Unfortunately there is a sad sequel to last weeks' blog post "How to avoid Portugal Holiday Scams" and it seems our advice came too late for one unhappy family.
It turns out that following the hacking of an Owners Direct account one family were duped into paying the full amount for their Portugal Holiday into a total stranger's account.
The e-mail they received from the scammer was as follows
"Hi again xxxxx,
The new bank details for the balance are:
Name : ANA MARIA GONZALEZ GRANADERO
Address : Calle Elda 11, 03012, Alicante, Spain
BANK NAME :LA CAIXA
IBAN : ES74 2100 5718 4601 0019 7562
ACC Number : 2100 5718 4601 0019 7562
SWIFT BIC CODE : CAIXESBBXXX
BANK Address : C. Alfares 7, La Puebla De Montalban, Toledo, Spain
Use ase reference xxxxx910837
I will wait your email as soon as the transfer has been complete.
They have now little chance of getting back the money they have paid, well in excess of a £1000, whilst the owner of the property has also not received the balance due.
We urge people to use reputable holiday companies such as Portugal Holiday Destinations to secure their Portugal Holidays as the amount of scams via Owners Direct and similar websites has been alarmingly high this year.
We also strongly urge that people double check if they are asked to send their deposit and balance to different accounts.
Check out our previous post for more suggestions on how to avoid being scammed.