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Possible accommodation scam

Perth, Australia
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6 posts
8 reviews
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Possible accommodation scam

I am pretty sure we have been scammed trying to book accommodation for an apartment at 530 St Philip St, New Orleans. The property was listed on craiglist …craigslist.org/vac/3104194948.html. We signed a contract with the owner through an agent and paid a deposit of $300. This resulted in a demand for the full payment ($600) to secure the property. We have refused to pay any more and now believe we have been scammed. Has anybody else had a problem with this property or an owner by the name of Lynne Mayfield (address in Cleveland Ohio) or her agent Frank Lescott?

There were no reviews of this property on Trip Advisor. I know, should have known better!

Jan

Blenheim, Canada
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10,634 posts
74 reviews
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1. Re: Possible accommodation scam

From what I have read on this forum alone NEVER book an accommodation with Craig's List. At least two people I can remember have been scammed by them.

The safest bet is to book a hotel or a B&B. A lot of these apartments are not considered legal rentals either and if you go that route you take your chances. Sorry about what happened.

New Orleans...
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68 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: Possible accommodation scam

Always use a licensed B&B or hotel.

This happens all the time here, especially during special events.

New Orleans...
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
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546 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: Possible accommodation scam

It may or may not be a scam, but it is likely to be an illegal short-term-rental. That address doesn't appear on the City's list of legal French Quarter rentals...

nola.gov/VISITORS/…Vieux-Carre-Rentals

Even though it's probably illegal, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a scam. There are many illegal absentee-owner rentals in the French Quarter. It's a big problem. I noticed the craigslist listing is no longer there.

What form of payment was the deposit requested in? If it's Western Union or other wire transfer, then it's almost certainly a scam.

Edited: 24 July 2012, 14:24
Illinois
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85 posts
7 reviews
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4. Re: Possible accommodation scam

When doing a search for the address you provided, 530 St Philip St. #4 is for sale currently. I also found this https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/406652… and this neworleans.craigslist.org/vac/3091628755.html

Illinois
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85 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: Possible accommodation scam

Also found this www.whitepages.com/name/John-Mayfield/Ohio

Moncton, Canada
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6,369 posts
49 reviews
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6. Re: Possible accommodation scam

I'm sorry this happened to you. I'm assuming you did this because the price was really great... what's that saying, if it's too good to be true?

There are all kinds of hotels in the French Quarter with all kinds of price point. I'm sure you can find something that will fit your budget, even with that 300$ loss. Thankfully, you didn't pay in full.

Perth, Australia
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6 posts
8 reviews
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7. Re: Possible accommodation scam

Thanks so much everyone for your replies. We really should have asked advice first by looks of it. Thank heavens it wasn't more than $300.

Edited: 25 July 2012, 08:05
Perth, Australia
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6 posts
8 reviews
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8. Re: Possible accommodation scam

The payment was through Western Union. That did set of some alarm bells. Always listen to your gut feeling is the lesson here (and look at reputable websites, and ask the Trip Advisor forum!).

Perth, Australia
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6 posts
8 reviews
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9. Re: Possible accommodation scam

Thanks Scott for your research! And for everyone's tips. :)

Destination Expert
for New Orleans
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8,096 posts
126 reviews
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10. Re: Possible accommodation scam

I am sorry this has happened to you but I hope you will come to New Orleans and have a fantastic time anyway! If you can provide us with your dates of travel, we can help to find you a nice hotel or bed and breakfast. Most of us on this forum would advise you to stay in the French Quarter. Let us know if you want any help in locating a place to stay!