Hotel Phishing Emails

If you run a hotel or bed & breakfast you have a whole world of phishing emails all of your own.  I have friends who offer bed and breakfast in their farmhouse.   Fortunately they spotted the fraud from the start and deleted the emails.  Now I ask them to forward them to me.  They think I’m mad (can’t imagine why). 

I have an online email account that is used purely for replying to scammers.  No – I don’t suggest you do this for yourself.  Some of the scammers are dangerous people.  I never pursue the exchange beyond two emails.

To find out what the hotel phishing scams were about I replied to the first two that were forwarded to me. The emails all start with the same general theme.  

Mr Hotel Booker writes to tell you he has 3 or 4 couples who all want to stay for 10 nights.  There is complicated story about how the couples will pay him by credit card.  He asks you to quote for the total package for the couples and tell him if you accept credit cards.

I was amazed at the scammer’s cheek the first time I replied.  Most advance fee frauds start by asking you for something in the region of $100 – $250 as an insurance payment.  Not these hotel scams.  

The first one was written in the name of Pastor Lewis – telling me his church party were coming to stay.  My cyberfriend replied with a quote.  Pastor Lewis wrote back to say that:

“Our clients(DAVID PAUL) have just informed us that we would be responsible for making their flight arrangements to your country.MR DAVID PAUL has given me his credit cards to charge for the full payment of their flight tickets and the hotel booking. But unfortunately, I dont have a creditcard machine to do this. I have not gotten a Credit card POS terminal yet. I will have it by ending Dec. So I would appreciate it if you could charge an extra 4,000 Dollars for us via your credit card machine & you can then send it to us via western union money transfer in west africa as usual.”

Or, to cut his long story short – just send me $4k dollars please!!!!

The next scammer had a similar tale to tell.  This time four couples were coming for their honeymoon (cosy!).  My cyberfriend replied.  The booker had an equally convoluted tale to tell:

Moreover, we have also made arrangements with a Logistic car hiring firm who will supply the couples with cars they will use during their stay.
So once you are in receipt of it,confirm the amount of {8,000 pounds) in your account then deduct the cost of your services 2,000 pounds as part payment and send 6,000 pounds via Bank account Transfer,to the Logistics travelling/car hiring rental agent whose information will be forwarded to you once this is confirmed.

To cut this story short – send us £6k please.  If you are thinking that you will be paid £8k first – WRONG.  A deposit will appear in your account.  You will send the scammer £6k – only to find that the original deposit was fraudulent and is deleted by the bank – leaving you £6k out of pocket.

Be aware of these scammers and don’t reply to their emails. If you still doubt me – look at the incoming email.  Is it addressed to you or your hotel personally?  No.  It isn’t.  They have no idea who they are writing to.  My cyberfriend received replies and she never named her hotel or gave any clues about its location.

Just delete the emails and don’t reply.

If you prefer to get your own back on the scammers, install Spam Bully. Highly effective spam filter for Outlook, Windows Mail and Outlook and includes a “get back at the scammers” feature.