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.