Over the past few months we have brought you many stories about scams and how renters have been trapped by them. Almost all the scams we have found highlight a significant weakness in for rent by owner. The bottom line is that a company that is brick and mortar, can take credit cards, has a legal contract and insurance and knows what they are doing is a significant advantage over an owner who does this part time. The only thing that the owner might have is price and possibly the uniqueness of their property. As you have read in our blogs in the past, scams abound, and main stream media is just starting to pick these up. This potentially helps the managed properties, but it also hurts everyone in rentals as not everyone understands the difference between a FRBO and a managed property. For those in the managed property business, understanding these articles is very important, it is a tool that can assist you in targeting your owners and potential owners and it is a marketing reality that needs to be address for tenants. We will continue to provide you these articles as we come across them.
Image Courtesy of Gold Beach Real Estate
Steve Chase has had several families show up to his Fort Lauderdale home expecting a nice vacation, only to find a note on the door saying the home is not for rent. Scams like this occur and often have no resolve, however in this story, we see a happier ending. The group of women in this case is another set of victims to fall into a scam by sending a wire transfer for the amount described. With this transfer it is difficult to track and even more difficult to track where the money ends up.
Due to these circumstances, people often leave with a terrible memory of their vacation. Some home owners have begun to fight back. Steve Chase has tried to report these offenses to the authorities but has often run into difficulties tracking down the right person to talk to. We are happy and sad to report however that the recent amount of reported offenses has risen and made these crimes more noticeable. In one blog, the writer was lucky enough to realize the scam in progress prior to sending her money. From there, she proceeded to make a checklist for any weary traveler that you can follow to ensure your safety. The largest rule to follow is to use a reliable method of payment that ensures a method of tracking like a credit card. Credit cards are a great way to have security and minimize your liability in instances like this. A huge red flag is to stay away from wire transfers all together. In most instances of fraud the party involved has used a wire transfer to pay for the rental property.
Even industry giants have fallen prey to these fraudulent as we wrote in November about someone scammed through VRBO.com, a vacation rental giant. It is important to have a sharp eye when booking a reservation. One of the simplest ways to do this is by booking through a local agency. Not only does this give you a human interaction to base your transaction off of, but it also gives you a sense of trust. We hope you will never need to use the information in these articles but we are here to help however we can. If you have been a victim of a rental scam let Barefoot know about it.
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