Vacation Rental Scams

Discussion in 'Travel News' started by d360, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. d360

    d360 Administrator

    There's a new breed of Vacation Rental Scams around the internet. I will be sharing instances of these scams and please share your experiences with us as well. The most common places you'll find these scams are on Craigslist and Facebook but basically any place where the scammers can remain anonymous. Post your Vacation Rental experiences below.
     
  2. d360

    d360 Administrator

    Facebook Vacation Rental Scam:

    Just ran into a scammer that goes something like this.

    We posted request on Facebook Maui Rental Group

    Someone named Amanda sent a Facebook direct message to me : Oh a friend sent me an email your looking for place to rent.
    REPLY: Yes.

    Amanda: Where you looking?
    REPLY: North Shore or North Kihei.

    Amanda: I'll email you my place.
    REPLY: ok and I send her my email address.

    And so I receive the email it looks fishy.
    -Review her FB profile, lacking credibility
    -Ask for phone number and its 12763219389
    -Copy/Paste text sent in G and its a AirBnb listing, different person's name

    Scammers will only refine this technique so my recommendation is to only pay for deposit with credit card, meet person in-person at lodging (hard to do), or book through a reputable provider.

    If I didn't call them out on begin a scammer the process would lead a request to wire money which I'm sure some people fall for.
    What a way to ruin a trip..
     
  3. d360

    d360 Administrator

  4. MichaelC

    MichaelC Michael Cain

    Glad you like the tips!

    After you posted your experience I figured I'd try contacting a couple on Craigslist to see how the scammers work. Out of 6 contacts I made 3 were scams.
    So I've documented how a Craigslist Vacation Rental Scam works. Its a screenshot so you'll need to view the image to read the email.

    I did a cut and paste request for dates and location using a Craigslist Anonymous email address. They immediately requested my real email address which I provided. The pattern I noticed was:
    -Scammers used email addresses that have no history.
    -Their names were never connected to the property in question.
    -The scammers typically took longer to reply.
    -They used pictures from existing listings on Airbnb or similar website.
    -Their phone numbers went to voicemail

    The screenshot attached you'll see how legitimate their email looks. Here's where it pays to be suspicious. Following the link they provided to Airbnb I emailed the owner and she said the scam has been going on for sometime with her property. The pictures didn't match. They try and bait someone using phrases like "Refer a friend and receive a free gas card for your next trip or how about saving 10% on your next stay with us."
    Right down to using a official looking State Vacation ID number.

    Good luck all in your travels I pays to do your homework and ask plenty of questions. When in doubt book through a reputable website that will backup any fraud.

    craiglist-vacation-rental-scam.jpg
     

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