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Travel Tip: How to Avoid Vacation Rental Scams

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rentalThe travel industry is ripe for scammers, and at the top of the list: vacation rentals. Find out what you need to watch out for to avoid vacation rental scams.

In the worst-case scenario, crooks advertise a vacation rental and take your money—or at least a substantial deposit. You show up…only to find out there IS no rental property.

Vacation rental scammers also hack into existing rental listings to make themselves the contact. Except your reservation is fake, and they pocket your money.

So many online rental sites like VRBO.com and AirBnB are peer-to-peer, which means there’s no middleman to vet the properties.

You can avoid this issue altogether by going through a managed property.

But overall, those peer-to-peer sites have very good track records. It’s up to you to look out for red flags.

Communicate early and often with the owners. Ask lots of questions about the home, the location, and amenities.

Check with the county assessor’s office to confirm who owns the property.

Always get a contract in writing. Never, ever agree to pay by wire transfer or certified check. Use a credit card or go through PayPal, so you have legal recourse if you don’t receive the goods that you paid for.

For more information, visit Hotels & Accommodations.

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