Online Vacation Rentals

Each time I book with an online rental company, I know to verify the authenticity of the arrangement.

With VRBO rentals, I talk directly with the management company and/or look up the owner’s last name to see if the address matches up in tax records.

My preference is to work with a local agency.  They know the home and area, and are accountable for any issues.

My skeptical approach was validated today when I met a prospective tenant who was scammed out of a large sum of money for vacation rentals in Avalon.

The tenant rented 2 separate homes in Avalon via Craig’s List.  Both are actual homes on the island, however, the property owners do not offer their homes for rent!  The scammers created fake listings (properties may have been previously for rent, and therefore easy for someone to copy and paste pictures).

A relative of the tenant decided to walk around one of the homes, and encountered the owner.  When it was determined the situation was a scam, the tenant filed a police report.

In the meantime, family members are scrambling to find replacement properties for their vacation set to start in 2 days.  Plus the gut punch of more money out of pocket.

Tips to avoid a scam:

1) Book with a local, reputable rental agency.  Talk to a real person- even if you are able to book online.  Rental agencies may promote their listings on various online platforms, but booking directly with the agency is typically the most cost effective.

2) Do not wire money.  Most agencies allow credit card or ACH payments on a tenant portal.  Or, send a personal check.

Reach out to me to help!





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