Second bogus hotel website appears in South Shields - why us?
On Saturday, the Gazette revealed a police investigation had been launched after Collingwood House – a complex of mostly privately owned apartments in Harbour View, River Drive – was being advertised as a five-star hotel called Royal Mills and Hotel Suites on a website.
Now a second ‘hotel’ which does not exist – this time called Glascoville – has emerged, with a website claiming it is situated in Long Row, South Shields.
However, the picture accompanying it appears to show a row of houses.
One of the homes is that of married couple Carol and Doug Burn.
Mrs Burn said: “It’s a bit worrying to see your home advertised as a hotel online.
“We didn’t have any idea about it. We are pleased that we’ve now been alerted to it, though.
“We can’t see what we can do to stop it.
“ The photograph appears to be quite an old one, but to have your home posted on the internet as a hotel is a big surprise.
“It doesn’t even look like a hotel.”
The website describes the ‘hotel’ as “a Grade 1 and 2 South Shields listed building which is superbly located at the end of the city.
“Close to the River Tyne, with its beautiful view and fresh air atmosphere, this is the perfect venue for both business and pleasure.”
It also promises 144 bedrooms, 10 meeting and function rooms, a leisure club, “access to boat hire” and a private terrace, which it describes as leading to the lawns – and the Thames.
Another resident of Long Row said: “It’s all very stupid.
“You can’t imagine anyone would believe that it is a hotel, but it’s not something you want advertised on the internet.”
On the website, there is a number to call for “booking and special advice”, as well as a contact form, where visitors are asked to leave a phone number and email address.
When the Gazette tried to call the number, there was no answer.
Police are investigating the Royal Mills website, to see if any crime has been committed and South Tyneside Council have confirmed that it has reported both ‘hotels’ to national agencies.
A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “South Tyneside Council was not aware of the existence of the website, but have now taken action to report it to our national agencies who deal with this type of suspected e-crime.
“We await feedback, but in the interim would urge anyone looking to stay in South Tyneside to go to www.visitsouthtyneside.co.uk, where they will find a wide variety of recommended accommodation in the area.
“Anyone who is concerned about the content of a South Tyneside-based website can contact the council’s trading standards team on 0191 424 7887 or email [email protected]”