With the first day of summer fast approaching, you may be dreaming of sand and sun, ready to find the perfect rental property for your next vacation. It may seem like the hard part is figuring out where to go and how to allocate your budget, but the truth is, there’s something more waiting to ruin your well-deserved relaxation: a vacation rental scam.
As summer scams heat up, more and more holidaymakers burn out, either by renting out a vacation home that doesn’t exist or falling in love with one of the many other tricks vacation rental scammers have up their sleeve. , from posting a fake list to setting them up. totally fake websites.
Related: Here’s why all employees should have unlimited vacation days
Vacation rental scams have become so prevalent that New York State Attorney General Letitia James has issued a warning to consumers looking for vacation rental homes. “Summer plans can melt quickly if consumers are not careful when booking their getaway,” James said in a statement. “Holiday fraud happens every year, but there are ways to prevent it and protect yourself from being burned.”
But how do you know if you’re dealing with a legitimate property manager or a scammer? Many scam victims have used social media, TikTok in particular, to show their frustrations. Below, two users share their experiences with holiday rental scams that do not pertain to specific rental property fraud and demonstrate the extent to which today’s summer scam has become.
How can you become a victim of a vacation rental scam?
One person shared his unfortunate experience with car-sharing company Turo, lamenting that “it was played” after the owner of the car he rented lied about what was left behind, despite photographic evidence indicating otherwise.
@morgsvstheworld #stitch with @morgsvstheworld why would I never trust Turo again #turo #scam #traveltips #travel #dontusethiscompany ♬ Spider-Man: No Way Home – Trailer Music – L’Orchestra Cinematique
Another person said that she, and many others, lost some money while planning a Disney vacation. “In total, he’s only taken $ 100,000, and neither Disney nor law enforcement seem to care shit,” he said, noting that the problem was that Disney Club vacation spots are being offered to groups. Facebook.
@ c0reyann First part of ??? About the scam by renting Disney vacation club points. #disney #distok #dvcmember #wdw ♬ Disney fanfare-style BGM – harryfaoki
How to Avoid Vacation Rental Scams?
Fortunately, if you want to avoid getting caught in a scammer’s trap, you can protect yourself.
“Get a personal recommendation … or go through an established company … there are all sorts of bad guys behind your money,” a TikTok user recommends.
@caldertravel Tell me about your holiday scams in the comments #simoncalder #traveltips #travel #scams #holidays #rental #villa #scam original sound – Simon Calder
Also, never send money through a third-party app like the Cash app, Michelle Couch-Friedman, executive director of Elliott Advocacy, told CNBC. You should also do your own research on a rental property, as a telltale sign of fake listings is repetitive reviews or Google image searches that show the photo in a different context. Using a credit card, which offers protection under the Fair Credit Billing Act, is also a good idea.
Related: Why You Really Need to Disconnect While on Vacation (Infographic)