Unfortunately, scammers are found everywhere and with the ease of the internet and the ease of which people can have access to false adverts on a global scale, holiday rentals is an area where it is easy to be scammed or conned if you are not careful.
With a few tips, you can learn how to stay safe and get the holiday you’ve paid for.
Avoid anything that seems dodgy
If you are even slightly suspicious of a listing, perhaps it’s advertising a holiday villa that seems too good a bargain, then avoid. As the old adage goes: “if it seems to good to be true, it usually is.”
If there are photos accompanying the advert, check carefully in the description to see if they match up. If the description mentions four bedrooms, yet the picture shows five or six, then beware, because chances are it’s a stock photograph that has been used to accompany the advert.
Avoid sending money upfront via wire transfer
You should avoid any listing which tells you to send money via Western Union or other unreliable methods. If you are confident that the holiday rental is genuine, along with the proprietor, then suggest a reliable and secure payment method such as PayPal, direct bank transfer, or even better, cash on arrival.
PayPal allows you to file a dispute in circumstances where the product or service you pay for isn’t genuine, so you would have a good chance of getting your money back. Further protect yourself by paying via credit card, then, in the chance you are scammed, you can claim the money back.
Stick to holiday rentals with positive reviews
There are specific websites whereby holiday rentals companies and individuals can list properties and after people have stayed there, they are reviewed using a 5 star or 1-10 scale. Where possible, use these feedback sites – if a place has several good feedback reviews, it is unlikely to be fraudulent.
If there are no reviews, then do a basic search using Google or another search engine. Any previous scams could be highlighted in a simple search.
In reality, as long as you are careful and trust your instincts, you are unlikely to be sucked into a holiday rental scam. Enjoy your holiday!