from Living France Magazine le bulletin November 2005
threat to gîte owners
of holiday homes in France are among the latest people to be targeted
by internet fraudsters. Philip Suter of jml Property Services says
many advertisers on www.jmlvillas.com
have been sent bogus enquiries over the past few months,
with over 600 bogus enquiries from the website
on 29 July 2005 alone.
scam works by the enquirer sending a cheque far in excess of the
requested sum, then requesting a refund for the difference. After
repaying this the gîte owner will find that original cheque has
bounced or is bogus.
Owens lets out his house in Pyrénées-Orientales. On two occasions
he has received suspicious enquiries by email. Each time the sender
wanted to send John a sum of money far above the cost of the rental.
'On the first occasion the sender claimed he had a client who owed
him ten thousand pounds', says John. 'He said he would arrange for
this amount to be sent and asked if I could return the difference
refused to accept the booking. 'On the second occasion the sender
claimed the excess money he was sending would cover the air fare,
so I suggested he contact a booking agent who could book a flight
and house rental using the entire amount'.
requests were made for out-of-season bookings, which made them attractive
at first glance.' The senders also asked for non-standard lengths
of stay so we built up a dialogue on email'. says John.
Suter advises gîte owners to beware of the following types of email:
that seem too good to be true.
that make it clear that the enquirer has not actually looked at
your property details.
whereby the applicant is an 'agent' saying he has a professor
coming to your country for a conference.
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