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dTest and ESC: Beware of fraudulent offers of accommodation

To book accommodation over the Internet? Be careful. Fraudulent offers accommodation can be quite sophisticated and difficult to detect. Scammers exploiting large and reputable intermediary servers accommodations. How to avoid unpleasant surprises and financial losses?

Imagine this common situation: you select from the Web offers accommodations, clicking from one site to another, until you get to an ad looking for a pleasant and inexpensive guest house. His description read and photos with the included You will see a link to a reputable site that provides accommodation directly between the customer and the landlord. E-mail address provided in the original ad please send an order with the date and then according to the e-mail instructions send money by bank transfer. But then communication stops.

Such a case experienced Czech who, after a brief search found that the alleged businessman advertising for accommodation in luxury chalets in the Alps was in fact an impostor. "As a reference, link their fictional exploits website offer big Irish companies, which conveys something serious for the real landlords. Pension therefore given name exists, but a visit to this customer did not expect. For the alleged accommodation while a consumer pay by bank transfer to an account in the UK € 1450, ie over CZK 40 000, "says Luke Green, head of the legal department Dtest. Hope does not get the money back from Internet fraudsters usually large, however, it is possible to report such fraud to the British police's server

The only way to avoid similar cases, be cautious. "The consumer might prevent fraud, if you read the terms of the mediation server. It is preceded by similar situations, so that all communication with the landlord should take place only through its website rather than e-mail outside the web environment. A payment of accommodation has run through its payment gateway, rather than bank transfer to individuals in the UK, "explains Tomas Večl, Director of the European Consumer Centre in the Czech Trade Inspection (ESC).

In any case it is advisable to find out on the internet testimonials of other guests, to verify the authenticity of the e-mail link, and also to whom you eventually transfer to send money. "In an e-mail with the details of the transaction cost, it is a payment directly to an intermediary company, as the account holder, however, was given a natural person. Before you pay any amount, to recommend accommodation and call, "says Luke Green.

Source: tz

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