Warning – credit card losses from impersonation

We’ve received the following email from the editors of Holiday Villas and Cottages magazine, which is relevant to all people who advertise their property on holidaycottages.cc and any other web site or magazine:

Please be aware that a number of advertisers in our publication Holiday Villas & Cottages have recently received calls from sales people improperly claiming to work for, or on behalf of, the magazine.

In a number of cases individuals have been persuaded to hand over credit card details after being offered renewal of their advertisement booking at a low price, subject to immediate acceptance of the offer and payment by credit card. Their card is then debited in that amount, often several times.
No written or email confirmation is supplied until after payment has been taken.

Any advertising supplied as a result appears to be in a freesheet style publication, not in a bona fide magazine.

These calls are not in any way connected with Holiday Villas & Cottages, Merricks Publishing Ltd, holidaycottages.cc.

Calls to our advertisers are almost certainly just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone advertising in any publication or on any website could be called by these people.
If you receive an advertising sales call seeking a repeat booking in any publication/website and you have any doubts at all as to whether it is genuine, ask the caller for his/her name and the name of the company and publication, then call that publication (making sure you call the genuine number, not one that you are given on the pretext that ‘the switchboard is always busy.’) In our case, the number to call is 01458 274447.

Allegations of improper sales activity of this sort have been covered by the BBC and discussed online, for example here and here.

If this has already happened to you, call me, Hamish Watson-Grey, or e-mail info@merrickspublishing.com and we will advise what steps you can take to recover your funds.

With kind regards

Hamish Watson-Grey
Managing Director
Merricks Publishing Ltd