what’s new in version 7.33?

We through with the first quarter of 2021 and plans to reboot tourism are well underway. We’ve worked hard during these times to make sure that when tourism does officially reboot, you and your team will be ready to welcome guests with open arms (or perhaps an elbow tap).

Online Guest Checkin

We know that COVID-19 has forced the tourism industry to find innovative solutions to help us navigate our guests’ experience. Even as vaccines are being rolled out in different parts of the world, social distancing and the wearing of masks will continue for a while to come. 

In the past, your accommodation generally involved frequent contact between staff and guests, but going forward, it will be imperative to limit contact, and to help with that, we’ve developed a contactless guest check-in solution. With Covid still lurking about, clients would most likely prefer an online check-in solution, so that the guest can limit contact with the front-of-house team and the respective paperwork.

Our newly developed guest services module offers you and your team access to guest list, guest check-in and automated workflow functionality, to optimise your contactless check-in process. 

Agent terms at property level

If you run multiple properties in your system, you’ll love being able to work with simpler rates. This could now be possible by setting agent commissions for each property. Instead of managing hundreds of unique rate sheets (often riddled with typos), you can now set up contracts with your agents as a commission per property.

Rates rounding per person

Rounding in ResRequest takes place when a commission percentage is applied to a commissionable rate. The system currently offers the facility to round rates at the itinerary level. This latest release, however, introduces the option of rounding at a per person level. 

This rounding option is set on the rate header and a new option has been added on the reservation documents to allow you to show the per person charge amount details on those documents.

Multiple Specials on a booking

With this latest release, it is now possible to apply multiple specials to a reservation. If a booking qualifies for both a Circuit discount and a Honeymoon discount, both can be applied.

The addition Special Combos, govern which specials can be combined, so they can automatically be applied as the sales team makes bookings.

Outlet Sales

Our integration with TallOrder POS streamlines operations by posting POS charges to guest accounts. It is, however, very important that these charges are also posted to your accounting system.

With our latest development, ResRequest now detects POS cash sales that are not linked to room activity. These sales are then recorded in ResRequest, which allows them to be included in ResRequest reports. The resulting financial transactions can then also be batched to your general ledger, along with the rest of your ResRequest invoices.

User access audit trail

We have recognised the importance of having transparency of any changes that have been made to user access in your reservation system.

On the user access audit report, you can now filter by users, user groups, functions, and type filters (for filtering by the types of changes made, ie. allow cross invoicing, API flag, functions access).

The addition of the user access audit trail will now allow your team to report on any changes made (going forward from this release) to user access.

Multiple system administrators

You will now have the option to add multiple system admins and ensure that key decisions that affect your reservation system can be made by various managers, instead of merely relying on a single System Administrator.

To ensure that your business never misses a beat, put a continuity plan for your team in place today, by adding additional system administrators.

If you need any assistance or guidance with the with our new features, please contact support@resrequest.com

Bringing you a Contactless Guest Solution

Your guests are super excited about their holiday with you. Help them by giving them the option to check-in online, saving them time and queues when they arrive. Plus, our online check-in is a contactless way to source guest details and preferences, so you can plan the best welcome for them.  In this blog we’ll explore these features available to you in our Guest Services module released with version 7.33. Guest Services Everyone wants a quick and streamlined process, and guests are eager to do what’s needed to reduce time with administration check-in before their travel date.

This means that prior to arrival is the perfect time to gather as much contact information as possible (without overwhelming them with data capture fatigue!). Most travellers also know that giving you their contact details and signing necessary indemnity documents prior to arrival, is a standard operating process required by any lodge or hotel.  Your reservation team can include a link in the reservation documents sent to the person who made the booking. The link points to your Guest Services page. From this page, the guest then has the option to create or edit a guest list or to check-in a guest for a booking.

Our new Guest Services module provides you and your team access to our guest-list, guest check-in, and automated workflow functionality, to optimise your contactless check-in process. Here is a summary of the functionality these features provide:

Guest List

Our guest list provides a way for you and your team to collect guest details long before they arrive at your property. The guest list functionality lets the booking contacts compile their own guest list and room group, provided they can verify the booking details. While compiling a guest list, booking contacts also have the option to easily link a guest record (or the entire list) across multiple itineraries.

Automated Workflows

Remind your incoming guests that they can check-in online, prior to their arrival by using our automated workflows. Set up the date and time the check-in reminder should be sent to your guest ahead of their arrival so they receive a reminder email which includes a link to your online check-in.

Guest Check-in

Your guests can check-in as early as 7 days prior to their arrival. Guests can find the online check-in in their reservation document or via the automated email reminder. Information added during the check-in process is stored on the guest’s profile, along with a guest registration document which includes a record of the indemnity agreement the guest agreed to during check-in. For guidance, our support team will be delighted to help you work with the guest services module.

Feel free to contact us us with any queries you or your team have. We are here and ready to help.

Benefits of using a Channel Manager

Working in a fast-paced industry like the tourism industry requires any good Hotel Manager to identify ways to increase revenue and maximise efficiency. Thankfully technology has provided many advantages for hoteliers, and none more so than channel management. So what’s the noise about channel management? What are its benefits? And how do you get started?

What is Channel Management?

Channel management is the process of selling your inventory through online distribution channels all over the world. These channels include OTA’s (Booking.com, Expedia), Travel Agents, Metasearch engines (Google, TripAdvisor), or direct channels (Your website).

Ideally, channel management software provides a centralised platform to properties for managing their distribution across different platforms, and as and when bookings are recorded from any one channel, it automatically updates the latest rates and inventory on all the channels.

How can this benefit you?

Imagine that you’re managing multiple properties through many OTA channels and once you receive a booking from a channel, you have to quickly update the availability across the other channels. Furthermore, the situation can get complex if the guest modifies or changes his booking or cancels his reservation. Can you imagine how admin-intensive this process can be, also leaving room for human error.

  1. Accurate inventory management – Without a Channel Manager you have to log in to the various OTAs you are connected to and update your property’s availability, this manual process requires you to react quickly with a great deal of accuracy. A Channel Manager solution provides an automated process that eliminates any chance of error and streamlines your reservation management.
  2. Avoid overbookings The more OTAs you’re connected to, the higher your chances are of overbookings if you are not using a channel manager. So chances are that while you are updating the inventories, you may receive a booking from other channels. 
  3. Time Effective – A channel manager, ensures that a lot of your manual efforts and time invested in inventory distribution is saved. The entire process is now managed by the channel manager, saving you time and money.

How do you get started?

Through our ResConnect programme, there are connections to Channel Managers and OTAs which enable ResRequest customers to distribute stock on numerous online booking platforms. ResRequest has direct connections to Channel Managers, SynXis, NightsBridge, and most recently we have added Siteminder to the list of Channel Managers that we interfaced to.

For more information on how to set up your ResRequest Channel Management service (we call this module ResConnect), contact our friendly support team for assistance at support@resrequest.com

what’s new in version 7.30?

We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well during this time. We’ve been in touch with many of you as you work through the operational impact of Covid-19 while making plans for your team to be safe and sound. 

While most of us are still under lockdown due to COVID-19, we have been working from home. It took us a while to adapt and reduce costs so we could use this time to put our heads down to take massive strides in delivering new product features. We’re still working on all of this, but we wanted to check in with you to show you some of the items we are working on that will be ready and waiting for you when you reboot.

The New Rooming Calendar

We have crafted a new drag and drop Rooming Calendar for you, with auto room capabilities, perfect for your front-of-house operations.

What is rooming?

Rooming refers to allocating your guests to specific rooms. It’s important to room guests to track arrivals, departures or no shows; to avoid situations where you have to move guests to a different room during their stay; ensure that special requests like a honeymoon room or a family room are accommodated and to automatically charge guest accounts using our stock and POS interface.

So what are the new features in the Rooming Calendar?

Rooming by the lodge staff is typically managed on the Rooming Calendar. Our previous calendar now called our “Classic” calendar, requires a lot of pop-ups and quite a bit of manual work to room bookings. Our stunning new calendar, which we call our “Modern” calendar fits visuals to your full-screen width, so you can see more information than ever before; automatically auto rooms reservations at the click of a button (our absolute favourite Jenga trick) and enables drag and drop should, you want to customise the view.

Autoroom function in action

AUTO ROOM – Automatically room your unallocated reservations in the optimal configuration, to ensure that you get the most out of your availability.

Drag and drop function in action

DRAG AND DROP – Shuffle a reservation between rooms by simply dragging and dropping it to the relevant room. Clicking on a reservation item also highlights the valid rooming possibilities in green.

Managing a reservation

MANAGE A RESERVATION – Manage multiple aspects of a reservation without leaving the rooming calendar screen. Manage guests, view itineraries, check multiple rooms on a reservation in, and so much more.

Managing a reservation

ROOMING CONFLICTS – Our team has included an indication to alert users of any potential rooming conflicts. This will minimise the risk of overbooking a room, despite multiple people being responsible for rooming reservations.


Business Intelligence – Dashboards

We all love great pictures, even more, when they tell a story. If your job is to stay on top of everything, you’ll love our new Reservation Manager and Sales Overview Dashboard. The Reservation Manager and Sales Overview Dashboard are the first of many dashboards we’ll be introducing. Graphs on this dashboard will give you visibility into the reservation and sales overview side of your business. The sales dashboard will help measure key metrics, individual team members, and sales activities.

 Learn more about dashboards here.

Our new charts will help you analyse the booking trends of your Agents and quickly spot gaps and positive or negative changes in their performance.

You spoke and we listened 

Last year we released dashboards as part of our Agent CRM. We received feedback that you would like to include revenue information, our developers heard you, and have added a revenue-based chart so you can monitor how your agents are performing month-on-month.

Product Usage

ResRequest is a powerful system, so how can you be sure that you are using it to its full potential?

The Product Usage Dashboard is a quick and easy reference point, to assess what areas of the system are being used and what you can still tap into.

If you need any assistance or guidance with the rooming calendar and dashboards, please contact support@resrequest.com

FAQ: Managing Covid in ResRequest

Who would have thought that at the beginning of this year our lives will look so different in a few short months? There is no doubt that COVID-19 has reshaped the way we work – especially in tourism. At ResRequest we noticed some trends amongst our clients with booking management during COVID, so we would like to share them with you! As we’re well aware, everyone manages their bookings differently, so we had our Support team on hand to customise this process, as the questions came in. Here are some of the FAQ’s we received:


“How can I use the Source Codes field to track COVID reservations, without affecting the reservation status?”

Source codes enable you to keep track of where your bookings are coming from. However, some customers have opted to keep track of COVID affected bookings using this field, as it can easily be reported on. 

Our recommendation is to create 3 source codes:

  • COVID – Cancelled: Where bookings are cancelled outright.
  • COVID – Postponed: Where bookings are moved to a date in the future.
  • COVID – Pending: Where bookings are awaiting confirmation of date change or cancellation.

To set up, edit or delete source codes navigate to Admin > Setup > Code tables > Other > Source > enter the Name and Abbreviation > Click save.


“I feel the need for an additional reservation status, to separate reservations held aside due to COVID postponements, from standard reservations”

Requests came in for a new reservation status, where bookings could be ‘held’ until the bookings were confirmed with new travel dates or cancelled by the agent or guest.

For this, we recommended using the ‘Waitlist’ status. This way you can report on actual confirmed stock for forward bookings and note stock still pending confirmation. By coupling this with a Covid status, teams can differentiate between bookings that are waitlist and those that are Covid-related ‘on hold’ bookings.

See: COVID 19 – Reports – Waitlist reporting


“How can I easily track COVID-affected reservations using reports?”

Our new ‘Keyword’ reporting filter is ideal to track booking movements around COVID.

On the Financial Analysis reports, the new field called ‘Keyword Filters’ can be found nestled with the rest of the Res Filters. This can be utilised to filter keywords found in the Reservation name, Reservation number, Voucher reference or Cancel Reason. ie. #coronavirus

Navigate to Reports > Financials > Financial analysis (day)

Here’s a practical example: You may opt to reference a keyword in the reservation name, for all reservations that are postponed to a later date due to COVID. In this instance, you’d include the same reference on all reservation names.

Should you, for example, choose to use “COVID” as your keyword/flag, a reservation name would appear as “Smith x2 COVID”. You’d then enter “COVID” in the Keyword filter field on the report, to view all bookings with “COVID” in the reservation name.


“What if I want to honour the rate the reservation was originally booked with, even if the reservation is postponed to next year?”

Some of our customers had already finalised their 2021 rates prior to COVID-19 hitting, which resulted in the 2021 rates being applied when allocating new travel dates to the postponed COVID reservations, instead of the 2020 rates. To honour the 2020 rate in 2021, you would need a “deferred rate”.  Simply put, a deferred rate is a 2020 rate duplicated to ‘Deferred rate’ types for 2021.

Override rates are also an option to override rates for 2021, where rates had already been finalised for 2021, or rates had not been set up for 2021 yet.


“Are there other areas I should consider?”

Many hotels acted quickly, changing Payment plans, cancellation policies, and booking terms and conditions in Custom notes,  to better handle and adapt quickly to the changing market.


“How can I see the impact COVID has had on my business?”

Some of our customers asked for a snapshot of what their stock looked like this time last year, to compare data between 2019 and 2020. This type of statistical data will give you invaluable insight into the true effects that COVID has had, and assist you to project your cash flow for when tourism reboots.ResInsite is a business intelligence tool which can generate comparison data, beautifully! Find out more about ResInsite and how it can benefit your business HERE. You will also be happy to know that all ResRequest customers have access to a FREE ResInsite Lite package, for the duration of 2020.

You will also be able to retrieve year on year comparisons in graph format, at the touch of a button! (Available in our new version release (V7.30). Have a look at our Sales Overview chart.


“I need to refund cancelled reservations. Where do I start?”

Issuing credits, credit notes, and refunds quickly became one of the most commonly talked about topics, with the questions streaming in!

It’s important that the way credits and refunds are done are in line with your specific financial processes.

Contact our support team who will happily point you in the right direction.


“How can I keep track of both existing reservation dates, and potential future dates for the same booking, until travel dates are confirmed?”

A few of our customers opted to duplicate their reservations to hold stock for both present and future dates. This is in order to secure both sets of dates until they know when the guests can book flights.

Although this is being done by a few, it’s important to note that managing the reservations in this way will inflate your bed night revenue stats, as you’re basically doubling up.


“Is there a way I can keep an ‘archive’ of reservations cancelled due to COVID, but separate from actual cancelled reservations?”

The ‘Delete’ status is not exactly an option to select under the status’ dropdown, but it is a status that can be used for reservations with no payments, and can also be reported on.

To achieve this navigate to the reservation > change the status of the reservation to ‘Quotation’ > and click the bin button to obtain the ‘Deleted’ status:

Why would you work this way? It’s another status option when trying to apply a “filing system” to manage your reservations affected by COVID.


Reports

Another common topic is – reports. We have listed a few report templates that could be insightful and of use, but it is almost guaranteed that they will need a few tweaks to suit your unique reporting requirements.

1. Waitlist reporting

This is a quick way to view the list of Waitlist bookings. Remember, you can also retrieve this info, and more, using your Financial Analysis, or Standard Reservation reports.

Navigate to the Waitlist icon > Select Waitlists >

2. Reservation status change report:

This report will display reservations where the status of the reservation was changed, over a particular date range. For example, you could use this report to see all reservations travelling in 2021, which had a status change between Jan and May 2020.

To generate this report in your system, you would follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Reports > Financials > Financial Analysis (day)  
  2. Select the Travel date range you wish to view
  3. Res filters > Status date range – Select the status date range you wish to view and apply the date range.
  4. Res filters > Status: Confirmed, cancelled and provisional 
  5. Select data > Group: add Res#, Source, status confirm date, status Provisional date, Status Cancellation date, cancellation reason
  6. Select data > Fields: add arrival and departure date
  7. Display options: Select Include group totals

3. Reservation travel date changed:

This report will display every reservation edited between April and May and will, furthermore, show if the arrival date changed between those dates:

1. Report Audit trail 

2. Reports > Audit > Audit trail

3. Audit trail time: 1 April and 31 May

4. Action: Edited

5. Data options > Fields: Reservation number arrival date before and arrival date after

4. COVID Source code reservations

This report will show you all reservations with the “COVID” source code and what the arrival and departure dates for those reservations are:

Navigate to Reports> Financials > Financial Analysis (day) 

1. Select the Travel date range: 1 Jan 2020 – 31 Dec 2022

2. Res filters > Status: All

3. Res filter > Source: e.g COVID 19

4. Select data > Group: add Reservation number, status, source code, and cancellation reason

5. Select data > Fields: add arrival date and departure date

6. Display options: Select Include period totals

5. Reservations with Payments/deposits


This report will display payments and the total amount outstanding on all reservations with a COVID source code:

Navigate to Reports> Financials > Financial Analysis (day)

1. Select the Travel date range: E.g. 1 April and 31 May

2. Res filters > Status: Select which status’ you would like to include

3. Res filters> Source: Select you source code you require e.g COVID-19

4. Select data > Group: Add Agent, Reservation#

5. Select data > Fields: Add Payment and Total amount outstanding

6. Display options: Select Include period totals

If you’d like some guidance, our support team will happily set up report profiles for you or walk you through setting them up yourself, over a call. Feel free to contact us with any queries you or your team might have. We are here and ready to assist.

Business intelligence made easy with ResRequest charts

You may wonder what business intelligence is and what it involves. According to Forbes – business intelligence encompasses the analysis of a company’s raw data and analytics, to produce actionable takeaways. Data analysed might include current sales figures, customer shopping habits or operations costs. With more data on hand, business intelligence has become critical to making informed business decisions and can be utilised as a key component in forming predictive analyses.

Business intelligence involves the delivery and integration of relevant business information in an organization. Companies use BI to detect significant events and identify/monitor business trends in order to adapt quickly to their changing environment and a scenario. You can improve the decision-making processes at all levels of management and improve your tactical strategic management processes.

ResRequest’s reporting capabilities set us apart from most other systems, but it is an area that is under-utilised. Why not find out about what you may be missing out on? Contact a consultant and ask them to help build and save a report that you are looking for.


This graph shows how many bookings an agent made in a specific date range (week/month/year) and compares it to the previous period.

To easily analyse customer data we have enhanced our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module to display charts. Using this nifty feature you can review trends at a glance. This process forms a key part of the sales and service cycle of your customer management strategy.


Agent booking trends over a period of time, ie: 1 year.

Agent booking bed night activity at different times
of the year across multiple properties.

If you have been diligent at entering your Agent’s details into ResRequest you will quickly accumulate a honey pot of data. Analyse your agents’ performance to quickly see which agents are bringing the most bookings, guests by nationality, agents activity and more!

Take advantage of these tools to gain a better understanding of your agents’ performance and your customers. If you would like to learn more about using the CRM module please reach out to our team who are standing by to assist you.

Keep it clean

In computer science, garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) describes the concept that flawed, or messy input data produces poor, unrecognisable output or “garbage”.

 

Essentially, a system is only as good as the data you put into it. This may seem like a basic principle, but if not followed, it can be a massive exercise to try and clean up the data in your system at a later stage.

 

From ResRequest’s perspective, “garbage data” can be found in areas such as duplicate contacts, reservations info and poor housekeeping of agent/guest CRM etc. The “garbage data” becomes very apparent when you want to start reporting on this information. If the data being inserted into the system is not “clean”, you will not be happy with the results when you try and use the data.

 

Here’s an example of data that was not maintained well, on a Standard Reservations Report, compared to managed clean data:

     VS

 

 

 

 

Why would you want to keep the data in the same format?

Not only will your reports look so much better, searching for reservations in your system will be so much easier if the information follows the same format.

 

Let’s compare how a well-maintained guest contact record compares to an incomplete one on a Guest CRM report:

If you decide to run a mail campaign, to target guests from the USA, the guests who don’t have this info attached to their contact would be left out of the campaign so you would lose potential business due to the information not reaching the right people.

 

Overall, the benefits of inputting and maintaining neat data in your system are so worthwhile and will save you a lot of time in future!

 

What tools are available in ResRequest to help keep your data clean?

Replace contact: Deleting contacts isn’t so simple once the contact has been used on a reservation so we’ve given you the functionality to replace a contact with another contact. This means that all the relevant links (for reservations and financial folios) of the replaced contact will transfer to the remaining contact.

Duplicate contact check: When adding a new contact to your system, ResRequest prompts you to check if the contact you’re adding is a duplicate of an existing contact. For example, when inserting the name “John” while adding a new contact, the ResRequest system will display all existing contacts’ named “John”, so the user can determine if it is an existing contact or not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although it would be great for the system to prompt you in all areas where data is inserted, at the end of the day, you are the owner of your data and it is up to you to keep the data in your system in good order.

Are you connected to your buyers?

Connecting to your key agents electronically will ensure you never miss out on valuable bookings. Tour operators use a host of software systems to stay on top of technology trends. Online bookings are one of the fastest growing trends.

ResRequest interfaces to a number of tour operating systems enabling, tour operators to book ResRequest properties when permission is granted. Recently we added to our channel partners and integrated to GranIT Safari.

GranIT Safari Software (GSS) is a specialist safari software product that manages tour operators’ business processes. The system has the ability to handle groups, F.I.T’s, packages, Fly-Drive packages and is currently being used by over 50 tour operators primarily in East Africa and Madagascar. It is available in English and French.

“With Safari Software we’ve reduced our response times to as little as 10 minutes.” Nilima Chandran – Naked Wilderness

Agents using GranIT Safari include Leopard Tours, Liberty Africa Safaris, African Horizons, Kobo Safaris, Utalii College and many more.

“It’s user-friendly, yet complex enough to deliver optimum options and endless possibilities.” Tomas Sorensen – African Horizons

GranIT Solutions’ partnership with ResRequest comprehensively links both the GSS and ResRequest software to be able to check room availability and book rooms in real time at the click of a button. Room availability can be checked at the quotation and tour levels. This ensures that the rooms booked on the itinerary are actually available.

“This software is the only one that does what we need without making us change our operating procedures to suit the software.” Richard Corcoran – Liberty Africa

Looking good with GuestRevu

GuestRevu helps thousands of hospitality professionals in over 35 countries spend less time stuck behind their desks by automatically collecting online reviews from dozens of sites like TripAdvisor and Booking.com, emailing questionnaires to guests so they can provide valuable direct feedback, and consolidating data to make analysing trends a piece of cake. Listen to your guests, learn from their experiences, and earn their custom and loyalty.

The best part of direct feedback is that you have a chance to resolve any potentially harmful situations before they become reviews on public platforms. By providing your guests with the opportunity to address concerns with you directly, they will often feel that their feedback is being taken to heart, and feel less inclined to vent on social platforms like Facebook and TripAdvisor. Another great benefit is that you can fix problems when you get direct feedback. As they say — prevention is better than cure.

GuestRevu’s partnership with ResRequest PMS makes this process even simpler by automating the feedback collection process, meaning that you’re able to automatically send custom-made surveys once a guest checks out, no manual effort required.

How does it work?
Save time and know what your guests are saying about you publicly by having all your online reviews collected and analysed in your GuestRevu dashboard.

Our integration to GuestRevu is automated so all you need to do is add your guests and their email addresses in ResRequest and GuestRevu will do the rest. For more info on this marketing tool, see our Guest Survey guide.

So what’s the deal?

Instead of adhering to the standard pricing structure, where you’re charged based on the size of your property, GuestRevu is offering an amazing flat rate of R350p/m for all ResRequest properties. That’s an average saving of around R200p/m! 

Not only that, but both GuestRevu and ResRequest will waive their setup and integration fees – that’s another saving of around R1,000!  

Managing your online reputation and gathering golden guest insights has never been easier, or more affordable. Sound good? 

Sign up with GuestRevu here and GuestRevu and ResRequest consultants will be in touch to get you set up.

New scam alert!

Scamming is becoming increasingly sophisticated and so have to be more alert and find out how we protect ourselves.

 

Beware of the latest scam

 

One of the newest ways that scammers are targeting people is to intercept invoices, edit banking details and send it to “customers” for payment. Recipients of the emails think it is legitimate and pay the money into the scammer’s account.

 

How can you prevent this happening to you?

 

Investec recently published an article on this kind of fraud with tips on how to protect yourself.                   

 

  • Let your current and new clients know that if they even receive any correspondence announcing a change in bank details, advise them to contact you and verify you are banking details before they pay.

 

  • You can also consider leaving your bank details off your invoices and call clients to give them this information instead.

 

  • If you are an individual who is supplying banking details, do not email invoices with bank details. Rather give your banking information directly over the telephone.
  • Watch out for phishing scams. What is a phishing email and how to spot it?
  • Setup checks on your email like two factor login verification.

 

We hope that this information is helpful and will be useful in protecting yourself against scammers.