Police have warned hoteliers and holiday agents in Dorset to be wary of a 'money-grabbing' e-mail scam.
An e-mail has been sent to hotels requesting a two-week booking for a business customer and saying that a cheque will be sent by their company.
But the cheque is too large and hotels are asked to refund the difference.
Act Sgt Nancy Playle, of Christchurch police, said: "We are eager to inform hoteliers and holiday letting agents about this money-grabbing scam."
The bogus e-mail seems to originate from Italy and has come from a number of different names, police said.
It requests that the difference between the amount of the cheque and the actual cost of the booking is paid into an off-shore account by electronic transfer.
So far the e-mail has appeared at hotels in Christchurch, although police said no-one has fallen for the scam yet.
Act Sgt Playle added: "This is a scam that relies on the good nature of people to refund the difference before the cheque has been cleared by their bank, ending in the hotel losing money on a fictional booking."