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Thread: The Travel Agent "No Credit Card" Scam

  1. #1

    Default The Travel Agent "No Credit Card" Scam

    I'm sure you've all seen this one at one time or another - you get an e-mail from someone requesting a quote for a group coming "to your area" in the next month or so - when you respond they always want to have their credit card charged for the travel plus a ridiculous amount over so you can send the excess to their travel agent who coincidentally just doesn't have credit card processing facilities. Long story short, when you send the money to the travel agent the credit card is no good and you're out whatever funds you sent. The latest one I received was from "The Reverend Benjamin Godfrey" with a gmail address. If anyone would like to see the original proposal I'll be happy to send it to you. And sometimes you just have to have a little fun; this is what I sent back to him today:

    My Dear Reverend Godfrey,

    I hope this finds you well. I’m writing today in the hope that you might welcome a warning and be advised and aware of a scam targeting limousine companies and God-fearing churches and reverends. It seems that there are unscrupulous travel agents who overcharge their clients then transfer that charge to the limo company who charges the original card. When this happens the travel agent then reneges on the deal and doesn’t send the money back to the good reverend who has made the deal. Does this make sense? I hope so because I would hate to see you dealing with an unscrupulous, dishonest, and unethical person in setting up travel arrangements. While I would never think that you might be involved in something like this it is necessary that we are clear that we cannot, by legal, ethical, moral, and religious principles take part in such a scheme. Since this scam is so prevalent we are taking precautions to protect your interests we are perfectly willing to take payment via either bank check or cash no later than 10 days before arrival for the transportation only but we will not be a party to any type of scheme that your travel agent may be proposing. Honestly I think your agent is being, shall we say, less than truthful to you as it is so very simple to get a credit card processor nowadays, via SquareUP or some other company that his protestations of having no credit card facility is quite erroneous and unbelievable. I fully realize that you, as a man of God, are likely not aware of such despicable actions taking place in the temporal business world and as such are seen as easy prey for such criminals and ne’er do wells. Please take this in the good Christian faith and love that it is intended and pray that your travel agent is made to see the light of the way, truth and justice.

    May God be with you in all your endeavors.
    John Harris
    Owner Operator
    Austin Ultimate Sedans

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    Godfrey seems to be a universal last name in email scammers.

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    Super Moderator Limo Scene's Avatar
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    Why is that Brandon? Just curious. I have heard/seen the letter (or variations) for at least 10 years but I have never heard that term. We handle them all like a regular order and let the people know that we need payment one week in advance in the form of a Cashier's Check, Money Order or Cash and once we have collected, there are no refunds. We too refuse to accept anymore money that what the order calls for and let people know we will not pay bills on their behalf or work as a middleman to anything. To clarify, this is only when we suspect fraud is a potential. We have established clients, like Chevron, that we advance $3000 at a time for them for a catered meal at a winery and just add everything to their final bill for tasting fees, dinners, tour fees etc. but then again, we have a contract with them so we know we will get paid. Reverend's spending big money make me nervous!!! LOL
    Jim A. Luff
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    Does anyone ever fall for this scam? And what does 419 mean?

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    I've heard that 419 refers to the international dialing code for West Africa.

  7. #7

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    Interesting. Also look out for the 876 area code. That's Jamaica. Lots of scammers there. It looks like it's toll free but it's not. It's international long distance.

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    It's one of the oldest scams on the internet. Basically its when you trick someone into giving you money with the hopes that they are going to get a ton of money from something. The limo version is just a different way of twisting the "I'm a prince who wants to give away 50 million dollars" emails. Here's the definition from wikipedia and a link:

    There are many variations on this type of scam, including advance-fee fraud, Fifo's Fraud, Spanish Prisoner Scam, black money scam. The number "419" refers to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud.[1] The scam has been used with fax and traditional mail, and is now used with the internet. Nations with a high incidence of this fraud include; the United States, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo, Russia, Pakistan, India, the Netherlands, and Spain.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/419_Scams

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    Oh and if you have some free time on your hands and want to see some pure comedy where people fought back and scammed the scammers check out http://www.419eater.com/.

  10. #10

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    Well I was just yesterday sought out by this scam! I had a feeling it was as I got a text but they sent an itinerary with local establishments so it looked pretty legit until...

    Hello

    Thanks for the quote. I am OK with the quote and i would have my
    clients put things in order for their flight.I
    would have to seek a little favor from you and i would be happy if you
    can be able to grant me the favor i seek from you. Due to my present
    health condition,i would provide you my credit card details for you to
    charge for the total cost of the service + Tip and also i would like
    you to charge an extra sum of $ which would be used by the travel
    agent in charge of My clients flight arrangements .I am sorry if i am
    asking for too much but i would have forwarded my credit card details
    to the Travel Agent but i was meant to know that they are having
    issues with their credit card facility and the only mode of payment
    would be through Bank Deposit and that's why i am
    seeking your favor on this,i would be willing to compensate you if you
    can assist me on this .


    Kindly let me know if you can assist me so i can forward you with my
    credit card details for payment and confirmation of booking .


    Your urgent response would be appreciated.


    Warm Regards .

    Good, I don't do weddings anyway lol!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limo Scene View Post
    Why is that Brandon? Just curious. I have heard/seen the letter (or variations) for at least 10 years but I have never heard that term.
    http://www.nigerianspam.com/history-419-scam.htm

    The number "419" indicates to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code(part of Chapter 38: "Obtaining Property by fake pretences; Cheating") dealing with fraud. The American Dialect Society has traced the term "419 Scam" back to 1992
    Steve Walker ppvsteve@gmail.com

  12. #12

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    I told them I bet you will be pretty tired after that long flight from Nigeria! Can't believe you chose my city for your wedding lol! The best part is they are such idiots many times they still respond back!

  13. #13

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    Does anyone know how they use the phone numbers to text? This was a Missouri number so that threw me off too..

  14. #14

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    Scammers are everywhere, including the US. Not just Nigeria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneLimo View Post
    I told them I bet you will be pretty tired after that long flight from Nigeria! Can't believe you chose my city for your wedding lol! The best part is they are such idiots many times they still respond back!
    I lived in Nigeria for 3 years. I didn't just rotate in to a rig, I lived there. I had a house, I drove my car, I went shopping, and to restaurants, etc. 3 years there is like 10 years in any other country.

    What I can tell you about the Nigerians, is that they are not corrupt in their mind. That is their culture. Everybody tries to cheat everybody, and if you are successful, then good for you. If not, don't give up, try try again. The most successful at stealing are their idols and heroes like the way we gush over celebrities. No one trusts anyone, and that's the system. In a way it works, if everyone is on the same page.

    It's the way they want to live. They don't want us to come over there and "fix" anything. In fact, that's insulting. How would you like it if some other country like Korean said they were going to fix the US?

    However, they see us as an honest and trustworthy culture that is easy pickings. Why do they keep sending out these scams? Because they work. We have some really stupid people in this country that are too trusting, and would like to earn some quick "American Dream" money.

    Why can you have so much fun with them? Because when you lie to them, they think you are telling the truth. You see, they stereotype us, just like we do them. Oibo (their equivalent of the N word for white people), don't lie.

    I learned when I got arrested there that I could lie to them about previously making an arrangement (aka bribe) to their boss's, boss's, boss, and they will be in big "wahala" (Nigerian for "trouble") if they delay my travels. They would put their guns down and let me go.
    Last edited by FamilyLimo; March 13th, 2014 at 08:17 PM.

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