Barefoot Technologies Blog- Vacation Rental Industry News

Online Rental Scams in Key West- A Common Plague

Posted by Adam Zippin on Apr 22, 2011 9:05:00 AM

Key West rental properties join the long list of properties that have become the target of online rental scams. According to recent news, some rental properties in Key West have been advertised by someone else than the owner or authorized representative.

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This incident once again brings up the fact that online scams in different businesses are a national plague that is very hard to investigate and detect. In this case, the “renter” has asked “customers” to mail in deposit money or full rental payments in the form of a check, money transfer through PayPal, as if the rental was legitimate.  According to reports, most of these properties have been advertised on Craig’s List. However, some scammers have even gone so far that they have produced their own rental property advertisements with photos, descriptions and contact information. 


Needless to say, scams like these are very hard to detect, as the scammers do everything to make the process look legitimate and real. However, everyone renting a property should think about these guidelines before sending out any money:

  • Only use major credit cards to pay for the rent. Most of legitimate rental companies accept credit cards. It should raise a red flag if your major credit card is not an accepted payment method.

  • Do not wire money electronically

  • If you are asked to send your money to someone else than your property owner, there is a good chance you are getting scammed.

  • Ask for a license. Most of property rentals have a property rental license.

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Barefoot recommends everyone renting a property to be aware of these dangers that are part of vacation rental business. If you come across a deal that is too good to be true, chances are that there is something shady going on. Also, always double check your property renter’s background and legitimacy before sending out money.