The Internet has made planning vacations a breeze. But along with the ease of booking travel and accommodation on the web, we've also seen a rise in the incidence of vacation scams.
It's all too easy to be fooled into thinking that a great bargain for a beautiful vacation property you're trying to rent is for real, when in fact, you've been had by scammers who have taken your money and run with it.
Here are 6 tips that can help you avoid vacation rental scams while you're booking your dream vacation.
Avoiding Vacation Rental Scams
- Too Good to be True?
You know the old truism: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers try to reel you in with deeply discounted vacation rentals. All too often, these properties do not exist, or if they do, they belong to someone else. Be sure to check pricing on similar rental properties in the same location to see if the price is realistic.
- Does the Property Really Exist?
As mentioned earlier, it's possible the property doesn't even exist. The scammer may have grabbed a picture from another website or is using an address from another property. You can try to verify that the property exists with a couple of Google searches.
- Research the Owner
Research the owner's name, address of the property, and images. Check out the owner of the rental website, as well as the individual who pays property taxes. Beware if you are asked to pay rent in full by wire transfer.
- Pay Attention to the URL
Scammers want you to move from the vacation rental website's communication system to a fake website. Check the URL.
- Use a Credit Card
Scammers commonly ask for payment by Western Union, cash, check, or wire transfer before arrival. This is a great way to lose your money, without the possibility of recovery. A wire transfer allows the scammer to move funds to another bank account, close the first one, and take your money and run.
- Rent a Property with a Traceable History
Best bet: rent from someone you know, or go by recommendation from a trusted source. Renting from professional management companies that specialize in vacation apartments and/or cottages is another good bet. Looking for a short-term rental on Florida's Gulf Coast? That's our specialty! We believe planning a vacation should be a breeze, that's why our team is here to help you find a short-term or long-term rental perfect for your family! We've been a top choice for Gulf Coast house and condo rentals for years.
Our experienced team is here to help with your vacation planning! With 8 offices, our team has plenty of Florida properties to choose from for your vacation. Plus, our Anna Maria Island office has been open for over 80 years!
Or if you're looking to move here permanently, our team can show you Bradenton and Sarasota homes for sale. Contact us today to book your trip in the Florida sunshine.