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That vacation rental listing could possibly be a scam. Look ahead to warning signs

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Biggest warning sign

The most important red flag that an inventory is a scam is when you’re asked to depart an inventory platform similar to Vrbo or Airbnb to be able to provide a payment, Couch-Friedman said.

A fake real estate owner will ask a consumer to send $500, for instance, via an internet payment platform similar to Zelle. Those transfers are quick and can’t be reversed, Couch-Friedman said.

“The very best payment method for any form of vacation rental could be bank cards, because then you’ve gotten [the] protection of the Fair Credit Billing Act,” Couch-Friedman said. “Should you are scammed, your bank card company can get your a reimbursement.”

So, remember to book an inventory you found on a widely known website on that website only. “So long as you stay throughout the platform from start to complete, from payment to deposit, it is very difficult to turn out to be scammed,” Couch-Friedman said.

More red flags

Also, be looking out for fake listings. These will often appear as latest posts with no reviews, Couch-Friedman said. In her notice, James also warned consumers to look out for fake reviews, similar to a couple of review repeating the identical phrases.

The listing may have grainy photos. By taking a screen shot of the photos and doing a search on Google Images, you could find out if it exists elsewhere. If the image shows up for one more listing in a special location, or in an unrelated context, similar to a furniture commercial, then it is a scam, Couch-Friedman said.

It is also a superb idea to message the owner before you commit. Of note, this correspondence should only occur on the listing site, based on James. A scammer may not get back to you instantly or respond in proper English, based on Couch-Friedman.

Also make certain the host or owner has a legitimate address and phone number, James recommends.

The excellent news is that in the event you read the terms and conditions for the listing site you are using, and also you stay on that platform, you may reduce your probabilities significantly of getting taken.

Should you run into legal issues with potential schemes, it’s best to contact your state’s attorney general, Couch-Friedman said.

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