HotelsCombined Scam, old habits die hard

World wide web is full of stories narrating how HotelsCombined affiliate program robbed them and the list is never ending.

hotelscombined scam
Screenshot from Hotels Bookie article on HotelsCombined Scam

Hotelscombined scams are again in news, as they say ‘Old habits die hard’. Dan Winther made an in-depth analysis of this whole circus in his travel blog Hotels Bookie. Please read here…

ABTA sleeps over while ACEROOMS.COM openly steals credit card data of users for fraudulent charges

Its a routine story these days. Every other day you come across travel sites which are using their database of previously done credit card transactions to fraudulently charge those credit cards again and again. I was surprised to know that recent scam site identified by Uk Police special cyber crime cell is none other than but an ABTA member (Membership Number Y304X) ACEROOMS.COM.

ImageThis site is being operated from undisclosed location while the given address on the site (78 York Street) is merely a virtual office to fool the customers. Phone number is also some kind of call forwarding number easily available in United Kingdom for as little as 10 GBP per month. Usually they do respond to your phone calls by the name of Paul (male) or Pam (female). Accent is not British at all. Domain administrative details has someone named Ashwin Pattani (An Indian name) with the same call forwarding number as given on their web site.

Most of the bookings done on this site are either bounced or no such booking exists in the hotel’s database and their vouchers are nothing but a piece of paper which can put you in lot of trouble in a foreign land. SecondCity was first contacted by few travel agents from Turkey who complained about this scam site when a group booking done on acerooms was not honored by a very famous hotel A One Royal Cruise Pattaya last year. Since than complaints keep growing and company continued usual practice of robbing dozens of travel agents worldwide right under the nose of ABTA.

A recent incident where a person in India reported the matter to UK Police who previously used their site was robbed of US$557.00 in the name of some cancellation charges. Acerooms denied the whole charge and reiterated that they can use their data of credit cards by law and their lawyers are ready to face any such complaint.

Its very interesting to see whether ABTA takes note of complaints against this scam site and put these people to justice which are robbing travel fraternity since long long time. For the time being Travel Agents and Travellers please stay away from this scam site for the good of your business and holidays. Happy holidaying!!!!

Who are these people calling from Cleartrip.com

Getting too many emails from India lately regarding something very interesting and fishy going on at one of India’s leading on line travel portal Cleartrip.com. I called up one of the user who reported similar incident as others. As I’ve already told you that it is very interesting as well as fishy also. Interesting because these guys at Cleartrip are using state-of-the-art technique to reach out their customers and fishy because they are reaching out to them when customers are about to buy a travel product from Cleartrip.

I was very confused with all the narratives given to me and I decided to experience it myself. I got very suspicious after what happened with me, anyone will be. I was indeed going to buy eight return air tickets from New Delhi to Goa. I hit on Cleartrip website and voila! Their rates were cheapest among other top Indian players like Yatra and Makemytrip. After choosing both departure and arrival flights I filled out traveller’s details and my details with my mobile number and hit the next button. I was on payment page which gave me options like paying by Credit Card, Net Banking or Debit Card. My mobile phone rang and ye lo! It was call from one of the Cleartrip sales executive!

CT: “Sir you are trying to book eight return tickets for Goa as I can see”.

SC:   Oh yeah, I was about to pay for them using net banking.

CT:  I’m sorry sir, but our payment gateway is giving some problems so I’ll do it manually for you if you can provide me with your Credit Card number.

SC:   I don’t have any Credit Card thats why I’m using net banking. Is it really not working, you mean transaction will fail?

CT:   Yes sir, thats why I called you.

In the meantime I clicked the pay button on my Net Banking page and transaction was successful. My PNR number was blinking on the screen and the person whom I was talking to before few seconds was not on other side of line any more. What technology man? I don’t know why this man called me while I was about to buy a travel product on their site and why he was pushing me not to use net banking and instead pressing hard for using my Credit Card? Why did he lied that their payment gateway is not working and transaction will not succeed? Whether Cleartrip is aware of such practice is regular feature at their call centers?

I must tell you one more thing in the end that it is not just one in million incident, it is common practice these days and Cleartrip must come forward with some kind of explanation sooner or later.

What did I forgot to tell you? Oh yes, while I was busy talking to Cleartrip sales executive over phone, in the meantime the return flight I chose got sold out and I was given Go Air 20:35 return flight to Delhi.

PNR of trip discussed above is 7EFNIJ. Airline was Go Air and booking date was Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Another aviation school lands in trouble over insurance

Ormond Beach city filed a court injunction late Friday to stop an aviation school at the municipal airport from flying planes because it’s operating without liability insurance.

Adrian Thompson, owner of Euro American School of Aviation (formerly Ormond Beach Aviation), earlier this week received a notice — the second since January — that his business was in violation of city ordinances, warning that if the matter went unresolved a court order would be sought to ground his planes.

In that letter, Ann-Margret Emery, deputy city attorney, quoted the Ormond Beach ordinance that requires: “All commercial operations shall protect the city and the general public, customers, and clients of such operations, from any and all lawful damages, claims or liability” by having the necessary insurance.

She added that the flight school was first notified Jan. 22 about past-due rent and the expiration of liability insurance at its “fuel farm.”

“It has since been determined that your business operation, flight school, located at the airport is operating without any liability insurance in violation of the law,” Emery wrote in her March 3 letter.

Thompson, a longtime political activist in the city, was implicated by the State Attorney’s Office last year as having a role in an attempt to smear Mayor Fred Costello.

In an e-mail Friday, Thompson said he was being singled out by an “arbitrary action” aimed at closing his business.

Emery said Friday the city sees the matter with Thompson as a landlord-tenant issue, wanting to “make sure if something happens (an accident), there’s coverage.”

An employee at Thompson’s school Friday said the planes are still flying.

The FAA doesn’t require insurance, and Emery said, in general, there’s no way to know what planes are covered when they fly in and out of town. But she said the city holds to a “higher standard” for flight schools based at the municipal airport.

Emery said the city is not more legally vulnerable because Thompson’s school doesn’t have comprehensive general liability insurance.

“The existence of the ordinance doesn’t shift the liability. This won’t increase our liability as owners of the airport,” she said. “We’re trying to get them to get the insurance. If it goes to court, we want the judge to force them to get the insurance. Either get the insurance or don’t continue. But our ultimate goal is not to close a business.”

Thompson said the city initially gave him 60 days from Jan. 22 to show proof of insurance, or face termination of his lease. He said he was “diligently working” to accomplish that.

But Thompson said the action against him, the motive, involved the city’s “real, personal and discriminatory agenda in this matter” to close his business.

He added: “We are using our best efforts and endeavors to cure this issue, but the arbitrary and summary action of the city in withdrawing their pre-disclosed 60-day compliance requirement without notice, and the accompanying threat of court action to secure the city’s unreasonable position is unacceptable in every regard and speaks volumes as to the real intent of the city.”

Last November, state prosecutors cleared Mayor Costello of all allegations of abuse by his adopted daughter and found she sought the help of two of her father’s political rivals to smear his reputation. One was Thompson.

The state prosecutor’s report said Thompson “had sent a pilot to North Carolina to bring Angela Cavanaugh to Florida to make allegations of sexual abuse against her father.” No charges were filed against Thompson.

Thompson is scheduled for trial March 15 in a criminal case in Volusia County filed last year. He faces a charge of misdemeanor battery leveled by a former female employee who was 21 years old.

Affiliates, Publishers, Beware! Adfair.dk (or adfair.se whatever) Another Scam Site.

Every other day we are receiving emails from robbed affiliate publishers who put too much money and energy to promote Scandinavian programs offered by yet another scam site adfair.dk and adfair.se. Modus operandi is quite familiar, they just use publishers to generate leads for hundreds of Scandinavian advertisers and never pay them, just disabling publisher’s log in access when it comes to payment.

adfair scam

It was never heard of in Scandinavia though. What the Danish and Swedish Cyber Crime police is doing? Well, our duty was to inform our subscribers and readers, rest is upto the concerned authorities of the respective countries. A formal complaint has already been logged at the Copenhagen Police with signatures and other details of the complainant publishers against Henrik Sode Holm who is running the whole show. Action is yet to be taken.

Someone from the network contacted our hosting vendor and got suspended our account with them (only thief resort to such things)  but we are unfazed by such small acts as we’ve experienced the same during American School of Aviation Scam. We are in touch with many affiliates who were robbed by this rogue network and will continue this campaign alive with inputs from robbed affiliates in the coming days.

Bed & Breakfast owners are preparing for a flurry of guests this summer

Bed and BreakfastOver the last 10 years, the humble B&B has slowly been dipping into the luxury market. There are still plenty of cheap and practical B&Bs around, but there are increasing numbers of “boutique” ones aimed at the sort of holidaymaker who views accommodation not just as just a bed for the night, but as part of a holiday experience.

Breakfasts are key to winning guests and clinching bookings. That’s where these Bed & breakfasts really stand out against hotels giving them run for their money. With more Europeans choosing to take their holidays in France, Italy & USA this year, bed-and-breakfast owners across these destinations are being run off their feet preparing for a flurry of guests as the summer season gets under way.

Here’s a look at some options available on the worldwide web where you can search for enormous bed & Breakfast possibilities around the world. Hotel Paris, a famous B&B site offer the gamut for travelers. As you can imagine, rates vary based on amenities. But there are deals for the budget-conscious, or you may feel a splurge coming on because you saved on airfare or gas. Special packages that include deals at nearby attractions or wineries are the best bargains. Hotel Rome is famous keyword for travelers thronging to Italian cities of Rome, Venice & Florence. Another interesting source for travelers planning to visit US this summer is Hotel New York which keeps first hand knowledge of Boutique Hotels in & around New York. I liked their reviews though and the site is very neat and simple.

Online Gambling Portal Updates Exclusive Casino Bonuses



Leading online gambling portal and news service, Five Star Gambling, has updated their list of exclusive online casinos bonuses and added a few great new offers available only at their website. The old cliché of “why settle for less” has never been more true than it is at Five Star Gambling. The portal has added a number of new bonuses that are available to players pretty much everywhere in the world, including the United States of America

 I have my doubts though, cos my friend said that a croupier told him that when you play for money, many sites use a different program that isn’t random so you end up losing, as opposed to the random program used when you play for fun. To back this up, my dad worked out a system that had been winning overall everytime he played for fun, but as soon as he played for money in the same way, he lost all the money straight away, and now he daren’t play again.  I decided to give it a try to this one of the most talked about portal in the circles of USA Online Casinos. Five Star Gamble is still one of the best options when it comes to online casino gambling portals. Amazing features including Las Vegas Casino Guide even! Five Star Gamble is an online casino guide providing a selection of the best online casinos. Whether you’re a US online casino player or an international player you’ll find some of the web’s most trusted and reputable online casinos.

Why I’m obsessed with Five Star People because simplicity of the site and ease of use. Left navigation bar is pulse of this site which is designed by keeping in mind the player’s behaviour. Players can start off by checking online casino reviews or they can choose to play the casinos by the software. Best Casino Bonuses and progressive jackpots are also primary attractions of this unique site.

Authenticity is prime concern for the players spending money on online casinos. Players want to know more about the site they are engaged with. I was very much impressed with the Five Star guys who keep updating their site and site links regularly. Very recently on 20th February 2009 they removed almost all of the sites that were listed in their Casino Guide section as most of them were no longer active and many of them simply were no longer worth of placement as recommended  by their visitors who regularly send them feedbacks about the sites featured on Five Star Gamble. The good news is that they’ve substituted many of the former listings with other quality sites which they feel are top rated online casino guides.