3rd June 2010

Shropshire Tourism Goes Global!

A B&B owner in Australia has thanked Shropshire Tourism for warning her about an email scam doing the rounds, not just in Shropshire but ‘Down Under’ too!

Shropshire Tourism’s industry website www.stmem.com is packed with industry news, advice and information about who we are, what we do and ways in which we can help you, our members. A popular section for keeping you informed has always been ‘Warnings’.

Many of you get in touch to let us know about scam emails that you’ve received. We then add any suspicious enquiries to the website so that all of our members can be made aware of them. The most recently added warning is about a man named John Gilmore. See full copy of the scam email at www.stmem.com/warnings

It was the name ‘John Gilmore’ that the Australian B&B owner typed into Google, after becoming suspicious about his requests. Through the power of search engine optimisation, www.stmem.com appeared and she read our warning before telephoning us for advice on what to do next.

Claire Jones, Senior Marketing Officer at Shropshire Tourism said, “The email looks like a genuine enquiry from a man who has clients from abroad requiring accommodation. He asks if you accept credit card payments because he is working out of the UK and doesn’t have access to banking facilities; he then ‘pays’ by sending you his credit card information. However, normally a few days later, he cancels the booking and asks you to return the money to him. You then pay a refund but are out of pocket because the money was never credited to your account in the first place.”

“We’re used to giving tourism marketing and business advice to our members in Shropshire and the borders so it was a surprise when we had the call from Australia. It just goes to show what a valuable resource www.stmem.com is. I’d advise all of our members to keep checking the Warnings section of the website and keep in touch to let us know if you receive any more suspicious requests. Simply email the details to enquiries@shropshiretourism.co.uk

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