A real estate agency in Perth, Australia, dealing with short-term rentals and long-term holiday rentals, was scammed out of 50,000 dollars. The agency made a booking for a fake Greek wedding accommodation under the name Colonel Michael Warner, a man claiming to be from England who asked to book a week-long accommodation for eight people.
According to the authorities, the man paid a large deposit with stolen American credit cards and then asked the agency to forward the fund to a Greek person, their interpreter, who would not accept credit card payments.
Unfortunately, the real estate agency did not realize that the payment had not been made before transferring the full amount to the account, as requested.
Consumer Protection Acting Commissioner David Hillyard warned agencies to be “extremely cautious” when making transactions with third parties. “It has become a common scam for accommodation bookings to be made either by phone or email using false or stolen credit card details and a payment greater than the amount payable is then supposedly made,” he added.
“If someone booking accommodation pays too much, wait until the funds have cleared and are confirmed to be in your bank account before making any refund payments,” noted the Commissioner.