Warnings

Unfortunately not all visitors to Shropshire are so welcome. There are a small few who operate scams, cons, tricks, and other devious methods to try and get you to part with your hard earned cash. Thankfully they are few and far between.

Shropshire Tourism tries to stay one step ahead of these people and sends out warning advice emails to members so do look out for them. Forewarned is often forearmed! See below for latest warnings.

If you think you may have been approached or had experience of someone trying to scam or con you please let us know and we will make sure our members get to know. Click here or call 01743 261919 to give us any details.

You may also wish to notify the following:

Trading Standards

Shropshire Council
Public Protection and Enforcement
Shirehall, Abbey Foregate
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
SY2 6ND

Email: public.protection@shropshire.gov.uk

Tel: 0345 678 9000

Local Police

Address: Shrewsbury Police Station, Clive Road, Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, SY2 5RW.

Tel: 01743 232888 / 101

National Fraud Intelligence Bureau

Tel: 0300 123 2040

Citizens Advice Line

Tel: 0845 404 0506

Latest Warnings

We will endeavour to put up scam emails received by our members.

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Owners Direct warns customers about online scam (Posted 17th November 2014)

Holiday accommodation website Owners Direct has urged property owners and customers to be vigilant about the growing problem of online fraud known as 'phishing'.

The company issued the advice after being alerted by advertisers about a spate of suspicious-looking email enquiries.

The enquiries were from similar email addresses, with no dates specified and asking odd questions like 'Loud music allowed?' or asking for a December 25 arrival date.

A follow-up email asked property owners to click on an attachment to see the customer's booking details.

This would then allow the scammers to access sensitive information that could be used to obtain funds.

Owners Direct said it was continuing to develop technology platforms to protect its customers.

"We urge owners to look carefully at each enquiry they receive in order to assess whether it is genuine," it said.

"It's important to consider the email address, the phrasing, language, spelling mistakes and peculiar content. We also advise owners that some spam enquiries may not raise concerns and may look genuine. Therefore it's essential to remain vigilant throughout the enquiry engagement process."

The statement added that spammers tend to target more established brands and services 'as we saw in the news this week with a well-known online travel booking website'.

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Booking.com warns customers about online scam (Posted 17th November 2014)

Accommodation agent Booking.com has also been targeting by fraudsters and has recently paid out compensation to around 10,000 customers who were affected by an online phishing scam.

The Netherlands-based company refused to reveal the total amount it had paid but said everyone, in the UK, US, France, Italy and Portugal, had been refunded.

Victims were tricked into handing over money to the fraudsters who had managed to obtain details of their reservations.

The company said it has improved its technology to help protect its customers from the online crime.

The British Hospitality Association warned customers to be 'extremely cautious' when they book online and said they should call the hotel or accommodation direct if they are suspicious about any payment demands.

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General Booking Enquiries (Posted 17th November 2014)

Following recent scam emails received by Shropshire Tourism members, it is recommended that any booking enquiry email sent to "undisclosed recipients" is likely to be a scam and is best ignored.

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Warning received from a Shropshire Tourism member (13th November 2014)

One of our members received the following emails from 'Jill Goldsmith'. If you receive the same or similar emails to the ones posted on this warnings page please do not respond, they are a scam emails.

1st Email:

Hello,
We are looking to book vacation stay for 2 couples from 13th to 20th December 2014.
Kindly confirm room rates.
Thanks & Best Regards
Jill

2nd Email:

Hello,
Thanks for your swift response.
We are interested in booking the available dates for number of guests(adults) you can accommodate.
My clients will travel from Malaysia prior to the arrival date, We made arrangements with an agent whom will render translation and assist with Transport/Flight Bookings.
From estimates we received from the Agent, Translation/Transport/Flight Bookings will cost £5,850.00(Five thousand, eight hundred and fifty pounds). We have a little problem with payment to the agent since she doesn't have a facility to accept credit card payment.
I will provide my credit card details to you with authorization to process withdrawal £5,850.00 in addition to 50% for your services and assist us with paying the balance by bank transfer to our agent to enable her settle our travel expenses.
Your assistance is required to help our agent in dealing with other payments for the services.
Please provide your contact details:
-Your Company full name/address
- Contact person
-Telephone/Mobile number.
Thank you in advance.
Jill

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From a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted November 2014)

Further to posts in both May and July this year, we have received two emails today (12th November) from Shropshire Tourism members who have been contacted by a man calling himself John Christ from Gas Companies PLC. Address: 14 Hermitage Drive, Morningside, Edinburgh. He pays you with what appears to be a valid bank draft (it isn't) and pays you too much. You are then asked to pay back the overpayment. Other members, please be aware.

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Warning received from a Shropshire Tourism member (7th November 2014)

One of our members received the following emails from 'Micheal Francis'. If you receive the same or similar emails to the ones posted on this warnings page please do not reply and report them.

1st email:
Good Afternoon
Greeting to you
My name is Micheal Francis, I'm looking for accommodation for one week to rent
Starting from : 13 Dec 2014
Checking out Date : 20 Dec 2014 ,
Guest: 2 adult
Hope to read back from you with the cost prices for one week and if its not available for the date , Please let me have the available date
Mobile: +448717119948
Thanks

2nd email:
Dear Sir, Madam
Thanks for getting back to me, i am very happy that you will be able to rent your accommodation to us, I have discussed this with my wife and we have agreed to use your place, so i will want you to block other people from renting this following date:
Arrival Date: 15 December 2014
Departure Date: 21 December 2014
Guest: 2 adult
Rental Amount: £ 300
Here is our company's name below :
Company Name : Oil & Gas Association Ltd
Below is our Name and address where you can send any document:
Name : Micheal Francis
Home Address: 16 High Street,
Haverfordwest, SA61 2DA
United Kingdom
Tell : +448717119948
Fax : +448435581071
Regarding the payment arrangement,I am assuring you that their won't be any problem because our company's associate in Europe would be paying for our holiday expenses and they have inform me that they will be making the payment via French Bank Draft. The French Bank Draft that you will receive will be in excess, has Our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers Allowance) fee will be included with the rental fee base on trust. As soon as you have receive the French Bank Draft you would have it deposited into you account for clearance, you would deduct the rental and i will tell you how to send our trip expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travelers Allowance) fee to my traveling agent so he can do all paperwork's, After the French Bank Draft has been cleared in your account. I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following information that will be need by our company business associate to make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the payment as soon as possible:
Full Name on French Bank Draft :
Full address:
City:
Zip code
province:
Country :
Telephone Number :
I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be looking forward to read back from you with the information needed above. Thanks

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Warning received from a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted 5th November 2014)

"Just letting you know I received an email today from a Mr Richardson Moore which I believe is another scam - see below. After checking with your "Warnings" page I would like to let other members know that the telephone number is the same as the Mr Moore posted in July 2014 and also Mr Edward Cooper posted by a member on 30th Oct 2014."

Scam email as follows:

Good Afternoon

Am Mr Richardson Moore, Me and my wife are interested in renting your accommodation for one week, Below is our requested date:

Arrival Date : 17 January 2015
Depart Date : 24 January 2015
People: Two Adult

Looking forward to read from you with the availability and the price of the booking

Thanks
Moore
Tel: +447053845468

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Warning from Shropshire Tourism (Posted 3rd November 2014)

Shropshire Tourism have received a letter from a Germany based company asking for a VAT Registration Number for our subsidiary company Direct Tourism Services to update their database, UK Corporate Portal. This is a scam to obtain details. If any of our member businesses receive a similar letter please ignore it.

A copy of the letter is attached for your information - here (PDF)

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Warning received from a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted 30th October 2014)

In this latest case one of our self catering members has been conned out of £2,000 by a 'Mr Edward Cooper' (N.B. He has called himself Mr Moore in the past, and we suspect he frequently changes his name).

Their experience is as follows:

"We were contacted in early September by a Mr Edward Cooper regarding a booking for our house at the end of November. We replied saying the house was available and he provided his name and address:

Mr and Mrs Cooper
5a MANSE RD
KINLOCHBERVIE
LAIRG
SUTHERLAND
IV27 4RG
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel: +447053845468

He said that payment for their holiday was to be made by "our company French Associate". Payment would be by French cheque and would be more than the rental as it would include other holiday expenses for him. We had to deposit it in our bank, take out our money then pay the rest into the account of their French Associate. We did this. We thought the cheque had been cleared when we heard from our bank about 14 days later, so paid the remainder into the Associate's bank. It was a scam. The cheque was fraudulent."

Please do be aware of this scam and similar scams doing the rounds. The name may change but the premise is usually the same – they try and get you to pay money back to them/their 'associates'. Be alert to all such requests and if in doubt, please do call Shropshire Tourism on 01743 261919.

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Warning received from a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted 24th October 2014)

We have received scam emails similar to those in the warning posted on 9th September 2014 but with the name and address below used instead. We would like to make other members aware.

Jean-Pierre W. Prevost
8A rue du Douric 29250
SAINT POL DE LEON
FRANCE

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'Unofficial' Ironbridge and Telford Map publication

We have been made aware of a gentleman selling advertising on a 2015 Telford & Ironbridge Gorge Visitor Map, which he claims will be distributed to hotels, guest houses and leisure facilities within Telford and Ironbridge.

The map is being produced by Mr McClean of Little Dawley and he is currently contacting businesses via email.

We do not believe this to be a scam, but please be aware that neither Shropshire Tourism nor Telford Tourism Partnership is associated with this publication, and it does not form part of the official marketing literature of either organisation.

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Warning from Shrewsbury VIC (Posted 9th September 2014)

Please see below scam email received by a local B&B:
My Name is Françoise Garnier Am From Paris.
My wife and I are interested in your Property for Rentals for the date below.

Arrival Date: 8th Nov 2014
Departure Date: 29 Nov 2014
Guest: 2 adults

I will be expecting to read from you soon and also have
alternative date.
please email me back with the total price and also hope we dont have
to pay additional cost..

Sincerely..
Françoise & Marie José Garnier

Thank you very much for getting back to me and I am very happy that you are able to rent your accommodation to us,my wife and I we are presently in Spain and we going to be here for couple of more weeks I will Instruct my partner to send Crédit Agricole Cheque for 3900Euros its will covers for both the holiday and travel expenses base on trust,As soon as you have receive the Crédit Agricole Cheque, you would have it deposited into you account with negotiation process for clearance, you would deduct the full payment for the rental fee and i will tell you how to send our trip expenses to our traveling agent in London there after.

For the payment to be sent i will need to have the details below.

Your Name...
Full address:
City:
Zip code
Country :
Mobile
Telephone Number :

Arrival Date: 8th Nov 2014
Departure Date: 29 Nov 2014
Guest: 2 adults.

Françoise & Marie José Garnier
24A avenue des Champs
Elysées Paris 75004
France.

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From a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted September 2014)

We have received the following scam email and would like to make other members aware. N.B. the telephone number give by 'Mr Cooper' is the same number given by a 'Mr Moore' in a previous post by another member in July this year (below).

Good Afternoon

Am Edward Cooper, I'm interested in rent your accommodation for 1 week

Arrival Date : 22 Nov 2014
Depart Date : 29 Nov 2014
People: Two Adult

Looking forward to read from you with the availability and the price of the booking
Mobile: +447053845468

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Con woman operating in Shropshire/Herefordshire/Mid Wales (Posted 8th September 2014)

We've been contacted by a holiday cottage owner in Mid Wales, warning our members of a con woman who has left her with £1100 in unpaid rent and phone bills. The lady goes by the names of Norma Hartley-Porter, Elizabeth Hartley-Porter or Norma Whitehead and she has previously been jailed for fraud in 2011.

In this latest incident (July 2014) Norma paid for the first week by cheque, which cleared successfully. She then asked to stay on for a further 3 weeks in August, allegedly while waiting for a hip operation and for the purchase of a house to go through. She sent a cheque for the additional 3 weeks which bounced, followed by another cheque from her other bank account which also bounced. Llandrindod Wells police have been informed and are now investigating.

Norma Hartley-Porter has targeted Shropshire businesses before, in 2011, and we ask our members to remain vigilant. If she tries to contact you we advise that you contact the police immediately.

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From a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted July 2014)

We had a Mr and Mrs Moore contact us by email as set out below. Although the first email dated 10th July looked to be OK, after sending Mr Moore a 3rd email on the 14th July 2014 saying we would only accept the booking payment, we have not heard from him since. We would like to inform other members that this is likely to be a scam.

First email received 10th July 2014:

Hello,
I am Mr Moore, Me and my wife will like to book your accommodation for our next holiday in your in region for the following date:
Arrival Date: 20 September 2014
Departure Date: 27 September 2014
Guest: 2 adults
I will be looking forward to read back form you with the availability of the accommodation and let me also inform you that we are open to a change of date if you do not have it free for the date that we have chosen, I am waiting for your immediate response.
Regards
Tel: +447053845468.
Mr Moore

Second email received 14th July 2014:

Dear Sir, Madam,
Thank you very much for getting back to me and i am very happy that you are able to rent your accommodation to us, we are okay with the price, so i will like you to reserve the accommodation for us for the following date: Arrival Date: 13 September 2014
Departure Date: 20 September 2014
Guest: 2 adult
Price: £365.00

The payment would be made to you by our company French associate who has promise to pay for our holiday expenses which include the rental fee, our Flight and B.T.A (Basic Travel Allowance)fee, And they have make us understand that the payment will be made to you with a French Cheque which will take a few days to clear in your place.

The French Cheque that you will receive would be in excess, has Our travel expenses which include our B.T.A (Basic Travel Allowance) fee will be included with the rental fee base on trust. As soon as you have receive the French Cheque, you would have it deposited into you account for clearance, you would deduct the full payment for therental fee and i will tell you how to send our trip expenses to our traveling agent, After the French Cheque have been cleared in your account.

I will appreciate if you can get back to me with the following information that will be need by our company business associate to make the payment out to you, so that you can receive the payment as soon as possible:

Full Name on French Cheque:
Full address:
City:
Zip code
Country :
Telephone Number :

I would be very glad if you can be of a helping hand, I will be looking forward to read back from you with the information needed above.

Best Regards
Mr & Mrs Moore

Third email received on 14th July 2014:

Hello

I would have prefer the method of payment you suggested if i am the one paying for the trip but you don't need to worry cause i have already spoken with the head of our company and he said that the payment can only be made via euro check and am promising you that you that there will be no problem as it will take few working days to clear in your bank and i will like to also inform you that the bank charges will be deduct from the payment, so i will appreciate if you can do this for me with good faith,so make sure you get back to me with the details below so that you can receive the French Cheque via post mail :

Full Name on French Cheque:
Full address:
ZIP Code:
city:
Country :
Telephone Number :

Looking forward to hear from you with the details so that you can
receive the payment by next week.

Thanks
Mr & Mrs Moore

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From a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted July 2014)

A member has warned us about a suspicious booking received recently. Here are the two emails which she has received:

1st email:

Subject: Holiday vacation Rental From Canada & Payment.....

My Name is Zubi Nicky am from Canada My wife and I are interested in your property for the date below.
Check in Date..13th Sept 2014
Check Out 20th Sept 2014.
Could you email me back with the total price for the rentals. I will
be waiting to hear from you soon.
Kind Regards
Zubi Nicky
ON L4TDA
Canada

2nd email:

Subject: Holiday vacation Rental From Canada & Payment.....

Holiday vacation Rental From Canada & Payment.....
Am very glad to have your mail,Its going to be great pleasure staying in your property well my wife and I have decided to send the payment as fast as possible probably this week and its going to get to you in just few days,The payment will be issued via cheque to your residential address.
The payment will be sent to you in certified euros cheque as it would take Canadian Cheque 40 days to pass clearance at the bank Therefore, my sweet and lovely wife will be instructing her associate to send you certified euros cheque, which you will receive within 2 to 3 days at your address.Upon receiving the Cheque have it deposited on your account and it also takes 5 days for the cheque to be cleared and credited on your account and which is fast and reliable..Please Note The Payment will be in Excess and the Excess payment will be for our flight Travel arrangement's but dont worry my wife will handle and everything will be perfect.....
The below payment info is needed for the cheque to be issued out to you :
Your Full Name..........
Home Address..........
Moblie Number..........
Land Phone Number..........
Office Number..........
Amount....
I will be waiting to have the payment details as requested and we hope to have a nice moment during our holiday at your property.
I hope you and your family are doing good.
Kind Regards..
Zubi Nicky

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From a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted May 2014)

We have received a call from a concerned Shropshire Tourism member today (21st May) which they believe to be a scam. They have been contacted by a man calling himself John Christ from Gas Companies PLC. Address: 14 Hermitage Drive, Morningside, Edinburgh. He pays you with what appears to be a valid bank draft (it isn't) and pays you too much. You are then asked to pay back the overpayment. Other members, please be aware.

Update (Posted July 2014)

The address that John Christ is using, purporting to be the premises of Gas Companies PLC (14 Hermitage Drive, Morningside, Edinburgh) is actually a residential address and the resident of this property is not involved in the scam.

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From a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted March 2014)

A member has informed us of a suspicious enquiry, similar to the Greek Priests scam. The emails sent are as follows:

1st email:

Hello,
Am Liam Benjamin am from New Zealand my wife and i
will like to book your property for the date below.

Check in Date..7th June 2014..
Check Out Date 14th June 2014.

1,Total price for the Holiday with the utilities???
2,Can we use Laptop in your property???
3,Can we have visitor during our Holiday???

We have booked 2 Laptops that we will be using during our stay,
I will like to know if we can use the Laptops.
Please email me back with details and everything will be perfect.

Thank you in advance.
Best regards.
935 Victoria Street,
Hamilton 3 6722
New Zealand
cutiestroller@outlook.com

2nd email:

Hello,
Am happy to have your mail,We Love England,everything is OK by me and i must confess to you that am really pleased staying in your property i have decided that i will be sending the payment before we arrived so that you can confirmed our booking.

Am OK with the asking price for the rentals its alright,its impossible for me to send a Check from New Zealand my Bank said its its will take like 60 Days to be cleared and i have contacted my Client in Europe and the check will be issued out in Euros which will be cleared and credited to your account and which is fast and reliable its will be perfect in just few days...

We have set out plans for the holiday,And also i have instructed my client to send a Check in Euros The Check will be in excess for both the holiday and also for the Laptops we booked from the Seller.Upon receiving the Check have it deposited,And when you have deposited and the money is credited,you take the payment for the rent while the remaining money will be for the Laptops.

The Laptops will be delivered the same day we check in to your property and everything will be perfect...if you are willing to contact the seller you can always get in touch with on the mail salesmail2001@gmail.com

The below payment info is needed for the Check to be issued out to you:

Your Full Name..........
Home Address..........
Mobile Number..........
Land Phone Number..........
Office Number..........

Thank you in advance.
Best regards.
935 Victoria Street,
Hamilton 3 6722
New Zealand

Be wary of domain name sales calls (Posted February 2014)

A few of our members have been in touch after being contacted by a company claiming they are registering domains (website addresses) on Shropshire Tourism's behalf.

This is not the case.

In one instance a business was quoted £200+VAT for this company (Easy Domains UK) to register a new domain name for them. We successfully secured it for just £15+VAT! Please don't be taken in. If you are interested in purchasing a new domain name contact us directly on 01743 261919 or email enquiries@shropshiretourism.co.uk

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False Travellers Cheques Scam, from Shrewsbury Visitor Information Centre (Posted January 2014)

"We have just taken a call from a self catering unit in Grinshill who wanted us to let you know and other accommodation providers of a scam involving travellers cheques. A booking was made and the person paid by travellers cheques overpaying by a few hundred pounds then requesting the change back and the travellers cheques are false."

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Greek Priest Scam (Posted December 2013)

Please be aware that the Greek Priest Scam maybe doing the rounds again....

Greetings,

I wish to make room reservation on behalf of 4 reverends from Greece, they will be visiting for a five (7) days religious program in your country in the month of February. I would like to reserve two double rooms or any other room type to accommodate them for the following dates:

To check-in on 12th to 19th February inclusive (7night's total).

Names of the Priests;

Rev. Fr. Barsabbas Zotikos
Rev. Fr. Karpos Stylianos
Rev. Fr. Iaeiros Tarasios
Rev. Fr. Bartholomaios Yiannis

We look forward to arrive at your location on 12th of February and the time is flexible.
Please could you confirm this reservation in replying with your quotes/offer, then we can make a deposit to secure the rooms.

Thank you for your time, and look forward to your reply.

Kind regards,

Rev.Patrick Shaw

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From a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted October 2013)

Dr De Sousa

One of our members brought this latest warning to our attention that they had a Dr Conrad de Sousa book in at the weekend. To cut a long story short, he left without paying. The credit card details that were taken via laterooms are blocked. After performing a Google search on him it would appear that he is a complete fraud. The Daily Mail did quite a piece on him! He is not a Dr at all and has been in prison for two and a half years for all sorts of reasons. He is an Indian gentleman who was very well spoken.

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'The Advertising Protection Agency' (TAPA) Scam (Posted October 2013)

A Shropshire Tourism member who was a victim of the UK Business Directory Scam (see below) has since been contacted by TAPA ('The Advertising Protection Agency') offering to help them by registering the business on a list so scammers won't contact them in the future - for a fee of course. They too are scammers working in collaboration with the first team. Please be aware.

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UK Business Directory Scam (Posted September 2013)

We have received a phone call today from a Shropshire Tourism member who has just been conned out of £2,500. Please be aware that this awful Business Directory scam is still doing the rounds (see previous warnings below, posted in September, October & November 2012).

On this occasion, the B&B received a phone call saying they owed £1,987.00 for advertising with Business Directory, from a verbal agreement they had entered into for 3 years. The conman said they were debt collectors and if they didn't pay they would be taken to court and the bailiffs would be sent. He gave them the name of their 'Collecting Manager' Jonathan Taylor Tel 07743648205 and the name 'Mr Shepherd' from Doorstep Recovery, Tel 0800890755 (both these lines are now dead).

The B&B was told they could pay the money into a holding account to stop the bailiffs; however, this would not be debited until the matter had been resolved. Unfortunately once the money was paid into the account it was immediately withdrawn by the scammers and the B&B is now unable to reach them.

These phone calls are often very threatening in nature. They may say they have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against you, and that they are sending in the bailiffs, as they have in this case. These companies have appeared under various names over the years including World Business Directory, EU Business Directory, UK Business Directory, UK Debt Recovery...

The scammers will typically insist one or more of the following:

  • the entry is due for renewal (even if you have never paid before)
  • you have paid for the service before
  • you have already agreed to purchase the directory entry
  • they have spoken to one of your colleagues already
  • it is a "free" web listing, but the paid listing is in the print version
  • They may also claim that you owe thousands of pounds arising from renewals from an agreement you made years ago.

Our B&B member would like other businesses to be aware of this scam so no-one else is conned. Shropshire Tourism urges you to be on your toes and if in doubt, call us on 01743 261919. Please do not be taken in by this scam.

You should also report it to Trading Standards (Tel: 0345 678 9000) and the Police (Tel: 101).

If you can get a contact name and telephone number from the 'debt collection agency' please give these to the authorities.

If you have paid out money, it is also worth contacting the Citizens Advice Bureau on 08444 991100.

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PLEASE BE AWARE (Posted Septemeber 2013)

A woman named Annie Cooke (real name Samantha Cooke) has been staying in Shrewsbury B&B's and leaving without paying, and on occasion taking keys with her.

Over the past week the woman, aged approximately 25, 5 foot 5inches, with long light brown hair, has stayed in two town centre gust houses and has attempted to stay in two others. She is stating that she needs to stay in Shrewsbury as her Aunt is currently in the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

It has been discovered that she is a convicted criminal and still in her probationary period. Please see article below.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2053658/Woman-conned-childless-couple-savings-posing-surrogate-mother.html

We urge businesses in the area to be on their guard, and if she does check in with you to call the police immediately.

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From a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted August 2013)

A member has made us aware of two enquiries she has received which she believes may be money laundering scams. Both enquiries involved long stays, with no real attempt made to book through the usual channels, and odd information given about where their finances may be originating from. The initial emails sent are as follows:

Hello,
I would like to make reservation as follows .

Date of Arrival : 02th of May. 2013
Date of Departure : 14th of May. 2013
Number people : 2 person .
Purpose of traveling : Relaxation

Please do send us all necessary required information and the total price
details.Its just for me and my wife..

Yours Faithful.
Paul Palmer.
bulldogxhome@yahoo.com

Second email reads:

Hello,
I would like to make reservation as follows .

Date of Arrival : 02th of Nov 2013
Date of Departure : 14th of Feb. 2014
Number people : 2 person .
Long Vacations.

Please do send us all necessary required information and the total price details.Its just for me and my wife..

Yours Faithful.
Frederic Vincent.
eforce_ssnigltd@yahoo.com

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From a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted August 2013)

"We had a gentleman called Mr Carl Williams who was a walk in on Monday, he gave his home address as 21 Caer-Haf Summer hill Wrexham. He is driving a red golf registration R39 NCN (though he put 9 as the last digit on his check in form). He gave a debt card which is valid and registered to someone of that name at that address.

He advises that he is a engineer working in the area, and while he has given card details his boss was to be in at the end of the week for a night who would pay the bill. He ran up a reasonable Bar & Restaurant tab on the Monday night and stayed around the hotel all day Tuesday saying that his job had been delayed by a day.

While he was a very friendly chap and talked a lot he said very little, but what he did say didn't not stand up, so yesterday afternoon/evening we pressed him for payment and he was unable to get hold of his boss.

It was all going to be sorted this morning first thing and while we withdraw all facilities we let him stay last night.

It came as no surprise that he left this morning without settling his account and his card has been declined.

While we have naturally reported him to the police we suspect he is from Wrexham and has lost his home/been kicked out and has been sleeping in his car working this trick. So I very much suspect he will try it again with someone locally/ tonight tomorrow."

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From a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted July 2013)

Several members have informed us of an enquiry they received from Alevtina Nalimova which they believe to be a scam. They would like other members to be made aware.

The email enquiry:

Good day!

My name is Alevtina Nalimova.

My husband, I and our children want to arrive in your city on vacation. Our friends advised us to be stopped at your city. They were just happy when they visited your city. Wonderful landscape, crisp air, remarkable atmosphere, friendly people - by such words your city was described us. I want that we spent in your city the wonderful time and got a lot of positive emotions. I want to get acquainted with the traditions, customs and culture of your country. I want that our children were very happy and satisfied. We want, that this the trip for a long time went down in memory us and our children. We are very pleased that we are going to visit your city.

I want to ask you, if my request possible for you, please send us with a family slightly information about your city and some gifts of your city that to inspire us and our children on a forthcoming journey. It can be T-shirts, magnets on the fridge, key chains, coins for our collection, toys for our children or other things with your symbols for me with my husband. Maybe it would be things related to your traditions, customs and culture. We will be very pleased and happy. We will think about that soon visit your beautiful city.

Our address:
Gagarina 3-74
Degtyarsk, Sverdlovsk region, Russia
Postcode 623271

We hope that we really like at your city and we will come to you again and again. Also, we will recommend and advise your city to our relatives, colleagues, friends who have not been at your city yet.

I hope I didn't make you weary with my requests. I hope for you. Thank you.

Best regards,
Alevtina Nalimova

****

From a Shropshire Tourism member (Posted July 2013)

A member has informed us of an enquiry they received from Eng Masai Nelson which they believe to be a scam. They would like other members to be made aware.

The email enquiry:

How are you today?

Do get back to me if you have accommodation for 2 couples coming for their honey moon at your property,I would like you to get back to me with the following required details.

1. The availability of the dates
2. The Daily cost for the required dates
3. The total cost for the length of their stay of the 2 couples.
4. Do you accept credit card payment?

The arrival date for the couples will be 10th September,and they will leave on 20th September,Their stay for their honeymoon will last for 10 days.
Do get back to me with the requirements as stated above.

Kindest
Regards
Eng Masai Nelson

****

From a concerned Shropshire Tourism member (Posted June 2013)

"We were notified about this nasty scam doing the rounds yet again yesterday.
One of accommodation proprietors was reduced to tears by this nasty bully demanding immediate card payment or bank details for an 'old debt' for advertising.
This time the call was from a woman called Katrina who claimed to be calling on behalf of 'Google Search'.
A family member contacted Google to make enquiries, and of course it was a lie.
These people are very threatening and convincing. I attach all the information about the company which has been passed to us by the family.
The family have passed the matter to the police. "

Further to our earlier conversation, the company involved was National Business Numbers, the quoted e-mail address is: contact@nationalbusinessnumbers.co.uk

The lady was called Katrina and she phoned on 0131-5101299.

The debt was meant to be for linking our web site to the Google search engine, so that our web page appeared on the first page of Google results. The debt was meant to be from 12 months ago, and was to include last year's listing and this years for £359.99. I contacted Google yesterday who were very helpful, and told me that our website was not linked to Google by any other directory.

This obnoxious company have hassled my Mum yesterday and today for payment by card or BACS, they can be very convincing and appear to know the right things to say.

I have spoken to this woman this morning, I challenged her to justify her claims and in the end she put the phone down on me. I Googled this company only to be met with a list of horror stories on Martin Lewis' Money saving Expert website.

This company seem to thrive on chasing old debts - where people can't quite remember if they took out the initial listing as it was reported as being 1 - 2 years ago.

Can you please let all of your contact group know about this company and their horrid activities. Please tell them under no circumstances should they pay anything without first having an invoice, and if they are suspicious about anything then Google the company name and see what it brings up.

Also be aware of any company's offering to give a refund over the phone and asking for card details and security code, as they will just take money off these cards.

There are some horrible people out there with no scruples or morals, who are out to con honest hard working people, and cause mither and much upset. How do these people sleep at night?

Many thanks.

****

From a concerned Shropshire Tourism member, who would like to make other businesses aware of this scam email (Posted May 2013)

"Please see below the e-mail scam which we have received this afternoon. It didn't ring true with me so I checked out the details on Google and very similar details came up on a scam warning website for hotel bookings. I have not replied"

On Mon 20th May at 12:19, Kelvin Coleman wrote:
Hello,

I want to inquire about the rooms reservation for 6 people from 21st to 27th of July, 2013.

The information that I request are as follows:
Arrival date: 21st July
Departure date: 27th July
number of guests: 6
number of rooms :3
Get back to me if you have opening for reservation during my stated date.

Warm Regards,

Kelvin Coleman
19 St. Vincent Street
Glasgow
G2 5NW
Scotland
+447012916587

****

From a concerned Shropshire Tourism member (Posted May 2013)

"I too have been SCAMMED. I have spoken to a Hayley, Mellissa, Daniel and Andrew from Home Counties Herald. Advert cost £60 to advertise in Home Counties Herald paper issue 7. I wanted a copy of the paper (that I had to chase). I did, however, say to them that I was getting feelings that the company was not a real newspaper and did say to them that I would report them. I eventually got a copy of paper, but my advert had someone else's accommodation, but it did have the right write up. I rang 02476 559579 and spoke to Andrew and said that I was not happy and would like this matter sorted. Melissa George rang back. She came across helpful and sorted the matter out. She sent me an email saying that she would re-advertise FOC for publication to go out 25th April. This all seemed fine and I have emails to confirm this. I tried to get a copy of the newspaper with new advert. There has been nothing and I can't even phone them has the number does not receive incoming calls and they are not responding to my email.
I will be getting in contact with the Trading Standards."

In addition the member said that the following numbers are now not recognised:

02476 220733
02476 559579
01332 292006

As with previous advice, agree to nothing until you know what it's about and pay nothing unless you have evidence of a signed contract.

****

From a Shropshire Tourism member who received the following scam emails and would like other businesses to be aware (posted May 2013)

First Email:

On Sun, May 5, 2013 at 5:22 PM, chris gibson wrote:
Greetings,

I wish to make room reservation on behalf of 4 reverend from Greece, they will be visiting for a five (5) dayS religious program in your country in the month of june.
I would like to reserve 2 double rooms or any other room type to accommodate them for the following dates:
To check-in on 10th to 15th June inclusive (5 night's total).
Names of the Priest;

Rev. Fr. Barsabbas Zotikos
Rev. Fr. Karpos Stylianos
Rev. Fr. Iaeiros Tarasios
Rev. Fr. Bartholomaios Yiannis

We look forward to arriving at your location on 10th of june.
Please could you confirm this reservation in replying with your quotes, then we can make a deposit to secure the rooms.

Thank you for your time, and look forward to your reply.

Kind regards,

Rev.Chris

Second Email:

Thanks for your reply. I am glad to confirm that the cost and conditions of your service offer are acceptable by the guest and they have agreed and am willing to make a deposit payment immediately. Because the reverends do not speak your local language, I have arranged this with a linguist who is willing to undertake these responsibilities on their behalf and she will also take care of some of their other travel logistics like flight tickets, travel insurance for the Guest etc.

PAYMENT PROCEDURES

Payment will be made with credit card because, all funds for this booking has been credited to my credit card.You will be authorized to charge from my credit card 50% deposit for your service plus £7,850 for the translator, I really need you to make the charges for the Translator as she does not have a credit card facilities (POS machines.)

The terms are 50% deposit now and 50% on or before the week of arrival.

You will charge £7,850 (translator fee) plus 50% deposit for your service and pass on the balance to the translator to enable her make other arrangements as explained in my above email.

I understand that you pay a surcharge to your credit card company on the amount of the transaction,I confirm we are willing to pay the surcharge.

Please confirm the charges as below:
1.50% deposit for your service=.................£
2.Translator Fees :......................................£7,850
3.Bank% charge on card(surcharge):.......£
TOTAL...........................................................£

I will send you my credit card details when I receive your confirmation email, so that you would charge as agreed and authorized by the Guests and I also hope the visit of the guest will be made comfortable.

Looking forward to your reply.

Regards,

Chris

****

From a Shropshire Tourism self catering member (Posted March 2013)

A member has informed us of an enquiry they received from Paul Palmer (using email addresses bulldogxhome@yahoo.com) and jefmessi234@gmail.com) which they believe to be a scam. They would like other members to be made aware.

Original enquiry as follows:

Date of Arrival : 02th of May. 2013
Date of Departure : 14th of May. 2013
Number people : 2 person .
Purpose of traveling : Relaxation

Please do send us all necessary required information and the total price details. Its just for me and my wife..

Yours Faithful.
Paul Palmer.
bulldogxhome@yahoo.com

Further correspondence was then entered into, in which 'Paul' ignored requests from the self catering business asking him to confirm how they were going to receive payment and to complete a booking form from their website.

"In hindsight we thought this was a scam but gave Mr Palmer the benefit of the doubt and we now think that all he wanted was our personal details, also the cottages full address for what ever reason as,

  1. This is the first time that any enquirer has asked for so much information when all contact details are on our website.
  2. He never started his emails with our name and our name was on each email we sent him. Usually after the enquirer is sent an email reply they reply back using our name.
  3. On each email he only mentioned the £2500 budget - Why?
  4. No mention of returning the booking form or gave any information regarding payment when requested.
  5. His replies were bits copied from his first email.
  6. Why would he put new on "Our new home address"

Here is our new home address.
37a Donnacona,
Dollard-des-Ormeaux,
Greater Montreal Area
Quebec.

Sam and I would like to say that if any other establishments receive an email from this Paul Palmer from Quebec, we would say "Not to waste your time" like we have done and we have come to the conclusion he is only interested in getting your personal details. Which by the way we did not give him."

****

From a Shrewsbury based Guest House (Posted 22nd March 2013)

A member has informed us of a guest they had to stay, by the name of Miss Auriga Amber (or formerly known as Dorothy).

She stayed for 4 weeks and paid with a cheque which bounced. The owners were able to obtain cash payment, but with some difficulty.

The lady is around 70 years old, of African descent, approximately 5 feet 3 inches tall, with short curly grey hair and is very well spoken. She is also of no fixed address.

The member wishes other member businesses to be made aware.

****

From a concerned Shropshire Tourism member (Posted March 2013)

Please let everyone know about this, 'Adam Deans' asks you to send an invoice including his £1,400 commission (which he will no doubt want paid before any guests appear). -

"Hello,

I will be interested to know if you could assist me in getting an accomodation for the group of company that are coming to your country for business trip. Below is the details of my booking:

Jose Montoya (Single Room)
Mark Kurtz (Single Room)
Michell Fabstein (Single Room)
Maria Polivka (Single Room)

Number of Guest: 4
Date of Arrival: August 14 2013
Date of Departure: August 27 2013

For prompt action we would be very grateful if you can send with the total cost for of the accommodation to effect the whole night charges to effect the prepayment and the following details:

1. TOTAL COST FOR THE ACCOMMODATION (In $USD , EURO OR BRITISH POUNDS ) 2.FULLMAILING/POSTAL ADDRESS OF HOTEL 3. CONTACT NAME 4. TELEPHONE NUMBER

Awaiting your response.
Best Regard
Adam Deans"

****

From Visit Wales (Posted 21st November 2012)

A man called my mother in law claiming to be from a debt recovery service working on behalf of Bed & Breakfast Nationwide.

He tried to demand £12,000 for unpaid advertising revenue since 2010. Came across as urgent and authoritative. Claimed that bailiffs would be there within the hour to take goods to the value owed.

On further questioning the amount was reduced to £3k if paid immediately into a bank account. Luckily my mother in law did not pay anything but was very upset as they were very persistent.

Bed & Breakfast Nationwide in this website associate to the 'Little Green Book'. I called them and they are aware that this scam has been going on in Devon & Cornwall and have been using their name to try to obtain money fraudulently.

Has been reported to Gwent Police who are investigating further.

As with previous advice, agree to nothing until you know what it's about and pay nothing unless you have evidence of a signed contract.

****

From Welshpool Tourist Information Centre (Posted 21st November 2012)

Hi, I've just had a concerned B&B owner on the telephone warning of another call centre scam. A lady spoke to him and said that in August he had agreed to sponsor a booklet about drug awareness for use in schools - to the amount of £180! Although he denied any knowledge of either receiving such a phone call or agreeing to part with £180, she was very insistent and only backed off when he asked for proof. He wanted to make others aware of this new angle that callers are using to extort money. If you could forward this e-mail around, he would be very grateful.
Kind Regards, Welshpool TIC.

As with previous advice, agree to nothing until you know what it's about and pay nothing unless you have evidence of a signed contract.

****

UK Business Directory Scam (Posted 1st November 2012)

Update 16th November 2012: Another contact name that the scammers are using is Lawrence Matthews and now seem to be targeting the North Shropshire / Staffordshire area.

If you have paid out money, it is worth contacting the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Shropshire Tourism has received several phone calls from worried members who have been contacted by a debt collecting agency claiming several thousand pounds for an unpaid bill.

This agency is now reportedly using Shropshire Tourism's name and saying they are acting on our behalf. Please be assured that this is a scam and is nothing to do with Shropshire Tourism.

Our advice is to report this to Trading Standards (Tel: 0345 678 9000) and the Police (Tel: 101).

If you can get a contact name and telephone number from the 'debt collection agency' please give these to the authorities.

About these Scams

Unfortunately these phone calls are often threatening in nature. They may say they have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against you, and that they are sending in the bailiffs.

These companies have appeared under various names over the years including World Business Directory, EU Business Directory, UK Business Directory, UK Debt Recovery...

The scammers will typically insist one or more of the following:

  • the entry is due for renewal (even if you have never paid before)
  • you have paid for the service before
  • you have already agreed to purchase the directory entry
  • they have spoken to one of your colleagues already
  • it is a "free" web listing, but the paid listing is in the print version

They may also claim that you owe thousands of pounds arising from renewals from an agreement you made years ago.

Read about one Shropshire Tourism members experience below:

31st October 2012: Email received from Judy Harvey, The Green Holiday Barns, Wheathill, Bridgnorth

"Here is a warning to all members of Shropshire Tourism! READ YOUR NEWSLETTERS, ESPECIALLY THE WARNINGS! I did not the last time, so when I was contacted by UK Debt Recovery this afternoon, threatening the bailiffs unless I paid £12,947-25p that was owing from an unpaid bill for adverts in the Business Directory, stretching back to 2010, I was thrown into a panic and could not believe what I was hearing ! I was supposed to have entered into a three- year contract, but had not set up a direct debit, so the debt had built up. I was helpfully given the number of a James Marshall from Business Directory whom I should call straight away to cancel the contract and "see what could be done".

I called the number and talked to the man on the other end who wanted me to pay him 50% of the debt (so that the contract could be cancelled) by telephone or internet banking. When I said that I didn't use either, he suggested that I pop along to the bank and pay. When I pointed out that it was 4.15 pm and the bank would be shut, he began to bluster and at that point I handed the phone to my husband who told him we wanted to see some proof that I had signed a contract and ended the call.

To cut a long and distressing story short, I contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau who directed me to the National Debt Line, Trading Standards, and the Police - all of whom were most helpful and reassuring and said it was a scam. Had I read all of your last newsletter I could have saved myself a couple hours of worry and long phone calls. I have learnt my lesson!"

****

October 2012

A member has called us advising us that she was approached by a debt collecting agency claiming several thousand pounds for an unpaid bill for an entry in the Business Directory. In this case she had not agreed to any entry, asked for a copy of the contract with her signature on and refuted the bill.

However two pieces of advice:

If anyone claims money for an unpaid advert/bill/contract ensure they can provide you with evidence that you actually entered into the contract. Usually your signature on a hard copy document, but it could also be an email from you.

Secondly be aware that there are numerous Directory type scams which offer 'free' adverts or listings but the small print may well commit you to a long term contract and at very high charges indeed. So sign nothing unless you are entirely happy with the contract and always read (and re-read!) the small print and keep the phrase 'there is no such thing as a free lunch' in the back of your mind.

****

An email from Oswestry Mile End Visitor Information Centre:

17th September 2012

Good Afternoon,
We wanted to pass this to you for your information. It happened to one of our accommodation providers last Friday

"I had a threatening phone call on Friday, as soon as I answered the phone a man said that the bailiffs were on there way, I must tell all my guests to leave as they were coming to board up the property. As you can imagine I was very scared, I told him that I would call the police, he told me that the police would be with the bailiffs and said he was from Business Direct and that I owed £7.000. Because I would not pay he said that he would take me to court for £73.000. I called the police and they are now looking into this scam, there is even a false web page, the phone calls came from abroad and I an letting you know because I would hate for these people to scare and bully anyone into giving them there credit card details or for anyone to loose any business."

We understand that if this does happen you should contact the police immediately and refuse to have any dialogue with these callers.

****

A member has informed us that she had a guest stay at her B&B and leave without paying.

He goes by the name of Gary Hillgroves and his wife booked for him to stay for 3 nights, and asked for a discount, which was given. The gentleman arrived the same day and asked to pay by card, but when told they didn't accept card he said he would post a cheque. A week later the cheque still hasn't arrived.

He left very early before the owners were able to see him off. His car registration was PE04 VCD, the member thinks it was a Renault Clio but is a little unsure.

He had mentioned he lived and owned a business in Liverpool and during his stay he was delivered a parcel which she thinks was addressed to another name (Jackson).

The member wishes other member businesses to be made aware of this.

****

A member has informed us of a guest they had to stay, by the name of Elizabeth Porter (full name Norma Hartley Porter)

She stayed for 25 days paid cash for the first 15 days and then paid by cheque for the final 10, which has since bounced.

The lady is 67 years old and a former school teacher. She is apparently still in the area.

The member wishes other member businesses to be made aware.

****

Wyvern Media - Proceed with Caution

One or two members have expressed concern that they have placed adverts with Wyvern Media and have had problems with unauthorised payments being taken, and some uncertainty about when their adverts may appear.

Discover Shropshire - Advisory Warning

A few of our members have advised us that they have received an unsolicited telephone call from a company trying to sell web entries on a 'Discover Shropshire' website.

They say that they are working in conjunction with Shropshire Tourism and this is not the case. We do not know who this company is, so pleased be advised. We have also been notified that www.discovershropshire.com are not involved either.

Whenever Shropshire Tourism is working in partnership with another organisation we will always notify you as appropriate, so if anyone is purporting to work with us it is always worthwhile checking with us first. Call us on 01743 261919.

A member has informed us of a guest they had to stay, by the name of Neil Styan from Ripon, Yorkshire.

He stayed for 2 weeks and paid by cheque, which has since bounced.

The member wishes other member businesses to be made aware.

Merseyside Police    

Hi all, 

This has been passed on via another Force area through our own Fraud Department In Wiltshire Constabulary, and it is a very convincing SCAM.
We have been asked to disseminate the information as widely and was quickly as we can through Neighbourhood Watch, School Safe and others.

This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.. One of our employees was called on Wednesday from "VISA", and I was called on Thursday from "MasterCard". The scam works like this: Person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank) did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for £497.99 from a Marketing company based in London ?" When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a
company we have been watching and the charges range from £297 to £497, just under the £500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?" You say "yes". The caller continues - "I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 0800 number listed on the back of your card (0800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"

Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works the caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card." He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers." There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" After you say, "No," the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card number .

But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of £497.99 was charged to our card. Long story - short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card.  Don't give it to them . Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or MasterCard directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a "Jason Richardson of MasterCard" with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening .

Please pass this on to all your family and friends.. By informing each other, we protect each other.

PLEASE BE AWARE

31st May 2011

One of our members has advised us of a guest who stayed with her last night and left without paying. She would like to warn other members. Information is as follows:

She calls herself Kim Swann 47 Woodfield Lane, Harton, Leeds, LS14 6NR.

She arrived on the doorstep on 30th May 2011 and stayed for one night.

She gave a car gave registration of a Red Renault no. as AV05 ZNG, although now suspects this was a neighbours car parked outside the B&B that she had purely copied to fill in the visitors book.

She cleaned out the room, taking all toiletries, towels and contents of beverage tray. Also took the room key and a front door key so the member will need to replace the lock and all keys.

The description of the woman is mid 20's, slim build, ethnic mixed race, maybe Indian/white origin. Jet black hair and eyebrows, height around 5'6". Said she was visiting friends in the area whom she could not stay with as their daughter was ill.

If you come across this woman we would advise you to contact the police.

PLEASE BE AWARE

23rd April 2011: A member has informed us of the following email they have received that they suspect may be a scam.

Good day ****,
Thanks for your reply. I am glad to tell you that the cost and conditions of your offer are acceptable by the guests and they are willing to make a deposit immediately. Due to there acceptance, I have also concluded payment with them.
I have been instructed to pay you for your services and The provision of a language translator who would be able to translate every word to them because they are Chinese and do not speak your local language. I have arranged this with a linguist who is willing to undertake these responsibilities on their behalf. He would be with them throughout their stay with you.
I will send you my credit card details when I receive your confirmation mail, so that you would charge as agreed and authorized by the guests. However upon the receipt of my credit card, Confirm that you will charge as follows:
Take 50% per person for the cost of your services, plus 6,500EUR for the Translator (linguist) from my card for his service, To enable him take care of other travel logistics like flight tickets, travel insurance, hiring of Vehicle and other traveling expenses for the Guests.
Then deduct your deposit and send the balance of 6,500EUR to the Translator. I really need you to make the charges for the Translator as he does not have a POS machines. Confirm this and provide me with the following:
-Your Company full name/address
- Name of the Manager/Owner
-Telephone and fax numbers
The names of the couples are:
1. Mr & Mrs Chung Chao
2. Mr & Mrs Huan Jing
3. Mr & Mrs Liu Ming-Hua
I also hope the stay of the couples will be made comfortable.
Looking forward to your reply.
Regards
Ken Philips.

PLEASE BE AWARE

A member has informed us of the following email they have received that they suspect may be a scam.

Hello, I am Dr. Nicolas Richardon ,the director of Staff welfare, I want to book dinner/accommodation and bandb for my group of workers .
They will all come for dinner in your place as from June 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th by 6:30pm each day.
They are 10 in number.Get back with your response if there is availability. As We will appreciate if you prepare a 3 course menu for my group for the dinner No special dietary.
We will be happy for any suggestion you may render since this is our first booking with you.
Kindly provide the total cost of the dinner for the 10 persons for the 4 nights dinner/accommodation if you have the availability so as to provide my credit card details for full payment confirmation.
Your response will be appreciated.
Kind Regards,
Dr. Nicolas Richardon
Mobile Number : +447045771018

FAX SCAM

A member business has received a fax from a Mike Woodman requesting information for rooms for a Wedding. It appears to be a scam as it asks you to call a 0871 9182 050 number or fax 0871 526 0297. The hotel wishes other member businesses to be aware of this.

PLEASE BE AWARE

Telephone number scam - added November 2011

Shropshire Tourism has received 2 separate emails from a Scott Deardon and Mark Whiston asking us to ring them to arrange a marketing consultation. We became suspicious when we received the second email and noticed that the wording was exactly the same as the first email and both telephone numbers started 07031 so we investigated and discovered the following...

Fraudsters are trawling through the Internet and reading a company's website and then sending a specific email to a business. For example, if you are a hotel they might send you an email asking if you have any rooms available. If you are a website design company they might send you an email asking how much a new website design costs and so on - very specific and designed to fool you into thinking they are a potential customer.

You will be charged different amounts per minute to ring an 070 number as they are premium numbers. If you receive a request from an 070 number our advice is to therefore ignore it.

PLEASE BE AWARE

A member has asked to warn other B&B's, self catering properties and hotels of a suspected counterfeit/fraudulent cheque.

Details of cheque are Clydesdale Bank. The lady enquires by email in the name of Taras Vicka taras3162@yandex.ua

PLEASE BE AWARE

A member has informed us of a couple they had to stay who left without paying.

Mr. & Mrs. David Waterhouse are in their fifties and drive a small silver car registration WIW6 363.

Mrs Waterhouse stayed in the room for 3 days saying she was not very well, and on the last day Mr Waterhouse left, leaving her behind with no money.

She is quite large with long dark hair and a fringe and he is stocky with short mousy coloured hair.

They also give several addresses in Crewe.

PLEASE BE AWARE

One of our member businesses has had a man stay at their hotel for the weekend who left without paying his bill and would like to inform other members.

He is calling himself Mr John Ronald Barnett, address, 6 Kingsley House, Knighton LD7 1AP

He booked for 2 nights (single room) but only stayed one night.

No car
Plastic bag - only luggage
Said his brother was paying the bill
Ordered a large bar meal but picked at the food.
Very chatty with other guests - who bought him a drink
Middle aged
Medium build
Dark greying hair
Local accent
Dirty
Beard
Said he was a part time chef at The George and Dragon
Said he wanted to go to Tenerife with his wife and set up a pie shop
Good teller of tales!

If you encounter this man please be cautious.

PLEASE BE AWARE

This email was received by one of our members, it appears to be a scam.

Good day,

I am Gary Baxter. A supervisor of wildlife research institute United Kingdom. I want to book hotel rooms for a group of workers that will be coming from the Sweden. We are 4 in number and will be coming for tourism in your area.

ARRIVAL DATE: 20Th August 2010
(Arriving time is not certain )
DEPARTURE DATE: 30TH August 2010
DINNER TIME : 7:00 PM EACH DAY

As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks i will make i will need to have the cost for their stay. Payment method;Hope you accept credit card as a mode of payment

All checks and balances will be made with you on 30th of August 2010 which is the final day of the booking.

For more information, please call me to discuss to discuss further as we don't have much time with us.

Thank you for your kind help in advance.

Kind Regards,
Gary Baxter
60, Rumford Rd,
E15 4BZ , London,
United Kingdom.
+447045701499

GREEK PRIESTS SCAM - UPDATE

Several of our members have been now approached by the 'Greek priests scam' which is currently working its way around the country.

An enquiry is made for a group of Greek priests who wish to make a room booking. They then pay you with what appears to be a valid credit card or even a bank draft and pay you too much. You are then asked to pay back the overpayment. The name the latest member has given to us is Edward Rogers and his email was eddyrger18@msn.com. If you do answer the email you may then receive a telephone call as our latest member did.

Regrettably scams like this are becoming increasingly common and the best advice remains, if you have any queries or concerns regarding an enquiry always proceed with caution and trust your instinct.

Please be Aware

We have received this email that appears to be a scam.

Hello,

How are you today?

I want to make a reservation in your facility for three couples from Hong Kong, on there forth-coming pre-season vacation and honeymoon.

Date :2nd to 11th August, 2010.
There are 3 couples.
1. Kindly get back to me with your total cost for 3 couples for the duration of 10 nights stay.
2. So that i can send you my Credit Card for immediate deposit.

Arrival Date: August 2nd, 2010.
Departure Date: August 11th, 2010.
Number Of People: 6
Number Of Rooms: 3

Kindest Regards
James Carl

PLEASE BE AWARE

We have been contacted by a member who had a guest stay by the name of Karen Flack.

She stayed with our member for 2 weeks until Friday 26th March and paid by cheque. The cheque has since bounced, having been raised on a closed account.

The member has spoken to the police and they are treating it as fraud as it appears the woman intention of paying.

She informed our member that she was going to rent a flat in Kidderminster, but again this may not be true.

She was driving a silver Vauxhall Astra reg. AM08 TJZ.

PLEASE BE AWARE

We have been contacted by a member who thinks the following may be a scam.

Hello,
My name is John Gilmore and I have clients from abroad requiring
accommodation. I will need to know if can accommodate 2 couples (4 adults)
arriving 5th December to depart 19th December. If you do have
availability,I will need you to address the following points;

  1. I will need you to send me the all inclusive cost for the accommodation
    of the 4 guests(2 couples) for the 2 weeks in December. And if the
    requested dates are unavailable,please be at liberty to suggest any
    alternative dates.
  2. Please let me know if you accept credit card payments because I am
    working out of UK and do not have access to banking facilities. I will pay
    by sending my credit card information on email or phone.
  3. I will also need some bookings to be made on behalf of the guests for
    some other external needs. These external needs will include things like
    car hire,meals, excursions and so on. For this,I will need contacts for
    the local tourist office to see if they can provide me with an agent that
    can handle these services.

Please get back to me with specific answers to the points above via
email. Please leave a message if you must call and also include your phone
and email in the message. I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind Regards, John Gilmore.
+447005947571
+447005-942-691 Fax
john.gilmore23@hotmail.com

GREEK PRIESTS SCAM

One of our members have been approached by the 'Greek priests scam' which is currently working its way around the country.

An enquiry is made for a group of Greek priests who wish to make a room booking. They then pay you with what appears to be a valid credit card or even a bank draft and pay you too much. You are then asked to pay back the overpayment.

Regrettably scams like this are becoming increasingly common and the best advice remains, if you have any queries or concerns regarding an enquiry always proceed with caution and trust your instinct.

THE FRASER FAMILY - WARNING ADDED 12/06/09

We have been contacted a member who has received a warning about a family who have just been evicted (by court order) from a self catering holiday establishment in Herefordshire.

The South African 'Fraser family' pay for a week and then stay indefinitely claiming that they have just sold a property and are looking for a new house. As the business was holiday cottages, there are no background/credit checks made and this is their way in.

Allegedly since the eviction, the 'Fraser family' have nowhere to go and may be looking for alternative accommodation.

They tend to move area slightly each time but because they are so infamous in this area, they may have to go further a field.

Their surname does change from time to time and there is the mother (Keresa), the father (Luc), the 34 year old son (Johnny) and 1 sometimes 2 daughters (Chiara and Tiga).

SHROPSHIRE TOURISM WEBSITE STATS

We have recently been contacted by one of our clients who received a telephone call from 'a man' claiming that they had paid £89.99 in April last year for a statistical analysis package on their website through Shropshire Tourism.

Please be advised that Shropshire Tourism do not charge extra for use of stats, it is included in the annual hosting package.

The 'man' was claiming that the stats are now provided by monthly emails. This is not the case.

Unfortunately, we do not have either a personal or company name, but when our client requested a copy of the alleged invoice, the call quickly ended.

If you are contacted in a similar manner, please do not pay anything over the telephone, but do try to get a company name so that we can investigate this further and pass details onto the police.

Regrettably scams like this are becoming increasingly common and the best advice remains, if you have any queries or concerns, check with us first and certainly do not pay over the telephone.

PLEASE BE AWARE

We have received an email from a Wiltshire Farmstay member concerning non paying guests in their self catering property. The guests stayed in the property for 9 months before the owners had to finally take them to court and they have been given until the end of April to leave.

The name is Fraser or Monti or sometimes Monti Fraser and they are white South African.

Just to make our Shropshire members aware.

SCAM

We have received an email from a member which we believe may be a scam.

Hello,

My name is Philip Watson a UK citizen,but currently in Honk Kong on a course training Program, i am writing this email on behalf of my Hong Kong friends cos they can't speak or write good English and as such they want you to prepare a five[5] days tour program in your facility for them, they are from Hong Kong and they are willing to pay and accept your offer.They are coming to your country for their first Pre-Season Vacation visit, they are just two couples:

Mr & Mrs Po Chui Yang{41 and 36yrs}

Mr & Mrs Fuhua Shirong {44 and 38yrs}

Arrival date: 22th March, 2009

Departure date: 29th March, 2009

Number of days:5 days

Number of Guest: 4.

Thus they will not be touring on their arrival and departure dates.

Confirm availability and get back to me with your rates and total cost so that i can give you my card details for a deposit payment. Am waiting for your reply.

Regards,
Philip.

Possible Scam

We have been forwarded the email below, which we believe to be a scam.

Greetings, I want to make a reservation in your facility for Six (6) newly ordained priests from Greece will be visiting your country for a seven(7)day religious program in the month of March 2009.

Arrival Date :12th April.2009
Departure Date:19th April....2009
Number of guest:6
Number of rooms:3

Kindly confirm availability and get back to me with cost so we can pay a deposit so that the rooms will be reserved for them,am waiting for your swift response.

A credit card detail would be sent to you when I receive your confirmatory mail so that you would charge, a part payment of 50% deposit as agreed/authorized by the delegates. This is to enable you secure the rooms for the period of time they would want to stay in your facility.

Furthermore, I have been instructed to pay for your accommodation, car hiring, other necessary travel arrangements and provision of a language translator who will be able to translate every language word to them because they are Greeks. I have arranged this with a translator who is willing to undertake these responsibilities on their behalf.she will be with them throughout the stay with you.

Sequel to this, once you receive the credit card details, you would be authorized to charge a total of £5,900 plus ,50% for your services and send the balance of £5,900 to the translator to enable her take care of some of our other travel logistics and also hire a Costar bus for them to easy their movement on time.

You are advised to charge the credit card because the translator does not have a credit card charging facility to put through these charge on the credit card. Her account does not support it.
Please confirm these directives and provide me with your details as below:

(1) YOUR FULL NAME
(2) ADDRESS
(3) PHONE NUMBERS

I also hope the stay of the delegates will be made comfortable.
Here is the name of the delegates;

  1. Rev Fr.Fred ZDZISLAW
  2. Rev Fr.Barnabas Zetzsche
  3. Rev Fr.Karl-Heinz Bartel
  4. Rev.Fr.Helga Schubbe
  5. Rev.Fr.Joe Roth
  6. Rev.Fr.Steve de Graeve

Please send their rooms allocation as soon as possible.

Beware of Defective Fire Safety Equipment

We have been advised by Visit Britain that there is a defect on some fire extinguisher products that are widely available.

For more details, please view the attached PDF document which lists those products affected.

Download Here

Latest Credit Card Scam

Members should be advised of a new credit card scam, whereby the scammers phone up as though from VISA or Mastercard to reinburse you from a fraudulent transaction. You give them the three digit code on the back of your card, and at that point money is taken from your card.

The scam works like this: The person calling says,

"This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank) did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for £497.99 from a Marketing company based in London?"

When you say "No", the caller continues with -

"Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from £297 to £497, just under the £500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives your address), is that correct?"

You say "yes". The caller continues -

"I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 0800 number listed on the back of you r card (0800-VISA) and ask for Security."

You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"

Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works the caller then says -"I need to verify you are in possession of your card." He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers."

There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" After you say, "No", the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up.

What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or MasterCard directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card!

If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

Beware of companies offering Web Domain Registrations

We have been contacted by a member who has been duped into paying over the odds for domain name registration, under the assumption that it would boost her ranking on the search engines. It will not.

Please remember domain names generally cost £20 - 40 with reputable registrars. Don't be duped and certainly don't pay any more than this.Shropshire Tourism can help you before you commit to any ongoing contract.

Shropshire Tourism offers members domain name registrations and website design and hosting solutions at very competitive rates - additionally our advice is often free. If in doubt, give us a call, it is better to ensure that you are not being duped.

NovaChannel AG

Please be aware that NovaChannel AG is doing the rounds again, asking people to confirm their details in a "Free" Tourist Directory. They try slightly different approaches each year and this time there is a separate letter as well as the form where you could sign away 989 euros! This would be bad enough, but by signing, you would actually commit to paying this amount annually for the next 3 years.

The letters come from Switzerland and should be binned immediately!

Scam Email

This scam, purporting to be a genuine booking enquiry, is going round the county at present and has been reported by at least two accommodation providers. The telephone number doesn't look like a 0900 number, but it is and you will get charged an exorbitant rate from ringing it.

The e mail below was from a Stephen Morris - subject Booking Enquiry. It looked legitimate. However, it's a scam. There is no answer when you call him and you end up paying an extortionate amount of money because of the 07099 number

Hi there,
I am thinking about booking a surprise holiday for my wife and family,
however I need to check a couple of things in relation to disabled access.
Please can someone from your reservations department give me a call on
07099 800152.
Thank you
Stephen
Stephen Morris
Commercial Director
Aquasita
Tel: 07099 800152
International: +44 (0) 7099 800152

Scam Email

We have been advised by a member that an email scam appears to be going on. The member has had three enquiries for 3 to 4 week periods from enquirer's who have very little English and who wish to find out as much as they can about the properties and who say they will be paying via a third party. They ask about car rental, distance from airports etc.

An example email is shown below:

Cottage Reference: waa541/1
Enquirer's name: DR Howard
Email: D.coat_howard@hotmail.com
Telephone: +34
Address :-
Europe.

Message :-
Dear Owner,

Booking your property.
Am Dr Howard from Netherlands we are coming on a short
holidays to great britain,I will like to make a booking of your property for
2 weeks checking in date will be Nov 01 and check out date will be Nov 25th
email me the details about the property what i needs to know.
I will be hoping to have the details about the property
from you soonest.the numbers in my party will be three me and my wife and
out kid Thomas all making three.email me the details soonest O.K

Thanks Alot.

Dr Howard.

PLEASE BE AWARE

We have been advised by two B&B businesses in the Market Drayton area that a man in his early 20's stayed with them and left without paying his bill and on one occasion took the front door key with him.

His name is Joe Read and he says he is landscape gardener. Mobile No. 07810126160, Vehicle: Ford Transit Van Reg YM04ZBJ

PLEASE BE AWARE

A couple of B&B businesses in Herefordshire have had the same man staying in their property within the last month. Both times the man's cheques have bounced. He is a painter/decorator/plasterer.

The name he is giving is Robert Martin
Address: 10a KingStreet, Aberdeen
Tel: 07535 290396
Car: Rover 200, Racing green, R871 BHK

He also has a geordie accent.

If this vehicle/man is seen, please contact the police on 08457 444 888 and speak to the public service desk on ext 4806 who will take details.

Email Scams

We have received the following two emails from a member which may possibly scams.

The first email is from a Greek company called Hekulu Foundations enquiring about a reservation for a double room on the 6th-13th August. The email is signed off by a Morgan Chase.

The second email is from Dubai from a person named Amir Lateef who is moving to the UK and is looking for accommodation for 10 nights while he finds permanent residence.

As always treat any emails such as these with caution.

PLEASE BE AWARE

We have received an email from one of our members about a man called Robert Martin, who stayed in Much Wenlock last week after visiting Much Wenlock Visitor Information Centre to ask about accommodation. The cheque he paid with was returned after he put a 'stop' to it. He is in his 40s, scruffily dressed & with a strong Geordie accent & surly manner, he says he is a construction company owner and drives Volvo, registration no. H547 FRD.

EMAIL SCAM

We have been contacted by a member who has been in email correspondence with a Mr Grays Cole. The email follows a now familiar format whereby additional services are included within the cost of the stay, things like Flight tickets and transportation. Needless to say, always take care, especially with overseas emails as they may be a scam.

BEWARE

We have received reports from self catering properties in the area about a woman who is leaving without paying her bill or is writing a cheque and then canceling before it can be cashed.

Her name is Anne Kirk and she is aged between 50-60 years of age and the registration of her vehicle is W314 DUA.

She sometimes has her daughter with her who is around 19/20 years of age and is said to be studying at Liverpool University.

Please beware, if she tries to book into your property.

EMAIL SCAM

We have received an email from a member which may possibly be a scam. The email mentions a company called "Seagate Consultants, UK" and suggests it comes from the director of this company. However the tone of the email is odd with grammatical errors etc. Additionally the email address for this company is via yahoo.

As always treat any email such as this with caution.

EMAIL RESERVARTION SCAM

We have been contacted by a member who has received an email requesting a booking on 2 double rooms which suggests that the person looking to stay will give a 700 euro commission on the stay if the accommodation provider sorts out transfers.

The email came from a Mr Godwin, but the name may change. Again the email is very difficult to understand and written in poor grammatical style.

If you receive an email like this, delete it from your system.

Updated!

We have been contacted by some members who have received emails similar to the above looking to book either accommodation or dinner reservations. A deposit of £1000 is offered and one email started 'Hello Dear' which sets the tone of the email. If an email is claiming to come from a company then check they are not using free email accounts such as yahoo, gmail or hotmail.

VISA/MASTERCARD CREDIT CARD SCAM

This scam is very clever as the 'scammers' provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. This information is worth reading. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number as they already have it. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.

The scam works like this: Person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA/MasterCard. My badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA/MasterCard card which was issued by (name of bank) did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for £497.99 from a Marketing company based in London?" When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from £297 to £497, just under the £500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?"

You say "yes". The caller continues - "I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 0800 number listed on the back of your card (0800-VISA/MasterCard) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number". The caller then gives you a 6 digit number.

Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works; the caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card - turn your card over and look for some numbers." There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him, he'll then say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" After you say, "No," the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up.

You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card number. If you then contact the real VISA Security Department they will tell you it is a scam and that a new purchase of £497.99 will have been charged to your card.

If you are caught out by this scam, you will need to make a fraud report and close the VISA account.

What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or MasterCard directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

The police urge everybody to tell people about this scam so they know it is happening .

Performing Rights Society

Someone purporting to be from the Performing Arts Society is telephoning accommodation establishments saying that a licence is needed if there is a television or radio in the letting bedroom.

If you want further clarification of the licensing for music in your establishment, click here to go to the MCPS-PRS Alliance website.

Beware

A man who left one of Shropshire's B&B's a few months ago without paying his £500 bill has been seen around the areas of Broseley and Wellington.

His name is Steven (surname believed to be either Thorpe or Thorn) and he drives a Yellow Renault with a black flame trim. The Registration of the vehicle is believed to be W39 XHD.

He has a mohawk hairstyle and lots of tattoos.

Please beware. If he tries to book into your property, please notify the police.

Booking Scam

We have been contacted by one of our members who has received email enquiries from a gentleman wanting to give them his credit card details. The email sent after you will have confirmed your availability will be similar to the one below:

Since the total cost of your services is £649 for the whole days, a credit card details will be sent to you of which you are expected to bill your service charges inorder to confirm the booking.

You will also bill our credit card the sum of £5,000 which will be transferred to our consultant in charge of our transportation and other logistics needs. for security reason,i will only allow you to bill the total money from our card because we do not want to provide our card details to two persons at the same time,and since we can trust you more because you are a registered corporate body, we would prefer that you handle our credit card information,instead of providing these informations to the consultant who will take care of our traveling arrangement and other logistics needs during our stay.

We will be sending this card in trust to you and would expect that this confidentiality will not be breached. therefore you are to charge a total of £649 + £5,000= £5,649. you are to keep £649 as your service charges and wire £5,000 to my consultant agent.any other expenses will be taken care on arrival.

Note that we are taking this risk because we feel we can trust and rely on you, please don't fail us.

Confirm this arrangement and get back to me with the following information:

1.Full Names..............
2.Address ...............
3.Phone #....................

so that l can process your payment and send you the credit card details and the consultant whom you will wire the £5,000 to.

Postal Scam

The Royal Mail and Trading Standards are making people aware of the following scam:

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a premium rate number).

DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize.

If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £15 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 02072396655 or ICSTIS (the premium rate service regulator)

Leaving without settling the account

We have recently been advised by a few of our members of a named individual who has been staying in B&Bs and walks out without paying. The name currently being used is Peter Norman Gaughan, his car registration number is N529 JNK, a green Rover 600. The police are aware of him so if you are approached by him please contact the police.

WWW.UPPS.AT

Some members have reported receiving an invoice for advertising on the www.upps.at website, which they have not agreed to take out. This is a scam - as always remain vigilant and forward these invoices onto Shropshire Trading Standards.

ADV 2021 MULTIMEDIA - FILMING OFFER : CAUTION

This company has recently approached several members offering to make a video film of their properties for video streaming. They claim that there is no cost to members as all the costs will be met by Advantage West Midlands (AWM) and UKITA.

I have been unable to get confirmation from either AWM or UKITA that they are indeed covering the costs of this.

They have also been claiming that this initiative is supported by Shropshire Tourism and/or Shrewsbury & Atcham Borough Council. This is absolutely NOT the case.

We would advise members considering taking up this offer to proceed with caution and at the very least get confirmation that there will be no charges made to your business.

A visit to their web site www.adv2021multimedia.com may indicate of the quality of their offer

Nova ChannelAg

Beware Nova ChannelAg are doing the rounds again seeking entries in their "Tourist Directory" They are based in Switzerland and will do their best to get you to part with 989 euros. This could also amount to an annual payment for 3 years if you don't read the small print!

UK INTERNET REGISTER

You may have recently received a website registration form for the UK Internet Register. This form has a free fax number to register your business. However, please note the small print at the bottom of the form. By signing and returning the form you are contractually obliged to pay the annual fee of £639 for three years.

Please ensure you read the document carefully. The UK Internet register website (www.uk-internet-register.com) is a working website, but please ensure you want to advertise on the site before signing and returning the form.

To see what the form looks like click here to download a PDF copy.

Booking scam

We have been advised by one of our members of a scam going around in which the name CLARKE PETERSON.J appears, with bookings for numerous people for a week or two.

Email Scam

We have been advised by one of our members of a scam going around. The email is similar to the one below:

To whom it may concern;

Sir/Madam,

I wish to book for reservation. I need reservation for a 6 man delegate coming to stay in your facility for a period of 10 days.

The delegate would be arriving on the 22nd day of April, 2007

Departure: 2nd May, 2007.

Number of rooms needed; 6 single rooms or 3 double rooms (Please give me total cost for 3 double rooms and 6 single rooms, so that I would make a choice).

Breakfast is included if you offer such service.

Payment is via credit card. Hope you use major credit cards, VISA, Mastercard etc.

Get back to me with your total run down cost for the booking.

Thanks

**** ******

GENERAL CONSULATE

Affiliate of British Airways

P.O. Box 6743

Sudbury, Suffolk

CO10 2PG, UK

Tel: +44-702 4039883

Fax: +44-871 2563610

If you receive an email like this you are advised to delete it from your system without replying.

Email Scams

We have been advised by one of our members regarding a series of emails that he has received. The emails are from New Zealand regarding advance bookings. All the emails culminate in a request for the accommodation's bank details so that payment can be made.

The accommodation concerned did not submit their bank details and we would advise any member who receives a similar request not to submit their back details.

Email Scams

We have been advised that a scam is going around where members may receive an email relating to data control and they need to fill a form in with there details.

Although it talks about updating free of charge, if you read the very small print, you will realise you do in fact have to pay 965 euros per year.

You can view a copy of the scam letter by clicking here.

Private detective scam

We have been contacted by one of our members, who has been left out of pocket by a gentleman claiming to be a private detective. He appears very polite and chatty but does not wish anyone to enter the room to service it and he is also very interested in hotel security.

The room is booked by a colleague, who has given false card details, therefore the member in question has been unable to charge. The gentleman has quite a large bill, with lots of phone calls, drinks etc.

The telephone number given at the time of booking is incorrect.

Members are advised to validate guest details before giving them credit, and always take a credit card or switch payment in advance when they check in which you can authorise.

In our experience anyone who refuses to give you this advance payment usually means they don't intend to pay!!

Email Scam

We have been contacted by a member who has received an email from a Dr. Lewis Fisher. The email goes something like the one below:

Hello,

I am Dr. Lewis Fisher I want to book reservation for a summit organised by our organisation, that will commence 21st OCT 2006 through 25th OCT 2006. Please get back to me with your rates and the total cost for 4 delegates who will stay for the duration of 5 days if these dates are free and if you can accommodate us so that we will book.

I expect your urgent response.

Kind Regards,

Dr. Lewis Fisher

Apparently if responded to, Dr. Fisher requests more things eg. car hire and requests that you set this up for him. He then requests bank details to transfer money to your account.

Note the obvious question mark over the email above 'our organisation' is mentioned without identifying what the organisation is. 'I want to book reservation' is poor english and should be I want to book for...'

Generally emails that request an urgent response are scams.

Rooms being trashed

We have been advised that a visitor going under the name of Mrs Cronet has apparently been staying at various accommodation establishments around the country and trashing the allocated bedroom; she has just been to a hotel in Leominster and done the same.

This lady, who is French, is an animal rights activist and has resorted to pouring water onto the bed, writing on the walls, cutting electricity cables, and even reportedly leaving blood stains.

Members are advised not take any bookings from a Mrs Cronet.

Email Scam

We have been advised by one of our members that she has received the email below and it is a scam. This is very similar to the scam doing the rounds last year where people would offer to pay by bankers draft which subsequently bounced.

If you receive an email similar to the one below you should delete it and not accept the booking.

ATTENTION PLS..

I am Mr. Raymond, I will love to book an accommodation with your hotel, I and my family shall be coming from Australia down to UK for conference, we shall need the service of your hotel for the time been, number of guest 6, number of room 3, 1 Room for me and my wife, 2nd one for my 2 girls and the last for my 2 boys.

Date of arrival.. OCT. 10th,

Departure on the 20th of OCT.

Secondly, I understand the policy of most of the hotels in the UK that we need a valid credit card to hold an accommodation, so pls am not in the position to release my credit card Details, cos am having a very big problem with it in the company where i work, i will make Payment by Certified Cheques or bankers draft pls accept my means of payment for is the only convenient means for me and payment is going to come in full amount of our accommodation and any other charges you might mention.

Pls kindly get back to me with the below Details for the payment,

The full price of the reservation .........................

Name on the payment slip(Certified Cheques/bankers draft ) ..............

Full contact Address including postal code of the hotel ...........

Hotel Tel/Personal mobile number ........................

I will be looking forward to hear from you.

Thank you for your time.

Yours faithfully,

Raymond.

Domain Registry of America scam

If any of you have domain names that use a .com extension you may be targeted by the 'Domain Registry of America' This company is sending out particularly misleading letters informing domain name holders that their domain name is due to expire. The letter will invite you to renew the domain through them. If you do renew using their return form, it will automatically transfer the domain name to the 'Domain Registry of America'.

You should always renew your domain names through your existing registrar unless you are looking to transfer the domain to another company.

Beware of bogus bookings

Several members have made us aware of possible bogus bookings usually made via email. An initial enquiry is made by a would be customer via email, offering payment by cheque or bankers draft. They state that they will send the payment to the establishment before the date they booked accommodation for. Once the accommodation is booked they send payment but then cancel the booking and request a refund, not always for the full amount. When the establishment tries to bank the cheque/bankers draft it bounces leaving the establishment short on money.

If you think a booking seems suspicious here are some things to look out for:

The name of the person booking - they will often use a title in which you would tend to trust, for example Vicar.

The address is correct, the postcode matches the address.

Call the phone number if included to make sure it works.

The way the request is written, the English may not be grammatically correct. This often shows that it was written by someone who's first language appears not to be English.

If in doubt it is always best to ask the would be customer for a different method of payment or wait until the cheque/bankers draft has fully cleared in to your account to refund any monies.

Another bogus booking to watch out for is an accommodation booking accompanied by payment in excess of the actual cost. Payment is sent by cheque, however the payment received is in excess of a couple of hundred pounds. For instance, the cost of the rental for the self catering property is £300 but you receive a cheque for £500.

The mechanics of the 'scam' rest on the fact that the 'guest' will require some cash to spend in the UK when he/she lands here. The cheque is drawn on an American bank, as the bulk of these bogus bookings originate in America. The cheque duly arrives, however, the guest then sends an email canceling the booking. To compensate for the inconvenience, he/she proposes that you refund the rental but keep the excess payment for yourself. Grateful for the kind gesture, you send a cheque for the rental amount, which is debited from your account a couple of days before your bank informs you that the cheque has bounced.

A useful solution when accepting bookings from abroad is an IBAN (an International Bank Account Number).

To open an IBAN account, visit your local branch of your bank. Activating the account will cost you £1.00. When your foreign guest needs to pay his/her deposit or payment, you then provide the IBAN code and account reference. The guest pays the money (with the exchange rate calculated by his/her bank) and this payment appears as a credit on your IBAN statement. Transfer the payment immediately to your normal account and all that remains in your IBAN account is your initial £1.

This is a safe way to process payments from foreign countries and reduces the risk of falling foul of bogus bookings.

General Warning

When accepting an accommodation booking, it is important to be aware that Company cheques are NOT covered by a Banker's cheque guarantee card. They should only be accepted when you know the Company, an individual or if you have an arrangement with them.

Free directories - SMALL PRINT!

When offered a FREE line entry in a directory always ask yourself the question, What is the catch?, nothing is ever free!. In many cases once you have agreed to take the free line entry you will have signed up to a three year contract which will cost you in the thousands. Unfortunately as this was included in the small print it is entirely legal and can be enforced. The main offenders seem to be companies producing directories for Switzerland and The Netherlands.

Remember always read the small print when signing up for a FREE line entry in any directory as it could cost you in excess of £1,500 pounds.

The latest 'company' offering a free listing in their Tourist Directory is NovaChannel AG. They approach you to be featured within this directory and it is only by examining the small print at the bottom of the letter is it clear, that by signing the form, you are committing to paying a considerable amount of money. Trading Standards are aware of this Company, therefore if you have any suspicions you should contact them directly.