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7 Ways to Avoid Getting Scammed When Booking a Destin Vacation Rental

It happens more than you think. You find the vacation home of your dreams and it is priced way below the going rate for other homes of a similar size and location.  Too good to be true?  Probably.  
A growing concern for vacationers and legitimate rental property management companies are the ever- growing numbers of scammers trying to take advantage of the growing interest in vacation rentals for family beach vacations. Scammers use two different ruses to hook their victims. Either they create vacation rental properties that are not actually available to rent or don’t even exist or they commandeer legitimate listings complete with photos and descriptions and then change the contact information. They lure innocent travelers into a false sense of security communicating along the way and then the ball drops and they ask for a wire transfer of funds.  WARNING, WARNING, WARNING! The warning bells should be going off. 
One study from the Hotel and Lodging Association found that nearly 55 million bookings a year are made on fake travel websites.  Fortunately, with a small amount of pre-booking research, you can avoid showing up to a non-existent rental property that you’ve already paid for with our hard-earned vacation dollars and delivers nothing but heartache and headaches in return.   
Here are a few tips for avoiding scams: 
1.       Don’t look for a vacation rental on Craigslist.  Craigslist is a favorite place for cyber scammers to lie in wait, simply because it’s a common landing place for consumers looking for good deals.  While Craig’s List is a great tool for local transactions between buyer and seller, it is a scammers’ dream platform as listings may not be scrutinized as much as they would on a vacation rental site.
2.      Check the photos.  Do a Google reverse image search.  On Google Chrome, right click the photo and select “search Google for this image”.   If you see the same photo on a bunch of other sites, that should be a huge red flag.
3.      Do not rely solely on email to contact the owner.  Get a phone number.  And be wary of foreign phone numbers.
4.      Pay for your rental with a credit card or PayPal which makes it much easier to dispute a fraudulent charge.
5.      Don’t wire money or pay with a gift card.  Once a scammer collects your money, it’s almost impossible to get it back.
6.      Don’t be pressured or rushed to make a decision.  If you receive an email pressuring you to make a decision immediately, be cautious.  
7.      Be wary of super cheap rates for premium vacation properties especially during peak season.  As the saying goes “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
At Newman Dailey we offer wide range of rentals to satisfy many tastes and budgets.  We have been making vacation dreams a reality in the Destin, Florida area for almost 35 years. We live in Destin, work in Destin and are experts at managing properties in South Walton and Destin, Florida. 
View our collection of premier vacation rentals online or call one of our friendly vacation specialists at 1-800-225-7652 and we’ll help narrow your search and find the perfect Destin vacation rental for your group. Remember to always book direct with Newman-Dailey for our best rate guarantee. Newman-Dailey Resort Properties is a name you can trust. Let us help you plan the vacation of your dreams.  
See you at The Beach! 

Published on Monday, June 24, 2019