Venue Hire Scams

An alert for other museums - fraudulent payment in advance for venue hire

Venue Hire

Venues which are available for hire may be the target of fraud which operates in a similar way to more well known scams.

Cheque Fraud

The basic characteristic of the fraud is the issue in advance of a cheque drawn on a bank overseas. The cheque may turn out to be a fake and it may take some time, perhaps several weeks, before this is discovered. Even though the money may be in your organisation's bank account, it can be reclaimed by your bank when the fraudulent cheque is discovered long after you paid it in.

How it might work

There are at least these possible ways in which the fraudster may benefit:

In all these cases the idea is that you part with some money prior to discovering that the cheque paid to you is false.

Characteristic signs

These are some signs to watch out for. None of them prove anything on their own!

The more of these signs you notice, the more cautious you should be. Of course none of these things is significant on its own. Some of the above points are more significant than others. Millions of honest people use web-based free e-mail accounts! There are millions of honest people whose English is not very good! However, there are fewer genuine clients who want to pay 100% in advance for a venue they have not even been to look at.

It is not unknown for an genuine overseas client to book a UK venue without seeing it, simply because it is impractical for the client to make the journey. There may be good reasons for this, or maybe they have been recommended to your venue by someone who knows it personally. However such a client will usually be very interested in the details of the venue and what it has to offer!

Protect your organisation

Your own caution is your best protection! There are some things you can do to make it less likely that you will be defrauded.