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I booked a holiday home and received a mail to pay the advance. I never saw the holiday home and I lost the advance... (Liesbet, producer Klara) 

Holiday home in Scotland 

A couple of years ago I booked a holiday home in Scotland online. Shortly afterwards I received a mail to pay an advance of 250 euros. I didn't ask any questions, I actually thought it was quite normal. I did have my doubts about the low rent for that great looking holiday home. And the mail asking for payment of the advance was written in very poor English. But I thought the owners were probably expats who went to their home country for the summer. And I hadn't really heard much about phishing at the time.... 

When I paid the advance, they immediately asked me if I wanted to rent a car at a favourable rate as well. I didn't respond to that.  

As the holiday came nearer, I still had a number of questions for the owners. But I didn't have a phone number, and I received no answer to my mails. However, a couple of days before our departure, I received a mail to say there had been a fire with the previous tenants and that the house could not be rented out. I would also get my advance back. To date, I have still not received the money. I immediately notified the intermediary, and they were going to take measures. Unfortunately, I still lost my advance. 

Authors of phishing mails don't go on holiday 

Since then I have been extra careful with mails asking for a payment. I learned that the authors of phishing mails don't go on holiday. 

Reporting phishing 

Did you receive a suspicious mail or a suspicious message? Forward it to suspicious@safeonweb.be and then delete it. If you received a suspicious message at work, you need to follow your company's phishing procedures, e.g. forward it to the ICT department.