From fake villas to plain theft, we’ve put together this guide to dodging common holiday letting scams and fraud.
Scammers have been making fake profiles for properties that don’t actually exist.
If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is! These low prices are supposed to dupe people into clicking.
Fraudsters will often try to get you to pay the whole thing up front – and they’ll offer “discounts” to get you to do so. This is a massive red flag! Don’t fall for it. Instead, try and speak to someone over the phone and figure out whether it’s legit before paying up.
Google Earth is your best friend – have a look to make sure the property exists. If it does, make sure it isn’t listed by multiple people. This could be a sign that fraudsters are using it to trap unsuspecting consumers.
If you’re asked to pay on a separate site, be careful! This could be a sign that you’re being scammed. We’ve also heard reports of fraudsters using fake booking sites to steal your personal information. Always be careful if you’re asked to navigate off a main site – and always make sure the site you’re on is a reputable one.
If you’re booking a holiday rental, always make sure that the region you’re staying in allows holiday bookings! Plenty of places now have policies that prevent short term holiday lets. They’ve done this to stop their regions becoming ghost towns in the off-season.
If you fall afoul of an unscrupulous landlord who’s letting out their property illegally, you could even end up being arrested! This is an extreme example, but it’s always possible (and we’ve heard reports of it happening). Always read up on the area before you rent.