Barefoot for the past 4 years has seen a significant increase in vacation rental fraud as we have talked with our clients and prospects. Most of it has not been reported by the press, but more and more of the heart wrenching stories are starting to hit the press. As we have stated in past blogs many victims have either been ashamed and not reported it or reported it to local authorities who dont publicize it and in most cases the case is never solved. Almost every client I have talked with know of an event in their market and no press was given. I have suggested that not only should you assist these victims, but expose their story to the local chamber of commerce, the newspapers, your blogs and anyone else that can get the word out. For if we are not proactive, 1. others will pay by your silence. 2. professionally managed inventory is grayed into what historically has been a serious weakness in For Rent By Owner model.
In this most recent article a couple looking to be wed are dupped into sending money to a rental agent. This really does hit home for the professionals. If you are not proactive in managing this threat, when you have to react it is too late.
Please feel free to include Barefoot in your list of contact if a scam occurs in your market and let us know what strategies you are using to combat this.