How to Avoid the ĎNigerian Fraudí Scam that is Hitting Vacation Rentals
By Nigel G Worrall
Just recently thereís been some publicity concerning the practice carried out by some fraudsters of listing homes for rental that actually arenít for rent or worse, donít even exist. One recent case in Maryland saw one manís home being listed on a vacation rental site along with photographs and a description even though this was his place of residence. Talk about getting new neighbors!
This problem has now come about as people have largely become aware of other scams that the Nigerian teams pull off; typically through email and promises of large amounts of money. Instead the crooks have now turned their attention to new ways of conning the public and it seems the vacation rental market is now one of the targets.
What happens is this:
Someone posts a property on a rental web site, posing as the owner, and then collects deposits for future rentals on the property. If the renter then fails to check out the property or the owner via other sources and simply sends off a check, then the scammer wins.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
The first thing I would recommend is renting through a local vacation rental management company and making sure with the Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce and other affiliated trade associations that the company is legitimate. Most local vacation management companies have their own web sites and you can view the properties they manage on their web site rather than trawling through lots of paid listing vacation by owner web sites.
Itís a much easier process to select the ideal home and you can be sure the home actually exists.
The next things to look for are testimonials and referrals from previous guests. See what they have to say about the property and the company and this will help you stay away from any nasty surprises. Paying by credit card is highly recommended as the crooks will never allow this type of payment for fear of charge backs on the card. Itís also important to never give out personal financial information such as bank account numbers and another red flag is a request to transfer money by wiring it. Donít.
Of course, renting directly through an owner is an attractive proposition because there is a feeling that you can save money but the reality of the situation is that you shouldnít take any chances of ruining your vacation by renting a home that either doesnít exist or isnít a vacation rental. Vacation rental companies have some great deals at the moment and they are the professionals when it comes to looking after a property.
Good vacation rental companies will understand your fears and will work with you to make sure you are completely satisfied and 100% certain that you are getting what you paid for. Video tours and photographs can help in this process but if you just take a few simple steps to protect yourself then youíll have a great vacation and not become a victim.
About Nigel G. Worrall:
Nigel Worrall is President / CEO of Florida Leisure Vacation Homes & Total Real Estate Solutions. He is regularly sought by the media as a vacation home and real estate expert and has featured on NBC, ABC, Fox, CBS. He has also featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, Newsweek, Chicago Sun Times, Washington Post, Orlando Sentinel, Orlando Business Journal and several other publications. Nigel is also the best selling author of ďBig Ideas For Your BusinessĒ (Advantage Media)
Nigel serves many clients around the world as a Realtorģ, Real Estate Broker, Real Estate Investor, Mortgage Broker and Real Estate Trainer.
About Florida Leisure:
Florida Leisure Vacation Homes is the leading vacation home company in the Orlando, Fla. Ė Disney area, offering 3-7 bedroom private vacation homes near to all the Orlando area attractions. Each home has itís own fully equipped kitchen, 3-7 bedrooms, lounge, dining room, laundry, 2 car garage and best of all, private swimming pool. http://www.FloridaLeisure.com
*** The articles on this website are made freely available to all members of the media and the press. The only condition is that credit be given to Nigel G. Worrall as author of the articles.