Travelers and property holders must be careful about scams related to summer holidays and holiday rentals. Classified ads sites like Craiglist are places where people look for last minute deals for travel and rentals. Unfortunately these websites are loved among scammers also. Thieves copy photos and descriptions from vacation rentals websites and produce false classified ads. Before paying anything we counsel you to conduct some investigation.
Scammers will show the ads in an attractive manner that motivate consumers to react quickly proposing to be charged by Wester Union or wire transfer in order to guarantee reservation. Owners could possibly be also targeted by scammers.
You need to be suspicious about advertisements requesting for your personal data like social security number or banking accounts information. Below are some rules to follow for people who are searching for holidays packages or holiday rentals:
Get the details about the transaction, preferable in the form of legal contract, property information, dates, price tag, and exactly what’s included and what’s not included. Request references from past renters.
Speak to the owners/managers on the telephone rather than exclusively through email. Consult the Better Business Bureau for possible complaints about the owner or rental company.
Be careful when reserving properties far from home. It is easy to get scammed when you can’t verify the situation and location of properties pictured via the internet.
Act cautiously if asked to make an international payment or make use of a money order or wire transfer. Whenever possible, pay by using a bank card. Bank cards typically offer protection in the event your package is not supplied as promised.
Never reveal personal financial information (banking accounts number, ssn. Consider a reputable rental company or realtor for peace of mind and also to help you in your research.
House owners need to consider the following tips before renting their homes:
Be concered about inquiries with obvious mistakes relating to your property, like asking regarding your beautiful house if you find yourself offering a cabin. Avoid offers to send a lot more than the amount you are looking for with a request that you simply wire or return a portion of the money.
Be concered about those who want to use an unsecure way of cash transfer, certified checks or cashier’s checks.
Question offers that give additional information compared to a typical traveler would reveal, for example slow factors behind the rental – like work, family issues, or medical problems. Be cautious about inquiries that seem too casual; serious renters worry about the location, size, and condition of the property and won’t offer to transmit money until all of the important info is worked out.
Anyone travelling this summer is encouraged to:
Make a budget that incorporates your destination, your transportation, and also the quality of the desired accomodations.
Do your research. Consider using known travel books like Frommer’s Guide or perhaps a local travel agency. When researching, use well-known travel sites having a valid address which really can be verified before any cash is sent.
Compare Prices. Whether you are making travel plans on your own or through the services of a travel agent, research and compare plans, prices and services. If you opt to work with a travel agent, try to deal with a reputable company because they might be able to assist you when you encounter problems for your trip. Check with family, friends and co-workers who may have had successful vacations. They may have useful suggestions and advice.
Avoid Fax and Email Offers.Responding to these offers will validate your contact info. If the offer seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Confirm your reservations. Once you have booked your vacation, check with each provider occasionally to ensure there’re still in business and no unexpected situations have occurred. Check all reservations (flight, hotel, rental car, shuttles, etc.) for correct dates, times and traveler information.
In 2011 the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection received over 700 travel scam complaints. For more information on vacation scams and consumer tips visit www.attorneygeneral.gov. If any vacation arrangements raise concerns contact the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555 or file a complaint online atwww.attorneygeneral.gov.