Rental Scams: Things to Know Before You Buy

One of the biggest worries for American consumers is financial security. With credit card fraud and identity theft at all time highs, getting scammed while planning a vacation is the last thing anyone wants to think about. While it may sound far fetched, vacation rental scams actually occur, and scam artists often get away with many vacationers’ hard-earned dollars.

With new services like shared economy lodging and vacation home rental, it can be easy for people to trick others into paying for accommodations that don’t actually exist. It’s a real problem that requires real, proactive solutions to save consumers from losing their money. Here are some things every traveler should know before they look for accommodations online.

Do Not Wire Money Under Any Circumstances

Wiring money or mailing a money order to someone you don’t trust is strongly ill-advised. A common scam involves anonymous individuals posting a listing or advertisement, then requesting money upfront from interested buyers. They will often ask to receive money in some untraceable form, such as a money order.

You should also never blindly send money without obtaining some kind of agreement or rental contract. Be sure to communicate thoroughly with the property’s owner first, and arrange payment details that work for both parties. This can be done by paying some before your vacation and the rest later, or by using a third party payment service such as PayPal.

Make Sure You’re Renting a Real Property

One of the most common vacation rental scams occurs when someone posts a property for rent that isn’t real. There have been numerous occasions where people view stunning accommodations and pay to use them, only to find out that they don’t exist. The imposters then take the money and run, leaving vacationers to figure out the rest.

When looking for vacation rentals online, look for some key indicators of a legitimate listing. User reviews and testimonials can provide proof that people have vacationed there in the past, and will also give you an idea of their overall experience dealing with the owner.

Stick to Sites with Instant Booking

The thing that makes vacation rental scams so easy is people sending money in untraceable forms. When shopping for vacation rental deals, your best bet is to find a site that offers instant online booking. This will allow you to choose your payment method while making sure you’re sending the payment through a secure online source. features hundreds of high-quality rentals at real, established vacation resorts. Using our Book it Now feature, you can reserve your dream accommodations in just a few clicks. Check out our vacation rental deals today to get started.

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