Now that Spring has come and gone and Summer is upon us, folks are hitting the open road and the blue skies taking trips. Travelers of all kinds are choosing to rent homes and vacation rental properties on their vacations instead of traditional hotel rooms because of all the wonderful benefits they offer. But, like any industry, there are those out there in the Utah vacation rentals industry (and elsewhere) who operate shady businesses and try to swindle people in hopes that they can get away with your money. Here’s how to take steps to make sure you don’t get caught in one of these traps when booking Utah vacation rentals.
When it comes to scams in the Utah vacation rentals industry, all incidents usually fall into one of two categories. The first is the most common which is that the property you booked isn’t actually owned by the supposed person. In these scenarios, the person has taken photos from other listings and created their own seemingly legitimate but ultimately fake listing. The guest books the property, pays a deposit, and never sees that money again. The second type of common scam is when the lister embellished or falsified information about the property and when the guest arrives, it looks nothing like the pictures suggested.
Here are some tips to evade these scenarios altogether when reserving Utah vacation rentals.
Make Sure That The Service You’re Using To Book Authenticates Its Owners And Listings
The best and most trusted sites have features that protect users from fraud that are built in. Sites like Homestay, VRBO, and Airbnb are good examples of trustworthy Utah vacation rentals sites that take great measures to make sure their users are in good hands. These types of sites will have features like money-back guarantees and verification processes for properties and owners, but know that no protection method is 100% guaranteed to ward off all the crooks. Always speak with the owner and check reviews before booking.
Communicate With The Property Owner
It’s a good idea to never communicate with a Utah vacation rentals owner only via email. Speak to them on the phone (or video chat with them) which represents a step in positive verification. Vacation rental scammers usually live out of the country. Also, listen closely to how they answer questions and listen for red flags like vague answers and fishy verbal queues.
Take A Look At Public Records
Use tools like Google Maps to verify that the property is located where the listing says it is and looks the same as the posted photos. If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty, you can check tax records on government sites to verify who the owner of a property is as well as detailed information about a property that you can match with the Utah vacation rentals listing.
References And Reviews
Never ever skip this step when booking Utah vacation rentals. Reviews can tell you so much about the property, almost more than anything else. Take a look at how others have rated the property and have described their experiences communicating with the owner. If the listing is so new that it has no reviews yet, definitely contact the owner and ask for references.
Never Pay With Your Checking Account
Only pay with a credit card. It’s the safest and most secure way to make any online purchases because if there is a problem, you can call the credit card company and dispute the charge. You won’t be able to do that with money taken straight from your bank account. Also, never pay with a wire deposit such as Western Union. Requests from owners to pay them via wire transfer is 100% proof that it is a scam.
How To Avoid Scams When Booking Vacation Rentals
Utah Vacation Rentals
Article by Clear Content Marketing