I am Graham Williams, My wife and i would like to booking your accommodation for a period 7 night:

    Below is our desire date:

    Check-in-date: 3rd September 2016
    Check-out-date: 10th September 2016
    Number of days: 7 Night
    Number of persons: 2

    I will like you to get back to me with the availability of the accommodation and the total price of the booking for a couple for the period, I will be looking forward to read back from you as soon as possible.
    Best Regards
    Graham Williams

    Reply
  63. Suzanne

    [grahamwilliam340 at googlemail.com]

    Hello,
    I am Graham Williams, My wife and i would like to booking your accommodation for a period 7 night:

    Below is our desire date:

    Check-in-date: 3rd September 2016
    Check-out-date: 10th September 2016
    Number of days: 7 Night
    Number of persons: 2

    I will like you to get back to me with the availability of the accommodation and the total price of the booking for a couple for the period, I will be looking forward to read back from you as soon as possible.
    Best Regards
    Graham Williams

    Its a scam which is international do not respond just inform your tourist board and local holiday let companies

    Reply
  64. Robert Spillane

    Hello

    We have agreed to make use of place for our holiday and as for the price we are okay.

    Arrival Date: 20 August 2016
    Depart Date: 27 August 2016
    Number of Guest: 2 Adult
    Rental Amount: 290 £

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Mr & Mrs Danny
    46 Gibbon Road
    Kingston Upon Thames,
    KT26AB
    United Kingdom

    Regarding the payment arrangement, I am assuring you that their won’t be any problem because our company’s associate in Europe would be paying for our holiday expenses and they have inform me that they will be making the payment via Euro Cheque.

    The Euro Cheque that you will receive will be in excess, has Our Travelers Allowance fee will be included in the rental fee base on trust. As soon as you have receive the Euro Cheque you would have it deposited into you account for clearance, you would deduct the rental fee and i will tell you how to send our Basic Travelers Allowance fee to my traveling agent so that he can do all paperwork’s, After the Euro Cheque has been cleared in your account.

    I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following information that will be need by our company business associate to make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the payment as soon as possible:

    Full Name on Euro Cheque:
    Full Address:
    City :
    Zip Code:
    State :
    Country :
    Telephone Number :

    I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be looking forward to read back from you with the information needed above.

    Thanks

    Reply
  65. Jess

    We’ve had two people try this year, once from a Nicolas Brown [nicolas84brown at gmail.com] and one from a Danny Williams [williamsdanny246 at gmail.com].
    Email we got from Nicolas Brown:

    >>>>> Hello
    >>>>>
    >>>>> We have agreed to make use of place for our holiday and as for the
    >>>>> price we are okay.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Arrival Date: 09 July 2016
    >>>>> Depart Date: 16 July 2016
    >>>>> Number of Guest: 2 Adult
    >>>>> Rental Amount: 1,600 £
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Mr & Mrs Brown
    >>>>> 90 Alton,
    >>>>> Miami Beach Florida,
    >>>>> 33139
    >>>>> United States
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Regarding the payment arrangement, I am assuring you that their won’t
    >>>>> be any problem because our company’s associate in Europe would be
    >>>>> paying for our holiday expenses and they have inform me that they will
    >>>>> be making the payment via Euro Cheque.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> The Euro Cheque that you will receive will be in excess, has Our
    >>>>> Travelers Allowance fee will be included in the rental fee base on
    >>>>> trust. As soon as you have receive the Euro Cheque you would have it
    >>>>> deposited into you account for clearance, you would deduct the rental
    >>>>> fee and i will tell you how to send our Basic Travelers Allowance fee
    >>>>> to my traveling agent so that he can do all paperwork’s, After the
    >>>>> Euro Cheque has been cleared in your account.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following
    >>>>> information that will be need by our company business associate to
    >>>>> make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the payment as
    >>>>> soon as possible:
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Full Name on Euro Cheque:
    >>>>> Full Address:
    >>>>> City :
    >>>>> Zip Code:
    >>>>> State :
    >>>>> Country :
    >>>>> Telephone Number :
    >>>>>
    >>>>> I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be
    >>>>> looking forward to read back from you with the information needed
    >>>>> above.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Thanks

    What we have decided is that anyone who puts ‘looking forward to read back from you’ is a scam, because none of our legitimate visitors have used such a saying. We didn’t even bother replying to ‘Mr Danny’ after he emailed this:

    ‘Hello,

    How much would it cost for a week from 15th to 22nd of October,2016. I hope to read back from you with the availability of the dates and the total price for two guest.

    Best Regards
    Mr & Mrs Danny’

    Reply
  66. samantha

    we are in New Zealand and i got theses 2 emails below , so thanks for the heads up….
    ____________________________________________________________
    1st e-mail
    From: [ssr47 at hotmail.com] On Behalf of Jacob Micheal
    Sent: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 1:20 AM
    Subject: Accommodation Booking

    Good Morning Sir / Madam

    Am Micheal Jacob from Florida , i am very much interested in your property we would like to stay in your place for Two week, From 1st of October to 15 of October 2016 , We need accommodation room for two people. if this is ok with you please get back to me with the price for Two week rent and if its not available for the date , Please get back to me with new available date
    Thanks

    2nd e-mail
    From: Micheal Jacob [mj335674 at gmail.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 7:50 PM
    Subject: Booking Arrangement

    Dear Sir, Madam

    Thanks for getting back to me, i am very happy that you will be able to rent your accommodation to us,I have discussed this with my wife and we have agreed to use your place, so i will want you to block other people from renting this following date:

    Arrival Date: 1 October 2016
    Departure Date: 15 October 2016
    Guest: 2 adult
    Rental Amount: $ 1935

    Here is our company’s name below :
    Company Name : Oil & Gas Association Ltd

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Name : Micheal Jacob
    Home Address: 2500 Holton St
    Tallahassee, FL 32310
    United State
    Tell : +1 320-433-5674
    Office : +1 (331) 431-6282

    Regarding the payment arrangement,I am assuring you that their won’t be any problem because our company’s associate would be paying for our holiday expenses and they have inform me that they will be making the payment via Australia Cheque.

    The Australia Cheque that you will receive will be in excess, has Our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers Allowance) fee will be included with the rental fee base on trust. As soon as you have receive the Australia Cheque you would have it deposited into you account for clearance, you would deduct the rental fee and i will tell you how to send our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers Allowance) fee to my traveling agent so that he can do all paperwork’s, After the Australia Cheque has been cleared in your account.

    I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following information that will be need by our company business associate to make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the Australia Cheque as soon as possible:

    Full Name on Australia Bank Cheque:
    Full address:
    City:
    Zip code
    province:
    Country :
    Telephone Number :

    I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be looking forward to read back from you with the information needed above.

    Thanks
    _________________________________________________________

    So after reading this page I’ve just canceled the booking
    Great page thanks

    Reply
  67. Lenaire Crockford

    We received this morning. Looks like they’re given it a real push.

    Dear Sir, Madam

    Thanks for getting back to me, i am very happy that you will be able to rent your accommodation to us,I have discussed this with my wife and we have agreed to use your place, so i will want you to block other people from renting this following date:

    Arrival Date: 12 November 2016
    Departure Date: 26 November 2016
    Guest: 2 adult
    Rental Amount: $ 140

    Here is our company’s name below :
    Company Name : Oil & Gas Association Ltd

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Name : Micheal Jacob
    Home Address: 2500 Holton St
    Tallahassee, FL 32310
    United State
    Tell : +1 320-433-5674
    Office : +1 (331) 431-6282

    Regarding the payment arrangement,I am assuring you that their won’t be any problem because our company’s associate would be paying for our holiday expenses and they have inform me that they will be making the payment via Australia Cheque.

    The Australia Cheque that you will receive will be in excess, has Our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers Allowance)fee will be included with the rental fee base on trust. As soon as you have receive the French Cheque you would have it deposited into you account for clearance, you would deduct the rental fee and i will tell you how to send our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers Allowance)fee to my traveling agent so that he can do all paperwork’s, After the Australia Cheque has been cleared in your account.

    I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following information that will be need by our company business associate to make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the Australia Cheque as soon as possible:

    Full Name on Australia Cheque:
    Full address:
    City:
    Zip code
    province:
    Country :
    Telephone Number :

    I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be looking forward to read back from you with the information needed above.

    Thanks

    Reply
  68. Julia

    Thank You Samantha for posting your one about Micheal Jacob.

    I also got the same email as you from the so called Michael Jacob.
    Got suspicious and went to the web to check him and came across your post!

    Great alert!

    Hate to think of the pain if I had of followed through with his request.

    Reply
  69. Maureen

    He’s still hard at work this time with a different address
    Recd today
    Thanks for getting back to me, i am very happy that you will be able to rent your accommodation to us,I have discussed this with my wife and we have agreed to use your place, so i will want you to block other people from renting this following date:

    Arrival Date: 19 November 2016
    Departure Date: 3 December 2016
    Guest: 2 adult
    Rental Amount: $ 1890

    Here is our company’s name below :
    Company Name : Oil & Gas Association Ltd

    Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:

    Name : Micheal Jacob
    Home Address: 119 Walden View Dr,
    Brandon, FL 33511
    United State
    Tell : +1 320-433-5674
    Office : +1 (331) 431-6282

    Regarding the payment arrangement,I am assuring you that their won’t be any problem because our company’s associate would be paying for our holiday expenses and they have inform me that they will be making the payment via Australia Cheque.

    The Australia Cheque that you will receive will be in excess, has Our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers Allowance)fee will be included with the rental fee base on trust. As soon as you have receive the Australia Cheque you would have it deposited into you account for clearance, you would deduct the rental fee and i will tell you how to send our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers Allowance)fee to my traveling agent so that he can do all paperwork’s, After the Australia Cheque has been cleared in your account.

    I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following information that will be need by our company business associate to make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the Australia Cheque as soon as possible:

    Full Name on Australia Cheque:
    Full address:
    City:
    Zip code
    province:
    Country :
    Telephone Number :

    I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be looking forward to read back from you with the information needed above.

    Thanks

    Reply
  70. Bob

    Another new family who are flexible (ha ha): Family Roberts Hernandez
    They also want to “read back” from me. I despair about the teaching of English as a Foregin Language; just not good enough I say.

    Reply
  71. Sarah Jarvis Post author

    Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences. Here is a new one received today:

    From: Murphy Mane

    Arriving: 22/01/2017

    Nights: 10

    Email: hashomllc [at] gmail.com

    Contact No.(day): 097152580520

    Adults: 3

    Special Requirements:
    Dear Sir/Ma

    We are hashom LLC base in Duba U A E.

    I am writing you this email to make reservations in your cottage for 10 nights.

    I will be coming with our female tennis team for vacation on the 22nd-31st of Jan 2017 in Powys

    (We are 3 in number please)

    Our check in starts from 4:00 pm on the 22nd of Jan while we check out by 7:00 am on the 31st.’

    Share and be aware!

    Reply
  72. Janet Moore

    I too have been contacted by Murphy Mane, or Moroff Mane. Looks like this person is going to do a complete tour of the UK on exactly the same dates (NB, I also noticed on the Shropshire Police website that they want to go there!). Note the gap before “Surrey” – obviously they just fill in the county!

    And then read the second email, which is where the scam is starting to close….

    Dear Sir/Ma

    We are hashom LLC base in Duba U A E.

    I am writing you this email to make reservations in your cottage for 10 nights.

    I will be coming with our female tennis team for vacation on the 22nd-31st of Jan 2017 in Surrey

    (We are 3 in number please)

    Our check in starts from 4:00 pm on the 22nd of Jan while we check out by 7:00 am on the 31st.

    During our research via search engine, we discover your cottage will be the best for us during our stay.

    We would like to know a bit of information about your surroundings, like market and where to spend some leisure time with my team

    Kindly send us your best price per night and also the total cost for 10 consecutive days.

    I hope to hear from you soon, via a call or an email to confirm that you have received our request.

    Myself and my team are very excited about staying at your Cottage for the said dates.

    Looking forward to the good time already and also waiting to read back from you soon.

    Sincerely


    Murphy Mane
    Business Development Executive
    Hashom LLC
    101/104 Micah Street, DUBAI.UAE.
    Tel: +97152580520
    Fax: +971-557-887-291

    Second email:

    Sorry for my late response,

    I traveled to Malaysia on a business trip just came back.

    I was just notified by the accounting department that the payment in the amount of (£28,731.44) has been made into your account instead of (£990.00) invoice amount by our financial services Erroneous blunder.

    I will require that you kindly acknowledge the payment as soon as it gets to your account so we could sort out the differences and also proceed with our booking.

    Reply
  73. Sarah Jarvis Post author

    As you will see from all the comments people have kindly left, there are numerous scams out there. However, we felt it was time to update this article with one that is doing the rounds at the moment and catching many owners out initially at the point of enquiry.

    The person in question is currently using the name of Jessica Samson (jessicasamson [at] libero.it) and the initial enquiry looks legitimate, enquiring about a two week break in May (although we are sure this will change!). It is only when ‘Jessica’ emails an owner back to confirm the booking that it becomes apparent it is a scam. Here is an example of ‘her’ communication.

    Dear MA/SIR,

    Thank you to keep these booking dates, may 15 – 30 2017 (2 weeks),
    reserved for our vacation stay in your charming flat. I’m a shipbuilder/shipwright. Right now, I’m supervising an engineering job on a cargo ship on the Pacific Ocean, we’re repairing JJ SKY CARGO SHIP owned by SHANGHAI JIN JIANG SHIPPING IMO 9347968. I’m currently very busy at the moment due to nature of my job. I want my booking confirmed and the payments made before we arrive.

    I paid another Uk landlord whose cottage got damaged some days ago: flooding in the cottage from an exploded water boiler in the kitchen. The villa will no longer be available to rent for a couple of months to do the repairs/renovations. This is the main reason why we’re booking your property now, I hope you understand?

    They are ready to refund back my total rent with a Bank Draft Check from their bank account today. I decided you handle the check as you also live in Uk I’m a US Citizen and currently working on the ship in the Pacific; it’s advisable I use same money to pay your own rent now. I’m going to instruct the landlord to send
    the 100% refund your postal address. All bank charges will be deducted from
    check difference.

    Use my full name and family residential address to prepare the rental
    contract / booking reservation today:

    *NAME:Jessica samson and mark david
    ADDRESS: 28, Muirfield Place, New Orleans,
    Louisiana 70131,
    USA
    PHONE NUMBER: +1 (601) 617-4186
    NUMBER OF ADULTS: 2 ;
    CHILDREN: 0
    EMAIL:jessicasamson [at] libero.it

    SEND THE NAME TO BE WRITTEN ON THE FRENCH CHECK, POSTAL ADDRESS AND YOUR
    TELEPHONE NUMBER.

    Waiting for your response.

    Best regards,

    As you can see, it is clearly a scam but the initial enquiry looks pretty genuine so don’t get caught out!

    Reply
  74. Henrietta Parsons

    Hi and thanks so much for this website!
    I got suspicious because my enquirer addressed me as Sir/Ma which seemed odd, also no reference to the cottage bookings website we use. He also sent the email at 4.55 am which is not in itself that strange if he really is foreign, but did ring alarm bells with me

    He is again using the name Fredrick Sillich but his grammar and English are now unsuspicious in any way, apart from the strange Sir/Ma.

    So grateful to you for helping owners to spot scammers.

    Reply

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