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Go Back   Pollensa Forum > BEFORE YOU GO > Hotels, Villas & Apartments in Pollensa & Cala San Vicente

Hotels, Villas & Apartments in Pollensa & Cala San Vicente Discuss hotels, aparthotels, private villas, apartments and any other type of accommodation in the Pollensa area including Cala San Vicente. Do add reviews and comments for specific hotels and apartments. Readers find these very useful. However this forum is not a place for advertisements. Check out the 'Advertise' page on the main web site.

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  • 1 Post By cumberland8
  • 3 Post By eleanor
  • 2 Post By pollensa

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  #1  
Old 17-09-2013, 06:10
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Default Almost scammed....a cautionary tale!

Ok, so I posted a few days ago about the difficulty in making a late booking, but ended rather smugly saying we had found something we were very happy with. Well, pride truly do goeth before a fall because it turned out to be a scam which we almost fell for. The property and owner appear to be genuine but our enquiry email seems to have been intercepted by a bogus organisation/individual who was nothing to do with the original website (not this one I hasten to add). We were all set to pay our 1000 euros when we realised there was no phone number on the email and it was taking a day at a time to respond...we are going on Saturday so were a bit anxious....my husband did a bit of digging and fortunately realised before we parted with any money, and reported it to the real website and they are dealing with it.
It horrifies me to imagine turning up in lovely PP with no where to go for 2 weeks and potentially no money for other accommodation either! These people must make a living from targeting late bookers such as us where payment would be made in full a few days before, then away they go with the money! Only needs to work once a week doesn't it, and they have made a tidy sum.
So spent most of yesterday and evening frantically searching again, and dare I say it, seem to have been successful.
Would just also add that what swung the original scam booking for us was the 'carrot' of a free welcome pack which seem to be rare these days, and free toiletries....another 'unheard of'.....well we all like the idea of a freebie nowadays don't we!
As my darling husband says 'if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is' and he was right again. Annoyingly he often is
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Old 17-09-2013, 07:10
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Some of you may remember me siting this problem last year, well it is now one of the fastest growing scams in Spain where holiday makers pay in full on credit/debit cards & find no property to rent on arrival.I know one can get your dosh back if on a card but it is a lot of hassle proving it & it takes a lot of time ,plus it knackers your holiday.
Pay a deposit by transfer & the rest in the folding stuff on arrival, as long as you get a receipt ,cash is king.only my opinion but it stops getting burnt.
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Old 17-09-2013, 08:32
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Gosh, Annie, that was a close shave wasnt it Really glad you sussed it in time - have a great holiday
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Old 17-09-2013, 09:36
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Oh what a lucky escape! This has happened so many times with Owners Direct. We stopped advertising with them for this reason as they say they will sort the problem but I don't actually think they do anything.

To use this site is a good idea as the majority of owners are known. If something sounds a little strange it really is looked into. It really isn't a good idea to rent a property if no 'personal details' of the renter are available. I think all ads on here have the name of the renter, their phone number and a map of the area of the property. If there is no phone number whether you decide to phone or not then I would be very careful.

As for payment on arrival. This is not possible unless the owner is locally based. The majority of owners are in the UK. Personally I would not be happy to go this route simply as it gives the owner no security. What happens if a whole season is rented on this basis and the renters fail to show up?

It really comes back to being aware and being in control by taking the initiative. A PRIVATE email to the owner of the site asking for confirmation that all is well and then using the opportunity to build a good solid relationship with the owner is a step in the right direct. Obviously there will always be those clever scammers that manage to get around almost anything - gosh if they can get into a bank system as in the news this last week then rental websites must be very easy. To use a rental company is also something to be aware as many are here today gone tomorrow. Remember Sunquest about 8 years ago? How many owners in Pollensa are still owed thousands from them?

Thankfully Annie realised what was happening and she may just be right that late availability on the site she used were targeted. I think whilst being aware it is fare to say that for every one scam there must be hundreds that go forward with no problems at all. Buyer beware I suppose.
Lorenzo, Rosie34 and ragdollabbi like this.
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Last edited by eleanor; 17-09-2013 at 09:38.
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Old 17-09-2013, 11:54
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Just to clarify owners of the properties on the main web site Rent Villas Apartments in Puerto Pollensa (Port de Pollenca), Majorca (Mallorca) are based either in the UK or locally (& a few in other countries) so it is not unusual to ask for a deposit by bank transfer and the balance on arrival.

I can only recommend that you do send your initial enquiry by email and then follow up with a phone call. Unfortunately scamming does happen & it is not always via the web site concerned as an owner's email may also get hacked. But if you telephone as well then you can confirm that your email has arrived & that you are dealing directly with the advertiser.

And as mentioned before, you can always contact me - see Holiday Webs - Contact Us Puerto Pollensa (Port de Pollenca), Majorca (Mallorca) and I can tell you how long the advertiser has been with us etc.

Also, I'm not sure that a free welcome pack & toiletries is necessarily the sign of a scam - just generous owners!
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