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News Stories From HAA

Urgent Scam Alert

Members: Spam & Fraud: 23/3/2012

A member in WA has emailed to say that she received a similar scam approach to that we reported in Pillow Talk of 31 January. It seems that the man involved, if it is the same person, is very convincing.  In both cases he said that he lost his credit card in the 'accident' which is the reason for his cancelling, and asked for a refund into a bank account rather than against the card with which he paid. 
In the two incidences below, one booking was made by telephone and the other online. Both payments were made using a stolen credit card number with 'card not present'.
We have reported this to the ACCC. If any other member is scammed in this way it would help to trace the perpetrator if a bank account number could be obtained from him so that it can be passed on to ACCC investigators.
Here is the latest attempted scam in WA:
I would just like to thank you for your warning on a scam alert you sent recently.
We have just avoided the same person I am sure.
He rang and booked for 5 nights, sent me his credit card details by text for $1000.00
2 weeks later he texts me to say he has been in an accident and his mother has been killed and his wife is seriously injured and would I please refund his payment. He says he lost his credit cards and papers in the accident and would I transfer the money by EFT into another account straight away as he needs the money to bury his mother and care for his wife.
He is very convincing and again thankyou for your warning, it certainly saved us
The case from Victoria we reported on 31 January was as follows:
"We were just the victim of a scam that I thought I would warn you about.
A customer made an online $2000 booking. Then he emails and calls in tears that his wife has been in a car accident, is near death and he has to cancel (very convincing!).

He was also in the accident and lost his wallet and c/c during all of the confusion. Could we please refund the money into his bank account asap? (Luckily I didn't do it straight away, even though I thought he was for real, he was a very good actor).
Then 2 days later we get a chargeback dispute from the bank for the c/c payment - he used some stolen numbers! The bank refunded the money out of our account into the innocent persons account and we only missed out on the booking. We could have also refunded him the money and been $2000 out of pocket.

I don't know if this has happened to you, happy for you to warn others about our experience"
As always we encourage members to report any scams to us so we can warn others. If you think something looks suspicious but you're not sure, do ask us. We have seen most of the scams that are in the wild and can often assist.
Report your scam on and you may also wish to report it on the ACCC Scamwatch Website
Liz Pryor
Executive Officer



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