As summer approaches, families and friends are busy making vacation plans to popular travel destinations. Most vacations go as planned, full of fun and sun. However, everyone has heard a vacation nightmare story. To avoid a horror story, consumers need to be extra cautious when renting a home or apartment for their trip. Scammers lurk online to fool innocent vacationers out of thousands of dollars.
Online classifieds are a favorite place for scammers to target victims. They often tap into listings for legitimate rental properties and make themselves the contact person in hopes that consumers will pay for the full rental or give a deposit up front. Sometimes vacation rental scammers create a completely fake rental listings for a popular vacation spot and ask consumers to make a deposit to hold their reservation, lying to people and stealing their saved up vacation funds.
To avoid falling victim to a vacation rental scam, it is important to do some research before agreeing to anything. You should research the rental property and the rental company to make sure it exists. Checking online for customer reviews and information from the Better Business Bureau are also good ideas when looking into a rental property. It is also best to avoid anyone who asks you to wire them money and pay with a credit card instead. If there is a problem with the rental, you can dispute the charges with your credit card company and request they reverse they charge.
Be sure to check and double-check details and background information about the property before you make any payments. The Federal Trade Commission and AARP have some more helpful tips to avoid these horrible summer trip scams.