You would not believe the bare-faced cheek of fraudsters.

We had a booking which resulted in a chargeback as the cardholder denied authorising the payment. We lost out £900 on this booking, but learned from it and changed our procedures to ensure this does not happen again.

We don’t do face-to-face check-ins so cannot check identity on arrival. Guests are now required to provide photo ID to confirm a booking.

We did everything we could to recover the initial chargeback of £900, we defended it with documents from booking.com, tried to call the guest repeatedly (no reply) and reported the case to Action Fraud for investigation.

Now I don’t think I have any chance of getting this £900 back, but I believe that it still needs to be reported as maybe, just maybe it will help stop these fraudsters rip off someone else.

That is the end of the matter as far as I am concerned.

But then I get a new booking at the last minute for a week, worth £1,100. Happy days 😊

Then I realise that this has been made with a number that defrauded us of the £900!

What do I do?

Well clearly I am not going to let then defraud me of £1,100 this time, but surely there is an opportunity here. The people who defrauded last time are coming again. A different name on the booking this time, but the same number.

To be honest I felt like letting them check in and beating the £900 out of them before throwing them out the door. But I realised on reflection this was probably not the best option.

So I called the police. Got to be the right option yes ?

After listening to my story about how we had an opportunity to catch the b*****ds if we let them check in and then had the police arrive to arrest them, they basically said ‘not interested. Too many other things to deal with, we don’t do this sort of sting operation’.

I have to say that this did not surprise me, but it was really disappointing. The police don’t do this sort of operation, the kind where you arrest someone who has committed fraud and theft!

So what to do next?

Well I called the guest, explained that he was using a number that had committed fraud at my apartment and that I did not think he was actually the person whose name was used for the reservation. He swore he was, and was quite convincing, so I told him to send me a copy of his passport and we would talk.

Of course this never arrived and I cancelled the reservation.

The joys of serviced accommodation – not sure they tell you all this on the courses 😊

Let me know if you have had any bad experiences with chargebacks and what your procedures you use to protect against them.

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