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Renting a vacation home? You could be sending money to a scammer

Posted at 6:36 AM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 08:36:49-05

PHOENIX - As more people are renting homes and apartments for vacations, scams involving vacation rental sites are expected to grow in 2020.

The Better Business Bureau just put out a warning concerning popular sites and how people can still get scammed.

Too many people are sending money to owners of fake listings.

The BBB says scammers can sometimes use legit sites and post properties that don't belong to them, then ask for deposits.

They say scammers might gain access to real owner's login information through phishing emails.

Other scammers might try to talk you off the site to get a "better deal."

Some sites have protections set up. But with any vacation rental site, make sure you do all your business on the site.

And never do business with anyone that needs you to wire your money instead of using a credit card or a check.

The Federal Trade Commission also has tips to avoid being scammed.

Fake owners have been a long-term problem for long-term rentals.

The most common scams involve people copying pictures and descriptions of homes listed for sale. They then post them on rental sites with their contact information for deposits.

Before sending money for a longer-term rental, get a contract and demand the owner show you the place.

Don't fall for the "out of town" excuse.

Also, check pictures of the rental property against other rental and sales listings to make sure they are not just copied.

Finally, if you are renting, and there is a "for sale" sign in the front yard, I'd be wary.