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Scam? Aibrean O'Sullivan

 
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Ecosse



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 801
Location: Saint Gervais les Bains, France

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:53 am    Post subject: Scam? Aibrean O'Sullivan Reply with quote

My scamometer is ringing but there's that element of doubt... what do others think?

Here's the whole conversation, including our reply to the first email. The first one looked okay... we often get foreigners Google translating their enquiry into French, and a lot of genuine guests seem to forget to tell us whether they want a twin, double or larger room:

avez-vous un hébergement gratuit du 16 au 23 août. de la date est libre, vous pouvez me faire savoir combien cela coûtera pour la période.

Hello
Thank you for your enquiry. I'm making the assumption that like us, you're Irish, hence the English response? Apologies if this isn't the case. We do have rooms available from the 16th until the 23rd of August, how many are in your party? We have 2 (price) , 3 (price) or 4 (price) rooms available. Breakfast is (price) € pppn or, if you prefer, you can use the gîte's kitchen to prepare your own meals.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards
(very unmistakably Irish husband's name)

Bonjour
désolé pour la réponse tardive à vous revenir, j'ai un appel urgent du travail qu'on m'a dit de reprendre de toute urgence au travail. quoi qu'il en soit, cela ne vous empêche pas de réserver ma réservation, je veux sécuriser ma réservation avec mes coordonnées en tant que ... M. / Mme O'Sullivan Aibrean, Adresse: Edwards Road Belvedere DA17 5AL UK.

J'ai reçu un retour avec vos coordonnées afin que je puisse émettre un paiement par chèque pour garantir ma réservation. Laissez-moi avoir votre nom et votre adresse pour vous envoyer le chèque, numéro de téléphone cellulaire.


Hmm... now it's all down here, the more I'm convinced it is a scam... undisclosed recipients, not picking up on the fact we're anglophones, wishing to pay by cheque and the odd lack of pleasantries bar a solitary 'bonjour'...
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1417
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last paragraph translates from the French (courtesy of Google):

I received a return with your details so that I could issue a check payment to secure my reservation. Let me have your name and address to send you the check, cell phone number.

Requesting making a payment by cheque rings alarm bells with me. Could it be the 'overpayment scam'? A worthless cheque for far too much money, followed by a cell phone call admitting the "mistake" and requesting a refund from you of the difference with instructions by phone on how you should repay it.

On the other hand scammers very often, having stated their chosen dates, follow this by saying they are flexible on dates (i.e. any dates will do if it helps a victim fall for the scam). In this case the dates in August are fixed in his mind and he appears not to be flexible on that.

All in all, I think I would proceed with caution and, if and when received, allow plenty of time for the cheque to clear. The appearance of a credit on your bank statement does not immediately mean the money has cleared. This person needs your name to write on the cheque; your address in order to post it and, perhaps, your cell phone number to let you know he has posted it. So asking for those details could well be for genuine reasons.
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aussiefrog



Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Posts: 405
Location: Languedoc, France

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone but anyone can arrange a bank transfer these days. I’d advise that is the only payment that I can accept.

It does sound dodgy to me. The enquirer obviously definitely isn’t French, yet they persist in contacting you in that language.

Did you Google the address to see if it checks out?
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Shinnie



Joined: 31 Dec 2011
Posts: 106
Location: Languedoc

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aibrean is the Gaelic for Apriil - as in the month, it is not a name........
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Ecosse



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 801
Location: Saint Gervais les Bains, France

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shinnie wrote:
Aibrean is the Gaelic for Apriil - as in the month, it is not a name........


It is indeed, however, it is occasionally given as a first name... there are no Aibrean O'Sullivans listed on Fb bar a couple of very fake looking accounts... and bizzarrely, the email address in Google comes up with a scammy looking 'job advert' in Canada:

i need a female care giver who can take good care of my 64 years old mother , your service will be needed for just 4hours or more and you will be coming for the work 3 days in a week . you can let me know your daily schedule , when is your free days in a week . as a caregiver is expected to perform household tasks with which my mum has difficulties .Tools you may need to use include a stove, vacuum, or shower; the caregiver may also perform some light outdoor tasks such as sweeping and shoveling snow. she is a very friendly woman , accommodating . she look very strong and she walk on her own . submit your resume if interested .

Thanks everyone for your replies... I have proceeded with caution, asking them to tell me what type of room they want so I can prepare the contrat, informing them that we can only accept payment by bank transfer and also asking them to communicate in English. No response, yet...
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3944
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an overpayment scam. Only works with a cheque.
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rocomendez



Joined: 07 Jun 2019
Posts: 1
Location: San Juan, PR

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:54 am    Post subject: Same thing here Reply with quote

We just got a version of the same thing, a vague request to book a week -any week- and signed by the now infamous Aibrean O'Sullivan. It looked fishy and a quick search led me to your page, so thanks for that. There are many tip-offs: they write directly to you and not through your booking site; there are no specifics about your property, city or country; the booking dates are vague; there are no personal comments or details of how/why they've picked your property; and their grammar is awful. The sad thing is they're still at it, which likely means some folks have fallen for it. I didn't bother to respond, and no one else should.
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