Local MLA Robin Swann has called on the community to “be extra vigilant for cash scammers during the holiday season”.
The UUP Assemblyman issued his appeal after a warning that tourist accommodation owners in the Province are being targeted in what is believed to be an international scam stretching to Nigeria in West Africa.
According to him, self-catering accommodation and bed and breakfast owners are receiving emails from a couple making bogus bookings.
“They are asked to accept a cheque or money order for more than the total cost of the booking. They are then asked to refund the difference from their own bank account. This is sometimes known as ‘an overpayment scam’,” said Mr Swann.
The cheque sent to the B&B owner bounces after the unsuspecting victim has sent the refund difference abroad, so that they end up out of pocket, he explained. Mr Swann said: “I urge our local constituency tourism industry to be on the lookout for these scams. However, I would also urge the entire community to be extra vigilant that they are not duped into such scams, too, and are robbed of their hard-earned holiday or living money.”