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How To Avoid Vacation Rental Scams

Every year there are stories of people losing hard earned money after putting a deposit on what they thought was a legitimate vacation rental or worse yet were pressured to pay in full to secure a good deal. These unsuspecting renters later find that the property was never available to rent in the first place.

If you think it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Have you found a 5 bedroom waterfront house with a pool that will cost you roughly the same as a hotel stay? Chances are it’s a scam. Ask for additional photos. If it’s actually their property, they’ll have no trouble with providing more pictures or even taking more for you.

Be careful of the redirect. Scammers will often tell you the place you requested isn’t available, and offer you an alternative that isn’t on the website. Always go through a trusted website. Check the protection that the website offers. For instance, Air B&B will hold any money you pay until after the stay has been completed in case there’s a complaint.

Here are their top tips to avoid getting scammed.

  • Communicate directly with the homeowner or realtor.
  • Use a trusted website.
  • Be sure to request a lease.
  • Read the guest reviews.
  • Pay by check or credit card. Don’t wire money. 
  • Trust your instinct.
  • Google and Facebook the name of the owner and Google Satellite the address of the property.   
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