Right now is that time of the year when everyone is making arrangements and booking cheap flight tickets to enjoy at a beach or a mountain for a long awaited vacation. This means that it also is the time for guarding yourself against many rental scams.
The most common technique fraudsters often use is to put fancy ads for reasonably priced vacation rentals. They do so by stealing photos and description of properties listed on the legitimate rental websites. Or, they may even post ads for the properties that are not available on rent.
You need to be very careful while selecting vacation rentals because there can even be ads of made up properties that are totally non-existent. While common sense is the best protection against any such scam but here are some more ways to avoid these ruses:
1. Before you payout any amount, make sure to check the property yourself or ask a local resident to check it for you. If you cannot reach the place, search online for the given address, names and numbers in the description. If you find property up for sale (not rent) or displays non-existent address or shows it to be a non-residential property, stay away from it.
2. Before booking cheap tickets & flights to your preferred destination, copy the whole description section of the vacation rental property and paste it on a search engine to see if it has been copied from another location. If the search reveals something suspicious, consider it coming from a scammer.
3. Check for street level view of the selected property using map feature of the search engine. An aerial view can help identify the bona fide properties.
4. Do not limit your conversations just to emails. Talk over phone directly with the landlord or the agent. Although there is no guarantee that the person at the other end is not a crook, but you need to be wary.
5. Do not pay entire rental amount upfront via wire transfer or prepaid cards; these are the preferred payment options of scammers. Using credit card can be a better option as then you may have recourse.
6. If you are renting vacation property for a long duration, check the proof of ownership. In case you are dealing with an agent, make sure that he is authorized to rent the property on owner’s behalf. Also check the owner’s details.
7. While hiring vacation rentals, only consider reputable websites such as AirBNB.com or VRBO.com.
There definitely are many options available for renting vacation property and while you look for best deal, it is easy to fall prey of scammers. Give yourself a pause if you feel something is wrong and don’t feel tempted to book a property in hurry just because an offer is ending.
Now that you know how to steer safe out of the vacation rental scams, you can book cheap flights to your favorite holiday spot with us at www.nanakflights.com and enjoy stress-free.