Look out for scams!

Nowadays holiday cottage scams are mainly criminals advertising a house that they don't own on the large sites where everything is done automatically. On small sites like this one, where the owners are still running the business, then that doesn't happen - you can rest assured that if you book a cottage here then the property exists!

We have state of the art, up-to-date spam filters on the site but unfortunately no site can stop individuals enquiring manually to properties. Most of the old scams have now disappeared - banking systems have updated their procedures finally and people are more aware of them. However the scammers have got more sophisticated - and improved their English! Phishing scams are far more common - they are looking to get you to click on a link that they'll send you at some point in the conversation. Typically about 3 emails in it will appear and obviously never click on a link that a potential guest sends you. Another common phishing scam says they've stayed in your property in the past and would like to publish their photos in a lifestyle magazine - they ask you click a link to see them - again, never click.

Our advice is that if you are at all suspicious of an enquiry then you should just delete it. If you are in doubt please just email it to us and we'll be able to advise. New scams do appear so be alert and if it sounds odd then it probably isn't genuine.

The cheque scam is the oldest fraud and operates like this:

you will receive an email asking for a long booking for a cottage (often in rather poor English). If you accept the booking they will say that they have to pay a larger sum (as it is a business trip, or some such excuse) and could you then repay the overpayment once their cheque has cleared. If you repay the extra they sent you then at some point in the future their cheque (which you assume has cleared) bounces - so you are out of pocket.

It goes without saying not to enter into any strange financial arrangements with potential guests - I'm sure none of you would but it's worth reiterating as scammers are a lot more sophisticated now!

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