Booking enquiry scams are the oldest type of fraud targeting holiday home owners. The basis of most booking enquiry scams is a fraudster acting as a potential guest, sends an email enquiry to the homeowner asking about renting their property. They then send payment by cheque for more than the total payment due and request you to return the balance by wire transfer. This scam is intended to work by exploiting delays in the cheque clearance system.
The easiest way to protect yourself against booking enquiry scams is to NEVER accept payment for more than the total amount due or return excess payments to the holidaymaker. If you become suspicious of any enquiry, stop communication and forward the email with the email address to Customer Support for advice.
Look for the following warning signs in your booking enquiries:
- A request to pay by cheque or bankers draft for more than the total rental amount due
- Excessive personal or circumstantial information in the enquiry about the reason for booking
- Requests that involve a third party in the booking process
- Requests for an unusually long rental period which involves an unusually high rental amount
HomeAway Security Centre