Take care when you book a Chalet
Chamonix scams are on the rise. Now that internet bookings are the norm, scams are even more prolific.
The BBC on December 14, 2013 reported scams for bookings especially chamonix chalet accommodation is costing thousands and travel agencies have warned of internet scams targeting those booking accommodation online.
Targets are vacationers especially those requiring luxury chalet accommodation. People are transferring thousands of pounds to scraper sites, posing as owners or agents of luxury chalets.
Dozens of fraudulent chalet listing have been asked to be removed from rental websites and ABTA, the British Travel Association reports this as a growing problem.
Now, I'm no expert, but it seems this is how the Chamonix chalet scams work. The conmen create what's called "scraper sites" - they literally scrape the content and images from genuine sites and paste the data onto the fraudulent site. In fact some conmen just steal images of any chalet, and these can be sourced by the hundreds from Pinterest.
They will have hundreds of images of chalets and pose as either owners or agents for, very often, luxury chalets. The sites are professional looking and you will be asked to make deposits to these people who purport to represent the owner. As we all know deposits for ski chalets are not insubstantial - that's just the way it works with ski vacations.
The scams are well known in Chamonix and only yesterday on the local community site, there was a worried message about the whereabouts of a certain person who'd taken a deposit for 600 euros.
May I suggest caution - it is worth paying a little more for your Chamonix chalet through large booking agencies, just for the security. If you must book online, do your research thoroughly on the Chamonix chalet
Chamonix is a target as it is where the beautiful people flock and are of a certain socio-economic class who acknowledge the cost of a decent Chamonix chalet.
Only ever select a chalet with lots of reviews.
If you must book on line use reputable agencies like
There is no ski resort that is exempt from scammers. It pays to take care with who you book with.