WARNING: Scam targets holidaymakers

WARNING: Holidaymakers are being warned about a new scam targetting them.
WARNING: Holidaymakers are being warned about a new scam targetting them. Rayes

WITH the festive season here, police are warning people about a new scam targeting consumers who access accommodation provider websites.

The scam occurs when consumers submit email inquiries in relation to securing accommodation over the Christmas and New Year's holiday period.

Scammers ask the consumer to pay a deposit directly into a bank account to secure the accommodation, and if the victim then tries to contact the scammer, there is no answer to calls or emails.

Acting Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence of the State Crime Command's Fraud and Cyber Crime Squad says the scammers will often go to great lengths to "sell" the accommodation.

"The scammer will go above and beyond to secure a sale, emailing back and forth with the consumer, but once a deposit has been transferred all communication ceases.

"We urge all consumers to be cautious before acting on any emails received.

"Triple-check that the URL, website and email address is correct and be aware that links may redirect you to a fake address.

"Ask to speak to someone on the telephone if possible, and be wary of any email asking you to directly transfer money into a bank account.

"Never click on links in these emails and do not reply to them.

Acting Detective Superintendent Lawrence said the majority of complaints received so far had involved consumers specifically seeking accommodation on the Gold Coast over Christmas.

Police are urging consumers to be vigilant when conducting any transaction online, and recommend the following:

  • Only use a reputable accommodation provider website.
  • Look for reviews of the accommodation provider as well as the accommodation you are interested in booking prior to making a transaction.
  • Do not pay directly into a bank account - use PayPal.
  • Always check website and email addresses. Scammers often use near-identical email addresses with only the ".au" missing.
  • Contact the accommodation provider by telephone if possible.

For more information about online scams or to report a scam, visit

Anyone with information which could help police should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333000 or 24 hours a day.

Topics:  editors picks police warning scam scammers tourists

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Have your say on new harbour plans

Feedback is being sought on the draft masterplan for the Brunswick Heads boat harbour.

Plan will prioritise public access to the riverfront

Community win: $400k for park makeover

MANY HANDS: Ballina MP Tamara Smith, Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin and Byron Shire councillor Allan Hunter among the kids celebrating Waterlily Park at Ocean Shores.

Waterlily Park scores grant for future

Hemsworth wiped out by monster wave

Chris Hemsworth often posts photos of him and his kids surfing. Picture; Luke Mun/Instagram

The 34-year-old made light of the incident

Local Partners