Accommodation Scam

September 2019

Here is a copy of our email conversation with "James Patrick" from "Europe Agency" or is it "Travelagency Europe"?

From: Europe Agency <travelagencyeuro455@gmail.com> Date: Fri, 30 Aug 2019 at 16:29

Subject: RESERVATION REQUEST!!!

To:

Hi,

A group of 3 couple need a reservation in your hotel for Ten night, in which their arrival would be from Nov 5th till Nov 15th, 2019. However they would prefer 2 x double kings rooms. Kindly state the total quotation for the staying if the requested period is available. Note: Let us know what you can offer to us if our request is not available. Kind Regard, James Patrick.

On Fri, 30 Aug 2019 at 17:01, Greg Williams <greg@lincolncomputercentre.com.au> wrote:

Hello James

Thank you for your email, we can arrange two rooms as requested at the Lincoln Hotel where the rate is $245.00 per night per double kings room so the total booking will be $4,900 including taxes. Please confirm as soon as you can

Greg Williams

Lincoln Computer Centre 92 Washington Street Port Lincoln SA 5606 Phone 08 8682 1666 greg@lincolncomputercentre.com.au

From: Travelagency europe <travelagencyeuro455@gmail.com> Date: Sun, 1 Sep 2019 at 00:54

Thanks for your response. I'm happy to inform you that we are prepared to affirm the reservation. In any case, before that, I have a few inquiries, kindly discover them beneath: Do you accept credit card? Due to past experience, we want to make full payment now, will that be accepted? We have arranged an agency fee of 50% of total rental fee with our clients as our commission so you need to increase your room rate to accommodate that. Could you please send us another quotation with our commission so we can send it over to our customers? We get our commission when you get the full payment, I trust that won't be an issue with you. NOTE: we have worked things out with our clients and we can assure that there won't be any cancellation once the reservation is fully confirmed. Please let us know if you are still interested in making the reservation for us base on the above stated conditions. Cheers, James Patrick.

On Sun, 1 Sep 2019 at 08:10, Greg Williams <greg@lincolncomputercentre.com.au> wrote:

Hello James, We can accommodate your request. Confirming your booking for two rooms @ $490 per room per night. Check in from 2.00pm on November 5, Check out before 10.00am on November 15. So the total price will be $9,800 including GST. We only need a 10% deposit however if you would prefer to pay the total amount now that will be fine. We accept all major brands of credit card. Please advise if any guests have special needs or dietary requirements. Thank you, Greg

From: Travelagency europe <travelagencyeuro455@gmail.com> Date: Sun, 1 Sep 2019 at 16:01

Hi, Thanks for your response, We are ready to confirm the booking but in order to avoid any misunderstanding, I want to double check the below listed with you.

i) You agreed to bill the total amount for the booking and our commission now not on arrival or departure of our clients

ii) You agreed that you would release us the commission as soon as you receive the total amount from the credit card NOT after the departure of our clients

We believed that you have gone through the above listed, can you please let us know whether your establishment totally agree to them or not? Awaiting your response. Cheers, James Patrick.

On Sun, 1 Sep 2019 at 16:30, Greg Williams <greg@lincolncomputercentre.com.au> wrote:

Yes we agree with your conditions, please confirm when you are able

From: Travelagency europe <travelagencyeuro455@gmail.com> Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2019 at 19:16

Hi Greg, We would be making the payment next week Monday. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation. Regards, James Patrick.

On Thu, 5 Sep 2019 at 20:38, Greg Williams <greg@lincolncomputercentre.com.au> wrote:

Thank you for your email, we will hold the temporary booking until the end of September so next week is fine

From: Travelagency europe <travelagencyeuro455@gmail.com> Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2019 at 01:35

Hi Greg, Thanks for your response. We would be making the payment today due to rearrangement, below is the credit card details and the booking names. However you should first bill the credit card 53% (3181.69 euro) of total amount 6003.17 euro and also 47% (2821.48 euro) of the total amount 6003.17 euro, in which it's been split above in order to avoid confusion. However once the payment has been made kindly send us the confirmation. Credit Card billing

Name: ERIC WOLF CCnum:: 427082900450[redacted] Cvv: 557 Expm: 02 Expy: 21

Booking Names: Eric Wolf, Liza Wolf, Alex Grey, Elizabeth Grey, Mark Rofer, Denise Rofer

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation. Kind regards, James Patrick.

So now we work out which bank issued the credit card using a very helpful website https://www.binbase.com/search.html

The first 6 digits of every credit card are what is known as the Bank Identification Number which identifies the issuing bank

So this credit card was issued by the United Services Automobile Association well actually their USAA Savings Bank

So I called the USAA Savings Bank in the USA and spoke to Caleb who was very helpful, I explained why I was calling and gave him all of the above details including my contact details and he assured me they would followup with their customer immediately to see if they had actually booked ten nights accommodation with a computer firm on the other side of the world.....

From: Greg Williams <greg@lincolncomputercentre.com.au> Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2019 at 09:07

Hello James, Thank you for your email and payment details. I have tried to process the payments as you have requested however our EFTPOS machine is asking for a signature which will be impossible until you get here. Please advise how you would like to proceed, Regards, Greg

From: Travelagency europe <travelagencyeuro455@gmail.com> Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2019 at 18:56

Hi Greg, Thanks for your response. Kindly send us the slip through email so that we can sign it in order to proceed with the payment. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation. Regards, James Patrick.

From: Greg Williams <greg@lincolncomputercentre.com.au> Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2019 at 21:02

Hello James, I will try again in the office tomorrow morning, but the transaction doesn't process through our EFTPOS terminal until we confirm the signature on the card and we only get the print out after we have confirmed the signature. My apologies, this type of card (which requires a signature at the point of sale is not common and I don't think we can get around the signature security attached to the card. Please let me know how you wish to proceed. Regards, Greg

From: Travelagency europe <travelagencyeuro455@gmail.com> Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2019 at 07:10

Hi Greg, We are still waiting on your response regard the payment thought you said you were going to get back to us 2 days ago. However we want you to give us update on the payment. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation. Cheers, James Patrick.

From: Greg Williams <greg@lincolncomputercentre.com.au> Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2019 at 09:22

Hello James, My apologies, I should have come back to you sooner. We are unable to process your credit card without a signature. I think your card is set to operate personally rather than via MOTO (Mail Order/Telephone Order) but that's OK, we are happy to process your card when you arrive. As you can understand, we must abide by the EFTPOS transaction requirements placed upon us by our bank.

Please let me know how you would like to proceed. As discussed, we are happy to hold your booking until the end of the month. Because we are not able to accommodate your pre-payment request, we are very happy to extend this booking until you arrive. This is not our normal practice because we usually require a deposit but we don't want to make things difficult for you. Regards, Greg

PS One option might be for us to talk to our bank to see if we can get around this requirement somehow, we are very keen for you to stay with us in November!


We could attempt to process the transaction through our EFTPOS machine, print out the docket and email them a copy to sign and send back, but in what universe would any merchant do that?

We are still a chance to get another stolen credit card out of them. Stay tuned...