jml Press Release — October 2007

It must be Friday the Internet holiday home rental scammers are active!

Ever since jml Property Services launched in 2001 people have tried to obtain money from the holiday home owners who advertised\ on the site and the much improved jml in 2004.

Now that the summer season over, it is the time when the scam operators come out of the woodwork.

They basically operate by contacting an advertiser and offer to pay in advance for several months when holiday home lettings are much harder to fill. They then want the owners bank details and arrange a payment. This will normally be for far too much money.

They then contact the owner of the property and ask the owner to refund the overpayment. If the owner does this, they will soon find out the original payment they received was bogus and they have just sent off a payment to some individual who claimed to over paid them and are now, out of pocket!

jml receives copies of the initial email enquiries between an applicant and advertiser and whenever possible if they see these warn a property owner. Quite often there is a bulk mailing and it is not possible to warn property owners.

Clients have asked Philip Suter of jml if they can stop people doing this. The answer is although the web company can stop an individual email address, it actually only take a few minutes for an individual these days to create a new email address.

The main points to look out for are:

These emails often don’t make much sense; they will email someone about their holiday property in Greece or Ireland and say they are coming to France for a long honeymoon.

The English is often poor and so is the spelling! — “hello am s.... m.... an international model l love to rent your villa for a month to spend my vacation .so l would like you to furnish me with the total cost of the villa for a month thru my email” or "Good day My purpose of written the mail to you is Because of my client Mrs H..... want to rent your AprtmentHouse For 2 weeks Rent My Client Location In address " or “I \'m interested in your apartment for 2weeks free in the month of September/October and also i will like to know the cost of the 2weeks so that i can pay VIA Cheque, pls kindly get back to me via my email address ok.”,or finally “my name is mary, A female modelling in west Africa. I will like you to know that I am intrested in renting your room for 3months so that I can stay there for the moment I came for a concert in the state I will like you to give me the cost of the room”

They will often ask for photos of the flat and if they had actually read the full add on would have seen that it was full of photos of the property and it was not a flat but a villa with a swimming pool.

Email addresses are often from yahoo and many of these actually come from Eastern Africa.

People have lost money and when a property owner has a mortgage, the though of several months rent coming in sounds great. The only thing is that no one will actually turn up, as they don’t exist.

Earlier this year at jml we decided to follow one of these scams through a bit. Here are the details. “greeting to you, A client of mine is sending his just wedded pastor and wife with 2 kids of age 14(twins)on a honey moon trip in your country. Starting from the 3rd week of June to fourth week of September and asked me to check an availability of your family suit or 2/3 rooms. Please do get back to me with the total cost of this stay with discount,if will be available for this period. Yours Faithfully”

Reply from jml Administration: "€40,0000 for 2 weeks bed and breakfast"

Reply "Thanks for your mail. I think bank to bank wire transfer is the method of payment so my client want you to send the current pictures of the apartment for further arrangement. Please, do get back with the pictures and current condition so we can make this deal sealed as soon as possible. P G..."

jml Administration found a picture of a windmill and sent it on.

Reply " Thanks for your prompt response. I have forwarded the picture to my client and is very much interested in the apartment and i want you to get back with the location where the apartment is and also get back with your contact telephone number so we can call you for more information. And also i want you to have it in your mind that my client is paying via bank to bank wire transfer to your nominated account. Looking forward to hear from you"

Reply from jml Administration: "I am sorry this must be a rental scam — Your client wants to spend two weeks in a windmill that costs €40,0000 for 2 weeks bed and breakfast!!" No more follow up emails came in from this person – It certainly must have been a scam!

The advice from jml is to take great care all the time. The site has even had similar enquiries coming in French! These people do target many holiday homes rental sites and the problem is according to Philip Suter that there are genuine people out there surfing the net looking for holiday home rentals and their native language is not English. They use mechanised translating systems like Google and often the translation will come over rather strange to someone reading it.

jml Villas is part of jml Property Services. The company started marketing holiday homes for rental on line in 2001 when there were not many sites involved in this type of business. Initially focusing on Europe, they have several hundred properties available worldwide. Jml Property Services also runs jml a web site offering non standard insurance products like car hire excess insurance and grave memorial stone insurance as well as the more popular products like landlord and tenant insurance, car and property insurance.

© jml Property Services September 2007


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