A little food for thought; sometimes I find myself looking at different places to adventure to like a beach property or a downtown district, but I always find myself worried about the big vacation scam! You might ask yourself, “what is a vacation scam?” In short, a vacation scam is when you find a place, you send your money to reserve your spot, and then you show up; however, someone is already there! It never fails; even when you do everything right! As you are walking down the hallway to open the door to your vacation weekend getaway, the fear is always there.
So don’t let yourself be a victim of this type of vacation scam! Read the article below, let me know if you’ve experienced anything like this, or what you may have as input to help others from running into these types vacation scams.
Homeowners and real estate companies become targets of vacation rental scams
By Erica Anderson wnct.com Aug 03,2014
KILL DEVIL HILLS, NC –
Scammers are targeting vacation rentals in eastern North Carolina.
The Kill Devil Hills Police Department says a homeowner contacted them after someone took her rental advertisements and put it on Craigslist.
Sergeant John Towler says the con artists look through vacation rentals offered by both private owners and real estate companies. From there, Towler says the scammers duplicate the advertisement then place it on another website for a cheaper price.
“Basically what the scammers do is they take the legitimate ad and they just duplicate the page, they duplicate the pictures, descriptions, and they post it on sites like Craigslist,” said Towler.
Towler says they usually don’t find out about the scam until it too late.
“The way we typically find out about it is when a family shows up to start their vacation and somebody is already in the home that they thought they rented,” said Towler.
Towler warns people looking for vacation homes to be careful when dealing with websites like Craigslist. He says if you see the same rental offered on various websites for different prices, try and call to make sure you are talking to a real person. Towler says another red flag is if the person asks you use untraceable payment options, like money orders or Western Union.
“Most legitimate rentals are going to be with a credit card or a personal check,” said Towler.
Renters aren’t the only ones who need to be aware of red flags. Towler suggest owners and real estate companies use internet search engines to make sure their rentals aren’t being used by scammers.
“You can do keyword searches online. For example, in your description you have one or two sentences you can copy and paste that into Google. It will hit on any similar phrases, so it will find your ad [and] it will find the fake ad,” said Towler.
Towler says renters can also use that method to find the legitimate ad for the vacation rental they are interested in.
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