E-mail scams find their way into hundreds of inboxes daily. We even receive a few of them in ours! Here’s what to look out for….
- Scammers usually will not direct an e-mail to your establishment individually – look out for generic greetings like “Hello Dear”.
- They will insist on paying by credit card only.
- The quotations requested are for a longer period – thereby making the booking sound very attractive.
- No guest names are mentioned, or location, or the name of your property.
- Once you reply and start interacting to secure the reservation, they’ll introduce the problem: Usually involving a 3rd party who needs to get paid. Their solution: they pay all the money to you and you pay the other suppliers — via a bank transfer, usually. And this is of course how they catch you out!! You transfer real cash — and their cheque or credit card turns out to be fake or stolen, so the money gets reversed our of your account.
Here are example emails and more details: Click for Scam Spotting Tips
The Most Important Tip to Remember:
NEVER refund money via EFT if received through another channel. Rather cancel the cheque or cancel the credit card payments received
Thanks to online credit card gateways, it has never been easier for guests to be able to book and pay for accommodation online, from anywhere. The increasing number of transactions being processed via our PayBridge credit card gateway is testament to this fact.
However, as most of you are probably aware, there are risks involved when payments are handled online. For a B&B or guest house owner, the main risk is that you are dealing with a stolen card, or that the guest may charge back the money paid to you after they have actually stayed. To help you identify and reduce the risk of disputes, chargebacks and credit card scams, we put together some tips for your accommodation business.
Online (also known as Card Not Present) credit card transactions can be disputed for a period of 120 days from the service date (arrival date) of a booking. The most important thing you need to do, is get a signature for the online transaction as soon as you have the guest on site.
Some of the most common scams that could result in a credit-card chargeback are: