Tips to avoid vacation rental scams

You’ve probably already heard of cases of holiday rental scams on the internet. Some ill-intentioned people publish false advertisements on classified ad platforms between private individuals with the aim of swindling Internet users looking for a detached house, a rural gîte or an apartment to rent for holidays.

Request for payment of 50% or the totality of the rent in advance, transfer to bank accounts abroad, non-existent housing, false promotion, unreachable owner… many cases exist.

Above all, you should know that on Sun Location, the cases of rental scams are simply non-existent because the site has made the choice to offer only holiday accommodation managed by reliable agencies, providing availability and prices in real time and 100% secure online booking.

In case you visit several websites looking for the ideal rental for your next holidays, always be careful! Find out about the website in question and the origin of the offers published.

To avoid unpleasant surprises, Sun Location offers you 7 good reflexes to take to avoid scams in holiday rentals:

Beware of too tempting offers

Some holiday rental offers offer unbeatable rates. In order to scam as many people as possible as quickly as possible, dishonest people sometimes try to “bait” with very tempting offers.

In case you come across an advertisement for holiday rentals at a very (or even too) attractive price, we invite you to compare with similar accommodation offers (properties, places, periods…).

Of course, it happens that some of them make promotions but in case these seem excessive to you, we advise you to take certain precautions.

Contact the owner

In the case of an advertisement from private individuals to private individuals or the owner’s contact details are published on the page, telephone contact must be systematic: a simple e-mail is not enough to make a reservation. At the time of validating the reservation and before making any payment, it is necessary to contact the owner by phone to speak with him and especially to check that the given number is valid.

If not, you must be careful: some unscrupulous people give false numbers or never answer.

Does the owner’s accent correspond to his so-called nationality?

You manage to reach the owner of an accommodation in a foreign country for example, but he has an accent that does not correspond to his nationality? Nevertheless, remain cautious and above all, try to obtain as much information as possible about the holiday rental offered.

Beware of payments abroad

Scams almost always have one thing in common: a request for payment to a foreign bank account via a cash, Western Union or Moneygram money order. What these payment methods have in common is that it is subsequently impossible to locate the recipient.

This means of payment consists of sending money to a post office that the recipient will withdraw using a name (sometimes a false identity) and a transaction code provided by the payer. It should be noted that, unlike France, some countries, such as Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Benin, do not systematically verify the identity of customers. They also sometimes leave a “tip” to post office employees to “facilitate” the transaction.

These ill-intentioned people (scammers) may also ask you to pay by bank transfer. Some bank accounts may be opened with false identities. Keep in mind that legislation regarding the opening of bank accounts may vary from country to country.

Do not pay more than 30% deposit in advance.

Do not pay the totality of the payment before going to the place of renting (limit 30%): If the “owner” asks you to pay more than 30% deposit or even the totality of the rent before going to the place of stay, it is better to be wary and refuse.

For your information, Sun Location’s partner agencies will ask you to pay between 20% and 30% maximum of the price of the stay as a deposit if the beginning of your arrival is more than a month away.

Read the whole rental contract

Legislation on the lease contract: the lease contract must be written in duplicate and signed by both parties. We invite you to read it in its entirety before returning it.

Check the existence of the accommodation

Do the photos match the ad? In some cases of fraudulent advertisements, the photos of the holiday accommodation do not correspond to the accommodation described or belong to different accommodations.

Writing of the advertisement: inconsistencies, spelling mistakes… If the offer contains too many errors, it may be a false advertisement.

Location of the accommodation on Google Maps / Google Earth to check that the accommodation is located at the indicated address (to be requested beforehand).

Ask a friend to book the same accommodation for the same period in case of doubt once the booking has been validated in order to check that the advertiser does not offer his property for rent indefinitely.

Check and/or verify the rental with an organization that has a good reputation for quality.

Insurance before departure: There are insurances available for holiday rentals. Ask your insurer for more information.

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