How to Avoid a Vacation Rental Scam
The popularity of the Internet has made the search for a vacation rental easy but at the same time, it has also made travellers vulnerable to the many unscrupulous people purporting to market a legitimate vacation home. Let this be a warning against the proliferation of vacation rental scams that you may encounter along the way as you search for the sweetest deal in town.
Whilst vacation rental facilities offer more value for your money in terms of privacy and amenities, the search for the best homes also come with the risk of falling for a scam. This is easily done considering that all transactions are done online, from the inquiry to the payment process.
Follow some of these tips to lessen the risk of falling for a vacation rental scam:
Use the internet to your advantage by exercising due diligence before choosing a vacation home. Search the real estate sites, the white pages and Google map to verify the property's location. With almost every location documented on the internet today, not finding an address in Google map should get you worried. If you can get the owner's name or vrbo id, then do some research and if it does exist, then you will find something sooner or later.
Check the reviews
Don't rely too much on the reviews as some of them can be paid reviews. However, it wouldn't hurt you if you check the reviews of vacation rentals listed in reputable websites. If you do not find a review, then it could only mean that it is a new listing or the reviews were taken down by the owner because they were negative.
Use a credit card
There are more reasons to using your credit card than the ability to go on a holiday on credit. For one, credit card transactions are documented and it is easier to trace the payee and dispute the payment when something goes wrong in these transactions. Using your credit card can be more expensive especially if you shoulder the fees but you are at least assured that you have some sort of protection from the credit card company.
After you've exercised due diligence in looking for a vacation rental, make sure you check everything else before signing the contract and making an advance payment.
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