Like everyone in the travel letting business a request for two weeks accommodation for two couples in March is a welcome sight. March not being a typically busy letting period as far as I am aware in Brittany and this being our first year. A Dr from Malaysia has recently contacted us by email and wants to book our accommodation, why wouldnt we be interested to pursue that one.
We looked at the wording and it was slightly unusual, why would you introduce yourself and immediately say what you do for a living. We thought perhaps it was just lost in translation or a cultural thing.
Anyway being professional we followed it up with a polite email stating that the accommodation was available and giving details of how they could go about confirming the booking. Thinking it may have been a round robin sent out to lots of establishments to see what was available we expected to hear nothing further.
Imagine our surprise when we received an email complementing us on our prompt response and confirming the booking. Yes! this holiday business is so easy, and look, they want to give us a cheque for 6000 euros more than we asked for so we can take out our expenses and pay an agent they are appointing locally to pay for flights hire car etc..
Yes that was then the truth dawned on us someone was trying to scam us and get a few more personal details, a variant on the old 419 scam if you havent heard of it go on line and look it up.
I am notifying you of this as I would hate to think that there is someone out there who might be duped into thinking, what could be the harm of this? Just wait for the cheque to turn up. It wont and if it does it wont be worth anything they suck you in, get a few more details and before you know you are getting bills for things you have not received the money to pay for or they have got enough information to clean your bank account out. Being professional again we have sent another email repeating what we have already said and refusing the offer of extra money and hopefully convincing them that we have not fallen for it.
I am sure that we are not the first in this industry to receive this sort of approach but hopefully this is a timely reminder at the start of a New Year. If you know of someone that may be susceptible to this type of approach please forward this to stop them falling for it. I will add more information about helpful websites as I identify them to further combat this type of conn.
If we have just upset a Dr in Malaysia and lost a very profitable business deal then I guess so be it.
Happy New Year to one and all.