Complaint 150152 Details
- Date Occurred: 08/13/2012
- Reported Damages: $1,916.00
The complaint is against an online dating profile
The complaint is a listing fraud posted on public forums or sites against an anonymous entity
The complaint is mobile text spam or smishing related against an anonymous entity
The company or person contact no longer exists
We used the Flipkey website in search for an accommodation in Bali and sent 18 emails via Flipkey website to the owners. We got owners responses and one in particular offering a 20% off a bali accommodation. We then continued to liaise with the owner via their email firstname.lastname@example.org and proceed to book the villa. As per some payments when you deal directly with owners they asked for the payment to be transferred to the personal accounts. We did not hesitate as we felt Flipkey owned by tripadvisor is secure and credible. We made the payment on 13th August. Details of bank below.
Total Booking Charges: AUD$ 1916.00
Receiver: Moga Rentals
Receiver address: 50 Carmel Court, Kings Drive, Middlesex, HA9 9JF , United Kingdom
Sort Code: 209821
Account #: 53336263
IBAN: GB18 BARC 2098 2153 3362 63
Bank Name: Barclays Bank UK
Bank Address: 748 Lordship Lane, Wood Green, London, N22 5JU, United Kingdom
On the 15th August Flipkey sent an email to say that owners email has been hacked and we have been scammed. I contacted Flipkey immediately and they confirmed it was a scam. I then contacted the Owner to verify this is true and he said that he does not have any recollection of taking our booking nor know of us.
Flipkey is adamant that the owner is at fault and sent this email to us:
Adam, Aug 23 09:07 am (EDT):
Hi John and Nina,
Thanks for the email. Again, the issue occurred in a personal email account. The website itself is safe and secure. FlipKey cannot be held liable for the personal email accounts of our owners. Any legal counsel or police investigation will reaffirm this.
I apologize for the situation, but FlipKey will not be liable for your losses accrued. If you do wish to pursue the individual who hacked the personal email account, FlipKey will gladly assist in any investigation that is set forth.
However, the owner who we have been in constant communication had an email from Flipkey saying the following
Here is the mail i got this morning from the scammed guests:
Unfortunately we are unable to recoup the funds from the Scam... I am coming to you in hope that you may be able to assist us in getting a rental at no charge or the best rate you can do taking in to consideration our situation and what we've just been through.
As you will see from the email trails below we have suffered significant emotional strain and financial loss. We've tried our best to seek some justice from Flipkey and they keep pointing the finger at you and waving their hands clean of responsibility.
"...Unfortunately, in this type of scam, the security breach occurred within the owner's personal email account. At no point was the security of the website itself compromised. Personal email account security is the responsibility of the owner. FlipKey does educate owners about web security and the potential threats that scammers can attack with.
I encourage you to try and reach out to the actual owner of the rental to see if anything can be done...."
Whilst we understand that you may also have been a victim and were unaware that your personal email was hacked, we feel distraught that Flipkey is taking no responsibility nor liability in what has happened to us and because they have suggested to contact you we hope that you will be able to help us further by providing us a free rental during our trip or at least at small cost/rate.
You are our last resort. Hoping for your kind consideration.
Nina and John
How come the answer i got was:
'I just tried to call you but did not get an answer. I am certain that your account is secure but wanted to fill you in on what happened. A different owner on our website had his personal email account hacked. The scammer was then stealing inquiries and sending those travelers a link to your property offering a special deal if they booked within a short period of time. Your FlipKey account and email address have NOT been compromised. If any other travelers contact you and you have no idea who they are, please notify them as to what has occurred.'
Well, i find it a bit difficult to understand how someone could use my account, use the same property nb, with my picture on the listing
And that you say that there is no breach of security from Flipkey, but just from a 3rd party?… Or even myself, by saying that i have not been educated enough to prevent this from happening?… Funily enough, i have just read the marketing guide, http://www.flipkey.com/owner/guide
Where am i supposed to have found security measures to prevent this from happening, this guide is about marketing….
Here is the table of contents:
Creating and Fine-Tuning Your Advertising Program
5 Focuson Quality, Not Quantity
6 What AboutCost?
7 What toLookfor ina VacationRental AdvertisingSite
8 JoinYourLocal VisitorsBureau
9 CreateYour OwnWebsite
Making Your Listings Stand Out from the Competition
10 PassionateProperty Description
15 Detailed AmenitiesList
18 Great GuestReviews
21 Current AvailabilityCalendar
22 Attention-Grabbing Headline
24 Contact Information
Creative Ways for Boosting Your Bookings
25 RatesandSpecial Offers
26 EstablishingaRelationship withYour Guests
27 SendingThank-You Notes
28 Sending Holiday Greetings
28 Email Marketing
29 Going AfterSpecialty Markets
About the Authors
It think it is a bit out of line to play on both side like this. I would like to understand why, and if i am at greater risk or it there is something i should do to prevent it from happening again.
Will i be legally responsible if those guests are coming after me?
And what about the mail you sent to the guests warning them that they might have been scammed….Flipkey surely realised something went wrong…
Well, Adam, this is not against you personally of course.
Also, i am waiting to sort out this pb: : Ticket #310778: Pb new Listing
What do you advise me to do? Erase this one and Create a new listing?
I will most definitely try to call you tonight, as i am not very pleased with how all this handled.
If there was a way we could chat for free, it would be great also…
After careful research we have come to know that the listings are still up on Flipkey and Flipkey has done nothing in terms of removing them nor investigating who the scammers are and jeopardising businesses from the owners and making us users a target for these scammers. Under Common law, they are an Accomplice for aiding, abetting, encouraging, soliciting the offence.
We are trying to seek the amount from them which we have lost but they keep waving their hands of responsibility and denying their liability.
Since it is an international scam and Flipkey is in the US. The Australian authorities have no jurisdiction and we victims are suppose to accept this injustice. Please see others who have had similar experiences.
Because we are unable to seek help from authorities we have gone to the Australian media, and resorted to viral emails to family and friends and created awareness through Social media. However, how can we prosecute an individual and investigate as Flipkey has suggested.
I am coming to your organisation to see if there is any way at all you can help me and those who have been victimised in hope that we get the money we have lost.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my complaint and I look forward to your reply.
Nina Dela Cruz
(Personal Info Removed)
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Business Profile Summary
- Complaint Against FlipKey
- Complaints Filed: 23
- Reported Damages: $57,634.93
What is SBID?
SBID is a unique id code that identifies the user's computer and location. SBID is used to prevent fraudulent postings and help our community find users who create duplicate user accounts.