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 Possible scam? I'm not quite sure.

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penalty
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Joined: 16 Aug 2007
Posts: 17
Location: Alberta,Canada


PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hey everyone, just need some help here...both my boss and I have a feeling it's a scam, but we're feeling it out so see if this person is legit.

I work in a hotel, and I see countless emails come through our folders regarding booking rooms for delegates and so on. They're obviously scams, so we just delete them. This one came through the other day, though....here's the string of emails

Quote:
From: 5t4nl3y 0m0r3gi3 (I've taken the email out, if you'd like it, let me know)
To: Reservations
Cc: (our hotel GM)
Sent: Fri Jun 13 06:38:12 2008
Subject: advice me uregntly

hi there,
it nice writing you
I am planing on coming on on the 20th - 29th of July 2008. I am just
alone. I did not get the room rates and hotel pages. I currently do not
posseses a credit card please advice me on my reservaion urgently and
the alternative way to book down

I will be pleased if my request is considered favovorably.

I will need a rate within 100-190USD.

waiting to hear from you shortly
Yours
5T4nl3y 0 0m0r3gi3

My boss and I both saw the email, and decided to go along with this response
Quote:
Good day,
We would be pleased to accommodate you in one of our Deluxe rooms with a
king sized bed, non smoking. The room goes for the rate of $194 per
night. In order to secure the reservation, we require the following:
Full Name
Address
Telephone number

When we receive that information, we will hold the reservation for 10
days and will require a copy of your passport, or identification, and
will require advance payment for the room in the form of a money order,
or through a credit card billing authorization.

Upon check in, identification MUST be presented, and an incidental
deposit of $150 per day is required.

If you can provide the following information, we would be happy to
assist you. You can also book a room at our hotel through Expedia, the
link is here:
If you have any other questions, please let me know.

And here is the reply
Quote:
Dear (I've removed my name)
It was nice to get this positive response from you.

I think the rate is ok by me
The follwibng required information is stated below

Name: 5T4NL3Y 0 0M0R3GI3
Address:5t4nl3y 0m0r3gi3 House, 22A 0m0r3gb3 street off 5il0k0 road Benin City Edo State Nigerian.

Tel number: (if you'd like the number, let me know)
Arriving July 20 to depart july 29th 2008

one person only.
for the purpose of leisure, business and shopping for marriage anniversary.

I shall appreciate your positve respose shorty
Please email me booking comfirmation and itinerary.

Yours 5T4nl3y 0m0r3gi3
CEO/MD STANBECK CITY CRUISE INT'L

Thoughts? We haven't gotten back to the guy yet, but any help with this would be greatly appreciated. It's different than the ones that I've gotten before, which is why I'm a little curious, especially if this is a new format they're going to be using to try and scam hotels out of money.
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Luther Blissett
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Joined: 06 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Smells a bit funny. Obviously he hasn't mentioned money yet, so it's not that. I believe that he's after your hotel's official confirmation letter to apply for a visa to whatever country your based in.
I had this happen various time before with bookings from Eastern Europe some years ago.
Seems that having a confirmed hotel booking is required by some countries before they give somebody a visa.

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penalty
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Joined: 16 Aug 2007
Posts: 17
Location: Alberta,Canada


PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Interesting...we're in Western Canada.

I think I'll press him for more details before setting up a reservation..see if he can get me a copy of his passport or something. I don't think he realizes that with the incidental deposit, he'll be paying $344/night.
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Luther Blissett
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I wouldn't necessarily do that from your company or personal email account Wink
He doesn't care how much he will have to pay, because he'll never show at your hotel and because the booking isn't really guaranteed, you'll have no choice but to release the room before the night run...

/EDIT: Just wanted to add - if he does send you CC details, they are likely to be stolen and any money orders he send you are probably fake, so don't touch them with a bargepole.

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penalty
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Location: Alberta,Canada


PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Yep, which is why we're iffy about it. A few hotels in our chain have been scammed that way. They're firing off emails fast and furious, we've seen three come through in the span of a couple of days.

I've also had three emails regarding a security upgrade for online banking come through, reported them, and they're all toast now. I'm not sure how they come across the website for the hotels, but I guess they can be easy targets.

So, should I just tell this guy that the room is booked and we're waiting for a method of prepayment? Or just not reply?
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Luther Blissett
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Personally, I would just tell him that you're fully booked and leave it at that. Or make a non-guaranteed booking for him and let him know about the cancellation time and then make a mental note to release it...
When he asks you about a confirmation letter send him a standard booking confirmation showing it as 6 pm release or whatever your cancellation time is...

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penalty
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Posts: 17
Location: Alberta,Canada


PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

it's generally 4PM on the day of arrival, but that's for guaranteed reservations. So for him, I think we'd have to push it back...waaay back, haha.

Thanks for the help. Any other advice or thoughts from anyone else would be greatly appreciated. I'll have to talk to my boss about it and let her in on what's going on. Thanks! Smile
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bill2
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Depending if you want to have some fun Smile If you post the header here we can figure out if he is a known scammer or not.

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penalty
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Posts: 17
Location: Alberta,Canada


PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

How would I go about doing that from Outlook (currently using an online version)?
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If this scumbag has your personal/work information then drop him immediately. Tell him the hotel burned down or some such and it won't be taking any more bookings in the foreseeable future.

Get yourself safe email addy such as gmail/fastmail and then sent him an accidentally sent email (ASEM) along the lines of "If you are still interested in the room in our<insert fictitious hotel name here>then I need your confirmation as we are extremely busy at the moment", or some such.

Then sit back and wait for the reply, which I'm sure you will get.

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penalty
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Joined: 16 Aug 2007
Posts: 17
Location: Alberta,Canada


PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The information he has is nothing he didn't find on the website (address, hotel phone number) when he emailed, so I think I'll be alright in that regard. I'll see about emailing him from a gmail account, tell him something about our email servers being down.

Thanks for the advice Smile
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Ima Baeder
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

A google search of that name + scam, brings up a canadian singles/dating site. I guess if he's booking a hotel so that he can plan for his wedding, he's hooked a bride. Wink

http://www.cyberdating.ca/members/MO113449.html

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lotta
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Laughing
Quote:
Height: Under 4ft 6in
Weight: less than 100 lbs




He could also be booking the room as part of a love scam. He will forward the reservation to his "love" to make it appear that he is really coming over to visit her. He will then nail her for the airfare after disaster strikes as it always does.

I cannot find any company called "STANBECK CITY CRUISE INT'L"

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bill2
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

In Outlook view source would show you the header.
But read well above, they are not kidding, he might know more than you think so if..... Start over again as a hotel-booking-service with a non existing hotel.

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Julian Day
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:32 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@penalty,

Personally, I'd follow the advice of the others and just drop it altogether (email that your hotel is full for the time he says he wants).
I'm more-or-less a newbie too, and I'd be scared to do anything which could conceivably connect back with your real address, etc.
O.K., the info is public from the website, but in a way that's worse, cos he knows that your identity is real. Shocked
Best be safe.
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Nailgunner
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
one person only.
for the purpose of leisure, business and shopping for marriage anniversary.


already married. so either he's cheating his wife on this dating site or he's lying to the hotel.

is it a violin? is it a cello? is it a double-bass? no, it's a FIDDLE of some kind. how he ends up getting money out of it is beyond me though. how do you get rich by jerking hotel staff around?

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Titania
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Perhaps his plan is to get a reservation confirmed on official hotel letterhead and then cancel and want his "pre-paid" reservation refunded?

(I'm ashamed of myself for thinking that way. Bad lurker - bad!)
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harrya
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ you hit then nail on the head. They pay with stolen cc and want the refund by WU.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 10:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Interesting modality. But as far as I was aware, a credit card payment could only be refunded to that credit card ... any time I've got a refund on a card purchase (legitimately, I'd add Wink ) it's gone back on the card and nowhere else. Does this apply worldwide? I'd think anyone asked to do this would smell a rat anyway.

Although there is the interesting aspect of it that an "iffy" reservation would actually require an up-front payment whereas an obviously straightforward one may not (depending on hotel policy). so the more bent he looks, the more likely he is to put stage 1 of his plan into motion. hmm.[/i]

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manbiteslion
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Of course it could be legitimate, yours might be the most suitable hotel in the area he needs to stay in, etc., and there's plenty of wealth in a select hands in Nigeria.

I would say "as you don't have access to a credit card, we are happy to accept a 50% deposit via Western Union, upon which we can confirm your booking."

If he's legitimate, that's fair, and 100% risky free for the hotel. If he's got the money to afford the hotel, he can do this. If he starts squirming or just vanishes, you'll know it was a scam.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Titiana,

Dont be ashamed, good lurker, any lurker who can recognise what is going on in that case is doing pretty well.

Of course there are a few possibilities here and it may even be a combination of a few of them.

I would presume that searches have been done on the email address, phone number and name provided by the "possible" scammer, that should always be the first thing to do when you suspect anything. If there are no hits from your search it doesn't mean it is not a scam but you will weed out most of them.

So what is the plan here, I see there are 2 distinct angles he could be working;

1. Love scamming and after the paper work is a good possibility, he has told his "fiance" that he is coming and has booked them a nice hotel, the reservation will help him to prove this. It would be easier for him to go to an airlines website and print off the flight booking details, perhaps he doesn't know how to or the Vic has asked to see the hotel reservation. Perhaps the vic is a baiter and the lad is doing this as part of the bait

2. Pay using compromised CC details and ask for a refund after cancelling is a distint possibility, I think the policy of refunding into the card it came from is something the stores do and not a law as such, good chance this is the angle, ask him how he will be paying the deposit, if he is paying with the plastic there's a good chance, fake checks or money orders may be used to pay but that is not the way I think this is going

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:54 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Does it look like a scam? Let's see:

Sense of urgency? Check
Dodgy details? Check
Details you didn't ask for? Check
Limited necessary details? Check

Wait, it looks to me that it is a "Check" scam.

We don't KNOW what kind of scam it is, but it sure smells like a scam. Best advice, DON'T bait from a static site or a site that is linked to your real life. It is not unheard of for scammers to mount an attack on someone who has messed with them. (Right, Rover?) I doubt that you would want some upset scammer so shut down your fine establishment's web presence.

Who would travel across the big pond to shop for anniversary gifts and be cheap about the price of the accomodations? Donald Trump, Bill Gates this guy ain't... Laughing

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penalty
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Joined: 16 Aug 2007
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Location: Alberta,Canada


PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:57 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for all the tips, guys. I think I'll just tell the dude we're full, and end it right there. The risks outweigh the reward. I'm having a little difficulty with the header, but I'll try getting it tomorrow at work.

thanks for all the input, it is greatly appreciated Smile
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penalty
Hello I'm New here!


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Posts: 17
Location: Alberta,Canada


PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@Julian Day,

I'm not a baiter, just looking for some advice as this is something way different than the usual scam emails that come through. When the first scam email came through months ago, I replied with "sorry, our hotel doesn't operate that way" and they never emailed again.
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IP Freely
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:42 am Reply with quoteBack to top

penalty wrote:
I'm not a baiter...


Well, you could dump emails in the surplus scam letters subforum. Remove all personal header info/IP addies/your hotel info, and just note that people should bait him from fake hotels.

Very Happy

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