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Western Union scam

  • SalParadise

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd September, 2013
    Posts: 5

    Hi there,
    it's my first time in Cambodia. I'm going to go to Koh Rong Samloem Island in Dec this year, over the Christmas period. I've booked one of the Bungalow there and they've asked me to transfer a deposit of $80USD via Western Union transfer. This doesn't feel entirely comfortable, am i being paranoid? the idea of having to use western union to transfer cash feels odd. Please advice?

    #1 Posted: 16/9/2013 - 04:20

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  • somtam2000

    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7371
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Western Union isn't uncommon in Cambodia - when I was living there I was paid that way for a while, but I've not heard of guesthouses using it in this way -- generally they use PayPal or credit cards.

    The main issue with WesternUnion (aside from the high fees) is thereis little to no recourse if you want a refund - once they have the money, they have the money.

    Which place is it on the island? Do they list it on the site as being the main payment method?

    From the guesthouse's POV I can see them wanting to lock you in, as those islands will be pretty busy over the silly season, but its a shame they're not using credit cards or something.

    #2 Posted: 16/9/2013 - 04:56

  • SalParadise

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd September, 2013
    Posts: 5

    Somtam2000: it's for the Saracen Bay Resort. The website doesn't list any payment method. I figured because of the busy period and due to the remoteness the guesthouse won't have such sophisticated method of payment, hence the need to use Western Union possibly...

    #3 Posted: 16/9/2013 - 05:09

  • AbigailatPe-

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    9th November, 2010
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 179

    That resort only has a few bungalows, so I guess they want to be sure of your commitment. As Christmas will be a busy time, people tend to book ahead and don't show up and hope - if you don't turn up they're less likely to be able to sell the bungalow space again.

    The island doesn't have much internet, so PayPal and other methods might be difficult. I suggest you email back and express your concern and see if they can reassure you.

    By the way, great choice - it's beautiful!

    #4 Posted: 19/9/2013 - 01:35

  • SalParadise

    Joined Travelfish
    2nd September, 2013
    Posts: 5

    Hi AbidailatPenhandlnk - thanks for the tip. I've already spoken to them a few times now and it all looks reassuring. take care.

    #5 Posted: 19/9/2013 - 04:56

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