Home » Headline News »Travel Law » Currently Reading:

Greek wedding ends in big fat $50,000 agency scam

December 16, 2015 Headline News, Travel Law 2 Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A bogus British Colonel used a fictitious Greek wedding as bait to set up an elaborate accommodation scam which stung a Perth agency for more than AUD 50,000, Western Australia’s Consumer Protection disclosed yesterday.

The agency, which deals with short-term and long-term holiday rental accommodation and real estate, received a call last month from a man claiming to be from England requesting to book one week’s accommodation for a wedding party of eight people.http://www.exoticvoyages.com/myanmar-travel

The man provided the name ‘Colonel Michael Warner’ – a name well known to WA Consumer Protection as one commonly used by Nigerian-based scammers.

After paying a large deposit for the accommodation, using what are believed to have been several stolen American credit cards, the scammers requested the agency forward funds supposedly to a Greek interpreter who couldn’t accept credit card payments.

Funds were also sent back to ‘Colonel Warner’ with the fraudsters using tactics of a common ‘overpayment’ scam. The money was transferred before the agency realised the funds from the credit card transaction had not been deposited into their trust account. The agency lost about AUD 50,000.

Acting Commissioner for WA Consumer Protection, David Hillyard, confirmed that an investigation was underway into the case. He warned other accommodation providers to beware of this ‘overpayment’ scam and exercise caution.

“These scammers prey on the desire of people working in the hospitality and services industries to help customers in whichever way they can. However, in this case, that mind-set has proven very costly for the business targeted,” Hillyard said.

“It has become a common scam for accommodation bookings to be made either by phone or email using false or stolen credit card details and a payment greater than the amount payable is then supposedly made. The scammers then request the excess amount to be refunded immediately, but usually by wire transfer or to a different account.

“Victims of this scam send the refund or pay a third party before the cheque bounces or credit card payment is reversed because it was a fraudulent transaction.

“The best advice we can give to businesses is to do a bit of simple research first.  A simple internet search would have raised serious questions in this instance.

“If deciding to proceed with a transaction only refund money into the credit card or bank account used to make a booking or purchase. If someone booking accommodation pays too much, wait until the funds have cleared and are confirmed to be in your bank account before making any refund payments.

“Be extremely cautious if someone who is making accommodation bookings pays too much or pays extra so that funds can be transferred to a third party. If in doubt, contact Consumer Protection for further advice.”

Edited by Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Suze says:

    What a shocking story, fraudsters seem to be continually finding new ways to dupe people

    Suze

  2. bruce weston says:

    are you kidding ??? I only have a tiny accommodation provider but get at least one of these a week hardy HA HA . WHAT IS EVEN WORSE WHEN YOU CONTACT VISA OR MASTERCARD OF THE ATTEMPT TO USE MULTIPLE CARDS THEY CAN NOT GIVE A TOSS THEY WILL IN FACT GIVE YOU THE OK TO PROCESS THE CARD[S] AS THEY ARE REAL – THEN BOUNCE THEM NEXT MONTH WHEN THE REAL OWNER OBJECTS TO THEIR UNLAWFULL USE . wHAT I CAN NOT UNDERSTAND IS HOW THE AGENCY SENT $50,000 OUT BY WESTERN UNION TO ANOTHER PARTY . THE PERPERTRATOR USUALLY MAKES A VERY GENEROUS ALLOWANCE TO YOU IF YOU CAN DO THIS FOR THEM SO GREED HAS A LOT TO DO WITH IT

Comment on this Article:







Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Platinium Partnership

ADVERTISEMENTS

Elite Partnership Sponsors

ADVERTISEMENTS


Premier Partnership Sponsors

ADVERTISEMENTS


Official Media Event Partner

ADVERTISEMENTS

Global Travel media endorses the following travel publication

ADVERTISEMENTS