Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fake Vacation Rental By Owner Websites - How To Protect Yourself.

This little symbol above could save you from being scammed on a vacation rental. In the current day and age, the internet is a great resource, but it is also laiden with traps created by those who would attempt to steal your information and money. One of those traps has been fake vacation home websites. These bogus websites will offer a vacation rental, the victim mails a deposit to the address on the website. The problem is the vacation rental condo or home does not belong to the person who built the website or even worse the property does not exist at all.

There are a few ways to protect yourself from this.

  • Go to a reputable website such as to rent your vacation property. These criminals typically will not use a vacation rental service because it costs to join, takes time to fill out the necessary paper work and will they would be shut down instantly if discovered. Ivol has a new feature that verifies all the credentials of the property to make certain it is on the up and up.
  • You can also pay your down payment with a credit card. This gives you the best protection. You can easily get your money back if the website is a fake. If the owner of the property refuses to take credit card this could be a sign. It is not proof positive that the rental is fake, because many single property owners do not have a credit card merchant account and can not take a credit card. However it is just one warning sign to look for.
  • Search the address on Google maps and see if the address you are given is the property that is in the pictures on the website. Use Google's street view on Google maps to see the property.
  • Call the owner of the property. Ask a few questions, you can typically get a feel for a scam just by talking with them. If all they seem to want to do is get you to send money then you should be suspicious.
  • Check with the BBB
  • Do a Google search of the website. Do a search of the name of the website and add the term "scam" behind it. If anything shows up in the search results, read it to make sure it is about the property you are wanting to rent.
Ivacationonline offers a way for renters and owners to simplify this process. They offer a program called Verified Property. Ivacation will verify the owner and property information. To become verified you must send in the property tax records, have at least 25 bookings, and have a review system for the property set up, and all payments for the rental must be made by credit card. This level of scrutiny is unheard of in the industry but eventually will become the norm.

With your property being Verified you a likely to get more bookings, faster bookings, and higher rental rates, as customer will not have to worry about spending money with you.

For more information on becoming a member of or how to get you property verified just click here. Get My Rental Property Verified!

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