e-Mail Scam targeting accommodation industry.

accommodation-email-scamThis morning I opened my Outlook Mail client and after downloading all my new mail items, one particular e-mail stood out from the rest and as such it caught my attention straight away. The Subject of this e-mail was, ‘New Booking’.

The reason this stood out for me, is that I DO NOT handle bookings within my business and should therefore not receive notifications about New Bookings’ or any bookings for that matter, unless of course if I had made a booking for something (in which case I should recall doing so).

Unfortunately the same is NOT the case for most of you making use of the listing services on the South Coast Accommodation website.  Most of you run accommodation businesses and getting notifications about ‘New Bookings‘ are pretty much the norm (at least I hope this is the case for you). Anyway, I decide it’s best to make you aware that there are e-mail scams targeting the accommodation industry and what follows is a sample of such an e-mail scam:

Accommodation e-Mail Scam Sample…

—–Original Message—–
From: Adams Cox [mailto:samuel.adams.cox@gmail.com]
Sent: 14 April 2014 12:17 AM
To: samuel.adams.cox@gmail.com
Subject: New booking

Dear Sir/Madam,

I hope you are doing great?I want to make a prepaid booking for for 6 guests in your place who will be arriving your location in June,2014.

The guests are scheduled to arrive as follows; Arrival Date: 20th June 2014 Departure Date:30th June 2014 Number of rooms:3 double rooms
Type: Double Rooms

However , I want you to confirm the following:
(1)Do you have a Credit Card mail Order Machine (2)We are going to make a deposit of $2,000 (3)The complete payment will be made on arrival.

I shall be waiting for your confirmation, and I shall forward the credit card details for you to make the requested charges and confirm the booking.
We want you to confirm this arrangement and provide us with your:
(1) YOUR FULL NAME (who will receive and charge the card)..
(3) PHONE NUMBERS……… for easy contact (4)Type of credit card accepted

(Should there be no available rooms in the above mentioned dates,Please kindly inform me of the availability for 10 days in the month of June
Adams, United State.

Warning Bells: Since I saw the warning bells in the way this e-mail was written and the fact that the subject matter wasn’t relevant to me, I opted to look into this e-mail scam a little further, to help inform YOU! I took the first line of text from this e-mail and I pasted it into Google’s Search Box. The results confirmed this was a SCAM and also shockingly revealed how many different variants there are of this Scam e-Mail targeting accommodation venues. People, please ERRR on the side of caution and educate yourselves and your staff. Don’t get caught up in the excitement of a New Booking promising upfront payments etc, especially if it’s from a sender you have never even heard of before.

Be on the lookout for SCAM e-Mails. If it’s anything similar to what I have shared above, or if you are dubious in anyway, copy & paste the first few lines of the e-mail into the Google Search Box and if it’s a scam, someone would have posted information about the particular SCAM…