Room for Rent and other rental scams
#219147 by Timberpeg Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:32 pm
I just discovered I've been scammed for the deposit on an apartment holiday letting in London. Luckily I had forgotten to pay the final amount and it was only when my e-mails to the agent bounced back that I realised there was a problem.Until I started investigating I had no idea how big a problem this is with London rentals.

The booking was made through a company called London Holiday Apartments with an address at The Scount Association, Gilwell Park, London, E4 7QW, United Kingdom. The website (www.londonholidayapartment.co.uk) is registered to a Paul Winters and now seems to be shut down. "The registrant is a non-trading individual who has opted to have their address omitted from the WHOIS service."

The phone number on the invoice I received is +44-(0) 208 1332 196. This number also appears on a website for Splendour Holiday Homes (www.splendourholidayhomes.com). The individual who answered my calls there claimed to know nothing about either company and said it was a private number. This company's website lists another phone number +44 (0)843-886-9846 which is routed back to the number above and is answered by the same individual. This may be a coincidence but it's strange for a private phone number, as is the proximity of the postal address of both companies. Interestingly, the copyright notice at the bottom on this website shows "londonapartments" and has the banner "London Holiday Apartments" at the top of the page. The e-mail contact address is given as [email protected] which is a legitimate company and I have notified them of a possible misuse of their company name. To be clear, I am not alleging any connection between the two companies or any misconduct but just making other readers aware of what I have found.

The company registration number on the London Holiday Apartments invoice is 07010914. This is actually the number for a company called Holiday Letting Services Ltd with an address at Angel House, Hardwick, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 7QE. The company's website listed on the Companies Office record (www.cebualive.com) can not be contacted. The director of this company, John Desmond Barkel, is mentioned on a number of TripAdvisor postings relating to alleged holiday letting scams by Sterling London Homes. The website contact address is given as [email protected] but when I tried to contact the phone number given on www.puertobanusmarbella.com there was no response. Again, no connection is alleged between companies or individuals to my particular issue.

A Lloyds bank account was used for the money transfer and I've notified the bank. The use of misleading website names, false phone numbers and company registration numbers is probably done to make it more difficult to trace the culprits. Other than that I'll just have to treat it as a lesson learned.
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#219266 by Mike Wilson Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:40 am
Welcome to Scamwarners Timberpeg,

The website www.splendourholidayhomes.com is also a fake and has been reported for fraud. If you have any additional questions about this scam please ask.

It is ALWAYS a scam
If the pet seller or shipper asks for money to be sent via Western Union, Money Gram, any brand of gift card. Walmart To Walmart , Zelle , PayPal friends and family option, or mentions Cameroon

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