This type of rental scam is common in many respected classified venues, and simply involves a con artist creating a fake ad posting- often copying the information and details from a legitimate owner or broker advertisement. They offer these rentals are drastically reduced prices to garner interest, then send out a payment demand requesting money order, wire transfer, or payment via an online transfer service such as PayPal. When the renter arrives, they realize they do not have a valid reservation and are unable to recover their payment.
While many consumers believe that a service such as PayPal can protect them from scams, they often are very surprised to discover that PayPal does not provide buyer protection on a real estate transaction. And many credit cards also restrict chargebacks to a specific period of time, often 90 days from the date payment was made. Often, the only way for a renter to truly protect their family from vacation rental fraud is to insist on using a respected third party escrow service who will hold and protect the payment until after check in- ensuring the tenant's money is protected until after they have checked in to the condo.
Vacation-Times.org is proud to be listed as a trusted partner of the online escrow service DepositGuard.com. DepositGuard offers an inexpensive vacation rental escrow service for both landlords or tenants, and can give you the peace of mind knowing that your next vacation rental is a safe and secure transaction.