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Holiday & Property Scams
Please do not get frightened off by the various holiday & property scams mentioned on this page.
This page is intended as helpful information so that you can avoid being caught out by those unscrupulous persons wanting to rip you off.
This advice is for all those who intend to rent or sell their properties and also all those who wish to rent or buy properties.
Helpful Tips & Advice
Tip 1. Be very careful when replying to any emails received which are written in capital letters.
Tip 2. Be wary of any emails which appear to contain badly written content.
Tip 3. Avoid any emails which appear to be from the African continent.
Tip 4. Cheques can be forged.
Always go to your bank to verify cheques and wait for the funds to clear before you return any money.
Tip 5. Asking for payments by credit card can deter many fraudulent payments.
Tip 6. Let the purchaser/renter know that their cheque must clear before they can occupy or rent your property.
Tip 7. Let the purchaser/renter know that you will only accept a cheque for the exact amount.
Tip 8. Never give your personal information including bank account numbers or social security numbers to anyone. Always consult your bank and ask them for the best way to wire funds safely.
Tip 9. Remember, be vigilant! The police and authorities will only get involved when you have already lost money.
Property Owners - Property For Sale Scam - 1
Here is an example of a typical email that you might receive when selling your property.
My name is Rev.Ori Dakari i saw you house so am interested in buying your (house) so i will like you to email me with the last price and the condition and the pics so that we can proceed from there with the payment arrangement because am planning to move to the house very soon and mind you my mode of payment is by Cheque ok?Awaiting your response asap.
1. The intention of this scam is to obtain as much personal information and bank details from you as is possible.
2. The person will make movements to buy your property and will intimate paying you a deposit by cheque.
3. They will speak with you by email maybe several times, each time trying to get as much information from you as possible.
4. When the time comes for them to pay you by cheque, they will make up excuses and try to get you to agree to transfer the deposit by bank transfer.
5. Once they have your bank details, they will try to access your bank account and remove funds.
Property Owners - Property Purchase or Rental Property Scam - 2
1. A scammer will agree to rent or buy your property and will then send you a cheque for 2 or 3 times the actual amount.
2. You will be told that (a relative or friend of them) has sent the cheque on their behalf.
3. The e-mails may sound very genuine - then the scam starts.
4. The scammer will keep contacting you to see if you have received their cheque.
5. They will then tell you that there has been a mistake with the amount on the cheque, can you please send a cheque back to them.
6. They could ask for the full amount back from you and they will send a cheque for the correct amount or they could ask you for a cheque for the overpayment.
7. The original cheque that they sent to you will not clear at your bank, even though you may think that you have the money in your account.
8. The scammer will cash your cheque and by the time you find out, it will be too late!
Holiday Maker - Fake Rental Property Owner Scam - 3
Fake Rental Property Owner
1. A scammer will create a property rental advertisement on a website using images and information that they have obtained from elsewhere on the internet.
2. The scammer will pretend to be renting out the property for the real owner.
3. The scammer will tell you to send the money by bank transfer to the real owners bank account which is in a different name.
What can I do to protect myself from scams like this
1. Always try to make payments where possible using your credit card.
2. Alternatively, pay by crossed cheque.
3. Do not use bank transfers unless you are absolutely sure that the recipient is genuine.
4. Do not make bank transfers to names which do not match the person who is renting out the property.
5. Ask for the contact information for other guests that have stayed at the property and make sure that you get in touch with them.
6. Ask if the property has it's own website. Most owners of luxury villas also have their own website to support their rentals. A scammer probably won't risk creating a website that can be traced back to them.
7. Does the person have a genuine email address or is it a free untraceable one?
Remember, be vigilant! The police and authorities will only get involved when you have already lost money.