About six days ago someone posted a question in PayPals online Community Help Forum. The Question was:
I am interested in renting a vacation rental apartment in Miami for spring break. The renter guy sent me an email with his paypal email to make the payment to. I am just paranoid with these types of transactions. I am supposed to pay a security deposit and the rest when I do go. But if this guy turned out to be a scammer would I be protected by paypal and get my money back?
A moderator answered this question a few days later, and he said that PayPal does provide purchase protection. However, services and real estate are not eligible for the protection. He goes on to say that PayPal would gladly process the payment, but if there are any issues and a dispute would need to be opened, there is nothing PayPal would be able to help with.
PayPal may seem like a safe alternative, but it is almost as bad as sending a person a check. If you are being the victim of a scam, there is nothing you can do to get your money back. At Barefoot we keep stressing the importance for tenants to go through a professionally managed company that can handle credit card payments.
Another thing that is important to point out is that the person asking the question has done his/her homework, and know that scammers, unfortunately, use the vacation rental industry to make a quick profit. For the specific question, go here.