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This vacation rental list could be a scam. Watch out for warning signs

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The biggest warning sign

The biggest red flag is that the list is a scam if you are asked to leave a listing platform such as Vrbo or Airbnb to secure payment, Couch-Friedman said.

The owner of a fake property will ask the consumer to send $ 500, for example, through an online payment platform such as Zelle. These transfers are instant and cannot be canceled, Couch-Friedman said.

“The best way to pay for any type of vacation rental would be credit cards because you have [the] protection of the Fair Credit Billing Act, “Coach-Friedman said.” If you are cheated, your credit card company may return your money. “

So, be sure to book a list that you found on a well-known site, only on this site. “As long as you stay on the platform from start to finish, from payment to deposit, it’s very difficult to become a fraud,” Couch-Friedman said.

More red flags

Also, watch out for fake lists. They often appear as new posts without reviews, Couch-Friedman said. In her post, James also warned consumers to pay attention to fake reviews, for example, in several reviews that repeat the same phrases.

The list may also include grainy photos. By taking a screenshot of your photos and searching Google Images, you can see if it exists elsewhere. If an image appears for another ad elsewhere or in an unrelated context, such as in a furniture ad, it’s a scam, Couch-Friedman said.

It is also a good idea to inform the owner before committing. It should be noted that this correspondence should only take place on the list’s website, according to James. According to Couch-Friedman, a scammer may not contact you immediately or may not respond in correct English.

Also make sure the owner or owner has a valid address and phone number, recommends James.

The good news is that if you read the hosting terms of the site you use and stay on that platform, you can greatly reduce your chances of being captured.

If you are facing legal issues with potential schemes, it is best to contact the state’s attorney general, Couch-Friedman said.

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