"Phishing" is a common form of online identity theft, and it occurs when a criminal is able to capture your email password and access your inbox. When your email account is phished, criminals are able to intercept enquiries from travellers and request reservation payments without your knowledge. Your guests can lose money and you can lose reservations.
Why is it called "phishing?"
The term is a variant of fishing and alludes to "baits" used in hopes that the potential victim will "bite" by clicking a malicious link or opening a malicious attachment, in which case their financial information and passwords may then be stolen.
To help keep yourself and travellers safe from phishers:
- Accept secure online payments through secure credit card transactions.
- If you accept payment via PayPal, be sure to let your traveller know that they should fund their PayPal account with a credit card so their payment is protected.
- Include your phone number on your holiday rental listing so that travellers can call you to confirm their reservation and payment details prior to sending money, especially when you are asking to be paid by check or through a wire transfer to your bank account.
- Encourage travellers to purchase Europ Assistance travel insurance or the Europ Assistance Carefree Rental Guarantee if they have additional concerns.
- If you receive an email that you think might be from OwnersDirect.co.uk but looks suspicious and claims to come from one of our brands, please call us on + 44 (0)20 8827 1998.
- To access your owner account, only log in to our official websites.
To protect your online accounts from identity theft:
- Never provide personal information (eg: passwords, Social Security number, etc.) to anyone through email communication. You are most secure when you start at the homepage of your service provider (eg: mail.google.com).
- If you receive a suspicious email, do not click on any links or reply. A suspicious email would be one that doesn't include normal brand heading, has typos and errors, or asks for personal information via email.
A legitimate business:
- Will never ask you to enter personal information on any webpage that you can access without first signing in with your username and password.
- Will always be able to answer a question to which only you and the company know the answer. Ask the caller something only you or the company can know: If the caller doesn't know the answer, hang up and call the customer service telephone number listed on the company's website. For example, a HomeAway representative will always be able to tell you the date of your last payment, the private e-mail address we use to contact you (assuming you use another email address for your business) or even your full holiday home address.
Owners Direct Security Centre