Have you ever worried about what would happen if something goes wrong with your booking? It is not a secret that most vacation rental owners and managers are some of the most honest and friendly people you will ever do business with. That said, as in any industry, you may have an unexpected surprise and something may not go as smooth as planned. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission reported 18,836 fraud incidents involving travel, vacations and timeshare. Even travel experts have fallen victim to scammers who ussually offer an "incredible" deal for a vacation rental.
If you are planning to rent a vacation house or a condo directly from an individual or online agency, always book your reservation via a reputable website that offers anti-scam guarantee or insurance policy. For example, Rentalo offers a $5,000 "Worry-Free Lodging Guarantee". This guarantee offers scam-free protection to any traveler who wants to book any property listed in Rentalo, learn more. Also, if you need additional protection for any of your vacation expenses, please refer to vacation rental travel insurance page. This insurance plan will protect all pre-paid and non-refundable travel expenses (airfare, lodging, cruise, car rental, tours, etc) in case your travel plans don't go as expected.
Rentalo is continually working to prevent travel-related fraud. Consumer information and tips for avoiding travel fraud can be found on FTC.gov. Below are some important consumer tips to avoid travel fraud (Source: ftc.gov):
- Be wary of "great deals" and low-priced offers. Few legitimate businesses can afford to give away products and services of real value or substantially undercut other companies' prices;
- Don't be pressured into buying. A good offer today will be a good offer tomorrow. Legitimate businesses don't expect you to make snap decisions;
- Ask detailed questions. Find out exactly what the price covers and what it doesn't. Be sure to ask about additional charges, as well;
- If you do decide to buy, get all information about the trip in writing. Once you receive the written information, make sure it reflects what you were told over the phone and the terms you agreed to;
- Don't give your credit card number or bank information over the phone unless you know the company with whom you are working;
- Be aware that when you place your business card or name into a drawing for a free vacation, you may be added to a telemarketing call-out list;
- Know that your personal information also can be collected via the Internet when you are visiting travel-related sites seeking deals on trips or airfare;
- Don't send money by messenger or overnight mail. Some "scam artists" may ask you to send them money immediately. If you pay with cash or check, as opposed to using a credit card, you lose your right to dispute any potential fraudulent charges under the Fair Credit Billing Act; and
- When in doubt, say "no." If you have any doubts about the trustworthiness of a company, trust your instincts. It's less risky to turn down the offer and hang up the phone.
– Consumer Protection: Travel Fraud
– How to report a Scam
– Learn How to Prevent Vacation Rental Scams