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Ray Thatched Cottage
Avoiding fraud attempts
Fraudsters are attempting to falsely obtain money from advertisers on Holiday-Rental-Homes.com. We want to warn you about this and let you know the simple steps you can take to avoid getting caught.
1. What the fraudsters do?
2. How do I identify a fraudster?
3. How do I avoid getting caught?
4. Why doesn't the bank reject the fake cheque immediately?
1. What the fraudsters do?
The fraudster uses the site to make a booking enquiry - usually for a long period. After several email exchanges which appear to be quite legitimate they offer to pay for the rental of the property by sending you a cashiers cheque or bankers draft for considerably more than the rental amount due. They then ask you to send the unused balance of the cashiers cheque or bankers draft to a third party for some other transaction unrelated to the rental of the holiday property - their travel agent, a business contact, or other such story.

After you have paid the money to cover the unused balance on the cheque, the cheque you have received, and paid into your bank is shown to be a fake, and is returned by your bank. The 'customer' never shows up, and you have lost the rental money, and the balance you sent on the third party.
2. How do I identify a fraudster?
There are several clues. The rental request is usually for a long period of time, the English is often badly written, but the most notable feature is that you are asked to accept a cheque for more than the rental amount due.
3. How do I avoid getting caught?
NEVER accept a cheque for more than the amount due for the rental. If you are offered more, just insist on receiving only the amount due, or just stop communicating with the 'customer'.
4. Why doesn't the bank reject the fake cheque immediately?
This fraud relies on most people's ignorance of how the cheque-clearing system works. For example, cheques in the UK take three days to clear, but if there is not enough money in the account or the bankers draft is a fake, it is only on day four or subsequently that your bank will realise there is a problem. Delays in the system, the post, weekends and bank holidays will all add to the time elapsed. Although your bank account statement may show that the money has been deposited, the bank may subsequently take the money back out of your account when they realise that there are no funds in the issuer's account to cover the cheque, or that the cashiers cheque or bankers draft is fake.

We do NOT claim to be an expert on the intricacies of the various banking systems around the world. So, if you have any suspicions, we would strongly suggest that you take advice from your own bank on these issues.
Last updated : October 2012

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