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Popular Vacation Rental Fraud

If you’re thinking about heading to a vacation destination, there are a lot of great places to choose from. You can also find some excellent vacation rental sites where you can book an entire home for your stay. While these places are usually a lot of fun and very comfortable, there are some things that you should be aware of – it is not unusual for people to try and run some scams though vacation rental sites.

What to Watch Out For

Popular Scam #1

Most rental sites have a strict policy that requires renters to pay for a rental through that site. However, if you are new to renting homes on a website and do not know what the rules are, you may be tempted to follow prompts from a vacation home owner – one of the most common scams is the wire scam, and it goes like this:

A rental home owner asks you to pay for your rental via wire transfer. You send the money, and then you never hear of that person again. Yikes! More often than not, money should never be sent via wire transfer. If someone asks for this type of payment, make sure to report them.

Popular Scam #2

Another popular scam is the email scam. This one goes like this:

You see a home for rent, so you request to book that home. Soon, the owner of the home contacts you through a private email, or asks that you communicate through private email. You may send some money and agree on a price, and then guess what? You’ll never see that person again or see your money again!

Popular Scam #3

You try to rent a home through a rental site, and the person that claims to own the home tells you to call him directly or book through his “rental property company.” If you hear any of these things, beware!

The Right Way to Rent

In most cases, you are not covered for any kind of fraud if you do not go through the website where you see a home to rent that home. More often than not, you will only be protected if you use the site and the site’s security. Most rental websites do make sure that owners and renters are protected to some extent, but all of this is null and void if you do not follow the rules.

In other words, make sure to read the fine print. Sadly, money that is sent to random people can never be recovered in most cases – simply because that person probably doesn’t exist.