Posted: 23rd June 2017
I was watching TV last night about holiday villa scams, people booking their dream holiday, paying their money arriving at the destination and finding it simply doesn’t exist, NIGHTMARE !!
According to the show there are now a lot of phoney booking companies online, also AirBnB had been hacked and an email sent with payment instructions that hadn’t come from AirBnB – they commented that payments should be arranged directly through them and then all problems are covered, also their team was working hard to shut down any other avenues, but for the families interviewed and the countless other ripped off what a totally major knock for six.
In the past I’ve made our bookings online and luckily never experienced any problems, we’ve had some brilliant breaks in Lanzarote, Finland and actually all over as more and more I looked to save money by booking direct and not going through a travel agency, but I can understand that the scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated, so will this mean a renewal of interest in Travel Agents ?
What to look for and how to try and protect yourself ? Watching the programme last night one of the main things I took from the show was DO NOT PAY UP FRONT BY DIRECT DEBIT, as the phoney accounts were emptied and closed down with no forward trail. Another thing mentioned was quite often the phoney web sites had no telephone numbers, contact was by email only again all traceability can be wiped out.
So… if booking direct pay your deposit by card or payment platform like PayPal or SagePay pay the balance when you arrive, do some research, look for reviews on legitimate sites like TripAdvisor, look for history regarding other people staying, phone them up and talk over any concerns.
By the way I do have to mention I’m actually a holiday accommodation, I’m an alpaca breeder, located in north Dordogne in France, I have a TripAdvisor account with real reviews from real people who have stayed, I have a phone number and will happily chat with anyone who can speak English, if speaking French it’s still happily but is likely to take at least twice as long.
Stay safe and have a great holiday in 2017 - Lynn Fletcher www.thealpacabnbdordogne.com... landline 0033(0)553 52 70 95… French mobile 0673329270 email; firstname.lastname@example.org