Bogus email request targets Bogus Basin Road spa retreat

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

Hello,how are you doing today.I will like to make a group booking, can you handle relaxing facial treatment with neck massage for 7 people on the 20th of April ….” was all Carl Jamrog, owner of Serenity Retreat, had to read to feel squeamish about the email request for services.Serentiy Retreat

But, treating all customers fairly, he finished reading the email and sent off a response with a cost proposal. And, said, Please call to discuss the exact arrangements her guests would be expecting, and included the business phone number.

The response he received back was expected: “I have deaf, hard of hearing,oral with hearing impaired, and other disability activities and the best way to reach you is via mail or text …. “

Every year spas, clubs and retreats are presented with lucrative offers by email asking the owners to offer services only to be paid in advance by scammers using forged checks or stolen credit cards. BBB commends Jamrog, of Boise, for recognizing this scheme and steering clear. The scammer’s promise: $150 tip – if he forwards $980 to the driver by Western Union using a credit card.

His response to fraudster Susane Braley – susanebraley@aol.com – was courteous: “Unfortunately, after much consideration, we will not be able to help you with your request for services at our spa. We wish you luck in finding another facility to provide your services.”

This is a typical overpayment scams. Here are red warning flags:

  • The inquirer offers to pay more than the asking price of an item or service.
  • Some of the money paid for the items or service is expected to be sent back to the sender or given to a third-party. Western Union or wire transfers of money is requested.
  • The name on the check does not match the company name or person making the buy or receiving the service.
  • Email correspondence has several misspellings and obvious grammar mistakes; it may seem to be from someone outside of the country. Contact is done by fax, email or text.
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1 Comment

Filed under News You Can Trust

One response to “Bogus email request targets Bogus Basin Road spa retreat

  1. Mark Burrows

    Any business should not take bookings via email. Most successful companies generally have a toll free phone number to call, even if they don’t a long distance call is not going to destroy anyone’s budget. Paying by credit card in advance these days will in general alert anyone immediately if their credit card is being abused if it has been recently stolen. Also if you have reported it already, chances are the credit card companies are on alert and often will set up a sting operation with the calling business to catch the culprits.
    Emails should only be used to provide clarification of services, never to conduct business.

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