Summertime is here, and you are most likely getting ready for a summer vacation. If you choose to use a vacation rental website to find your next getaway, let us give you a few words of caution.
Let’s talk a bit about booking online vacation rentals’ safely in the modern world.
Cybercriminals use services such as Vrbo or Airbnb to trick you and steal your money. The scammers often post fake rental listings using images they find on the internet or stolen pictures and property details from actual listings. They also put their contact information down on the listing.
When someone inquiries about this fake listing, the scammer will require a security deposit or a portion of the total rental price as a down payment. Now that the scammer has the money, they will either cancel the reservation or you will show up to a non-existing or already booked listing. That doesn’t sound like much of a vacation to us.
The question is: how do you know it’s a scam?
First and foremost, don’t let the scammers ruin your vacation. Remember these tips to book your next getaway securely:
Only use reputable websites that offer protection against fraud and have a secure payment portal.
Make Sure the Property Exists
Utilize tools like Google Earth to check to make sure the property does exist. Do you have a friend nearby the property? Have them check it out for you. Scammers might be using an address that doesn’t exist. Or they are using the address of a random company, vacant building, or parking lot.
Research, Research, Research
Search online for the property owner’s name and address. Look for images of the property before you make a deposit. If you find multiple listings of the same property, reconsider your booking.
Read the Reviews
If the property has a slew of negative reviews or none at all, consider picking a different listing.
Only Make Payments on Official Site
Scammers often try to get you to pay with a check, wire them money directly, or use Money Gram or Western Union services to make a payment. Beware of this; it’s malicious.
If you follow these tips, everyone can enjoy their summer vacation safely and securely. Happy Travels!
Have any questions? Email our Security and Solutions Advisor, Chris Yancy: firstname.lastname@example.org
**The content in this blog was taken from our YouTube Series: Tech Bytes with Chris Yancy. To check out the original video, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MW1U9gobp1U