IDENTITY THIEVES SCAM VACATION TRAVELERS
Travelers Fight Back by Booking Direct
According to numerous articles and reviews reports of travelers being swindled out of their vacation money are on the rise. Would be vacation renters find themselves facing a new type of identity theft. Quite literally, one that has found a new home to live in within large third-party online travel sites. It’s no mystery when booking a vacation home on the internet sight unseen that you may not always get what you paid for in the pictures. But, what if you don’t even the same property you were promised?
That is exactly what is happening as scammers have found a new loop-hole to exploit within the Terms and Conditions a traveler agrees to when booking a vacation rental through one of these unchecked and increasingly bloated corporate juggernauts. The underlying problem is that these agreements which, you would think are there to protect the travelers are in fact doing just the opposite and are weighted heavily in the referral sites and homeowners favors. However, the real issue stems from the reckless abandon that these sites use when confirming the identity of the people listing the home that they supposedly own. What is being seen are these criminals stealing other people’s identities and using those along with fake or doctored photos to create networks of listings for properties that don’t actually exist.
The scam works like this:
You book a property and last minute after traveling for hours or days you get a phone call from the “Property Owner” explaining that there has been some sort of an emergency or damage to the place you booked. Sewer line has broken, tree fell on the house, fire in the kitchen…etc. After your heart sinks and your mind starts racing on what you and your family are going to do, then they go on to tell you that while that particular property is suddenly unavailable they do however, happen to have another open rental usually right in the vicinity of the one you were planning on staying at. At that point you have two choices either you believe the voice on the other end of the line or you decide to shell out more cash than you had planned on spending to book a more expensive room at the local hotel. Ignoring your gut, you and your family pile into an unexpected Uber and find yourselves driving over to the wrong side of the tracks and arriving at what only could be described as a “flop house”. But what you don’t realize is that according to the Terms and Conditions you signed, technically you have now just “checked in” and have basically committed to the rental. Now, after an hour on hold waiting for a site representative whom you believe will immediately refund your money and call the police instead what you hear are canned responses from a heartless soul who’s only mission is to convey the reality that you are well, screwed. Upon looking even further into the legalese which, are now pounding you on the ropes you then discover that in order to get a refund there is a month long investigation process taking up hours of your time and at the end of the day well, again – you’re just screwed.
However, there is a positive light at the end of this tunnel. As more and more travels are waking up to the lawless nature of booking through a referral site now, booking direct sites such as Find Rentals and their property management company partners are seeing an increase in business because of the caring and professional services they provide. For example many if not all vacation rental management companies not only guarantees that what you see in listing photos will be what you get they also include other services and amenities such as concierge, daily housekeeping and even will do the shopping to make sure that your refrigerator has all of the provisions for your stay. With more good news, they have a phone number that is readily available from the beginning of the booking process manned by professional and kind staff who will help guide you in creating the perfect itinerary for a fun and memorable family vacation. So, the point is and the lesson to be learned here is that instead of trying to save a few bucks find a local company you can trust, book direct and skip the ghetto Uber ride. In the long run you’ll save money and the time and have peace of mind.
Book with Confidence by Booking Direct with a Vacation Rental Management Company.