Reservation Scam

There are many scams out there, Nigerian, Phishing among others. I have just received an email with our first Reservation scam.

Here is the email

Hello,

I am John Jones the MD of GOD’S TIME TRAVEL CONSULTANCY, i will be interested to know if you could assist me in getting an accommodation for my 3 paxn coming over to your country for holiday.

Below is the details of my booking: Room Type. 1 Double & 1 Single rooms. check in : 20/ 01/ 2011 check out: 25 /01/ 2011 Number of guest…3 people. Days of stay…5 days NAME OF PAXJAMES DELAP (MR)

DIRK THOMAS (MR)

LILY THOMAS (MRS)

Get back to me on this ASAP, so that we can proceed with the booking. I will like you to know that all payment will be made before the arrival of my client via my secure credit card details.

Thanks. Regards.John Jones

So, it looks OK, not too scammy sounding, but the alarm bells ring as soon as I see a business with a “free” email address (Note to businesses, use your domain for your email, a gmail address is OK for a backup)

But there are a few other key pointers:

  • No specific reference to your company or specific details of goods or services
  • Promise of full payment in advance
  • Stilted english

Often the scam plays out by paying for goods in advance, then cancelling and asking for a refund, once the refund is paid, the original payment is returned due to a stolen card.

There are a number of variation on this theme, retailers are not immune either.

Be careful with emails that sound a bit strange.

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25 thoughts on “Reservation Scam”

    • I am sure there will be a number that fall for these scams. Until word gets out there, there will be those that think they are onto something good.

  • Thanks for this post. I received two requests that sound very much like the request you posted. In fact, one of the travel consultants making the request also called himself “John Jones the MD of GOD’S TIME TRAVEL CONSULTANCY.” It helps to know how the scam works.

  • HI! We just received the same one. “God’s time..” sounded to me a bit strange, but who knows)) thank you for this info
    hello from Russia:)

  • I realized that this couldn’t be real, since I’ve been receiving this email and I’m a graphic designer, who designed a hotel website. Obviously this guy wasn’t writing from the hotel site form, but somehow got my email from the page. It’s good to confirm it’s a scam!

  • Thanks for this information.
    I’m received last Saturday, January 15, 2011 7:59 PM this e-mail from Iceland with this IP Address:
    217.9.143.45
    Title:
    Vefsvi hst hj Netheim ehf.
    Keywords:
    none
    Description:
    none
    IP:
    217.9.143.45
    server location:
    Iceland
    ISP:
    previously is.titan

    From Fawbush John Sat Jan 15 23:59:36 2011
    X-Apparently-To: XXXXXX@yahoo.com via 66.94.238.140; Sat, 15 Jan 2011 15:59:39 -0800
    Return-Path:
    X-YahooFilteredBulk: 217.9.143.45
    Received-SPF: none (mta1095.mail.re4.yahoo.com: domain of arselehf.is@vh4.xnet.is does not designate permitted sender hosts)
    X-YMailISG: Bsng8zAcZAqNzHAs6CYPOYT6a33ah4nPSD6k1Vr0vduEKNxO HPgAjqFf2wzYbdLl7nCKoxtp9ym4cnt0lhYPPE6vnxmCJwjM4sLfPOEh43d6 E5DhEyZV1RlUjifjYrtv1jwVQXMmlIonADzl.D8Ds6wGvQQzXuCyCqxX.DgW 8RtW56bdaOlMXehmmbf22i6rWJuR2HF5BDSYfVuvXZw1DXquxzgK3YzW43XQ RvJVNXgnUSvRByLFq0sAL.rV193xvHUmxtKdmTLQAJsTG1yfU1vWUSRAsbv6 Fx2dKk2yjk9_wyIYy_4po.8wZKFBSn2Tm3EB_94eXVmqfHaMalGArBSqvSvw zzIacmbZSCunrdOolUpJDPWNWy0xu4nY.zzW6vKobbX7nyHozV9_XiTdYJfm Q3aV3IjiIw0q66cjwcF7cYQgfKhl4yVti54zJJaDhQU4gaw72ZJ10e3JQ4Ib ISc.zG4S6k9eqnOYPquKcs85hvGO71vopnox7evCmLno60McUgIMaS7QI.MR _kY2Wd137KXPzMZpv4W3f05tvuANiaFThtrxoKy8I7.CdusWoxewNYike7zs r682mAtMsyCfyLmZpzhIxl5RFK5HP5iZol586sB5ZZ.IKo9hGN4DRrNv8XJ1 iOWtOGdGnX2lt9mXDuwWlIt.X8w69c1zTdUidg4bSme_1giT7GyUJUk3iAnQ DAR7F1KgcvRg7X.Urn6HLzfvPs_RGbWSHCaa90U5Wh.XhPUT9xs_93pUWY7r jmHLy_J_1MlGTlxvc3cxWuDmzY7jT8YERf2azx3PhcDLq5.WD8SSDuiQI6jd xPgtOkP0jHBZHY3QmLxOtD8ASXRUpZbUzz3Vq7WxEysW9ING7BW4SI96EU9G bSbNhuiNvVwBGgkE0mKltbpxK6BrWzc_5Um8Kwp_4X7ntA3Vm56f5QoEQigo Rp43Ws7apYxX3QPvPcm17KYfBXWgUPeM2rLMPoricSgJYBZTzBazgTmCzpsu URxKKk7FCGP5n792DJMZmuQ6mM0JIzmILyOL_eUnE7H9gpvwRPH9LkhaFzZ9 FA.Rv.Qe9DwR7uFBJRJ9adC7xwc_UYIW1ue_DGY9EMBG_pE7Po_9bF8IQQHU OhJDMWXoUfDmPsGVZ9sKVXAP0cs_rldqn_642XhzuBNKFmF.cCUgHfcC7zV1 rMUDrn9Ru6mtykgrC8jwczcJylcKbX2jNEsuhq3lFZ92rKRVZfmJvdA21ta7 AsXiEFN9o9FD0XZ1o7i9PlvRt.NCzRTH4r2m3tOT.oVWKn_3Ig–
    X-Originating-IP: [217.9.143.45]
    Authentication-Results: mta1095.mail.re4.yahoo.com from=gmail.com; domainkeys=neutral (no sig); from=gmail.com; dkim=neutral (no sig)
    Received: from 127.0.0.1 (EHLO vh4.xnet.is) (217.9.143.45) by mta1095.mail.re4.yahoo.com with SMTP; Sat, 15 Jan 2011 15:59:39 -0800
    Received: from vh4.xnet.is (localhost.nh.xnet.is [127.0.0.1]) by vh4.xnet.is (8.14.2/8.14.2) with ESMTP id p0FNxagF056718 for ; Sat, 15 Jan 2011 23:59:36 GMT (envelope-from arselehf.is@vh4.xnet.is)
    Received: (from arselehf.is@localhost) by vh4.xnet.is (8.14.2/8.14.2/Submit) id p0FNxaKR056717; Sat, 15 Jan 2011 23:59:36 GMT (envelope-from arselehf.is)
    Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2011 23:59:36 GMT
    Message-Id:
    To: XXXXXXXX@yahoo.com
    Subject: HOTEL RESERVATION….
    From: Fawbush John Add sender to Contacts
    Reply-To: fawbush.john@gmail.com
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/plain
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
    Content-Length: 670
    From: Fawbush John
    Subject: HOTEL RESERVATION….
    To: XXXXXXX@yahoo.com
    Date: Saturday, January 15, 2011, 7:59 PM

    Hello,

    I am John Fawbush the MD of GOD’S TIME TRAVEL CONSULTANCY, i will be interested to know if you could assist me in getting an accomodation
    for my 3 paxn coming over to your country for holiday.

    Below is the details of my booking:
    Room Type. 1 Double & 1 Single rooms.

    check in : 20/ 02/ 2011
    check out: 25 /02/ 2011

    Number of guest…3 people.
    Days of stay…5 days

    NAME OF PAX

    JAMES DELAP (MR)
    DIRK THOMAS (MR)
    LILY THOMAS (MRS)

    Get back to me on this ASAP, so that we can proceed with the booking.
    I will like you to know that all payment will be made before the
    arrival of my client via my secure credit card details.
    Thanks.

    Regards.
    John Fawbush

  • I just received this email at work. Almost half a year later. Looks like they haven’t given up. Thank you for posting!

  • I just received this email at my laptop. Exactly the same sentence only with different guests. Something ring a bell and I google “GOD’S TIME TRAVEL CONSULTANCY” and found this link. Thank you for posting!

    • Hi there Tati, Glad to be of help 🙂 It looks like this email is doing the rounds again, hoping to snare some more victims. I am glad you weren’t one of them. Cheers

  • Yesterday i recieved a mail simular to the ones you describe:
    I am Billy Moore the MD of GOD’S TIME TRAVEL CONSULTANCY, i will be interested to know if you could assist me in getting an accomodation for my 3 paxn coming over to your country for holiday.
    So yes they are doing another round:-)

    • Hi Liva, Thanks for this and for pasting in the name as other people searching for that will find out here it is a scam.

  • Thanks to all for the current posts.
    This is the second time I have received an email relating to this.
    “I am Billy Moore the MD of GOD’S TIME TRAVEL CONSULTANCY, i will be interested to know if you could assist me in getting an accomodation for my 3 paxn coming over to your country for holiday.”
    SCAM

  • I have been receiving at lease on scam email a week, always the same structure with different scenarios.
    Now the scammers even try by phone to book a room. They ask about the same questions than in the email : how many rooms are in the hostel, if this is a hostel or a restaurant, but never the price of the room.
    When I start to be suspicious, I ask if he could give me the name of the village my hostel is. Of course he couldn’t tell because they don’t have time to check every details of the hundreds of business they call to scam. The scammer just gave up and end the phone call and never call again.

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