How to avoid vacation rental scams

If you are new to renting or renting from a new owner, here is some information to help. If you don't know the owner or if if the aren't recommended by someone you trust, be careful. To protect yourself, consumer advocates suggest:

1. Pay with a secure method, like a credit card, that allows for dispute resolution. NEVER WIRE FUNDS. If the owner ask you to wire money to a bank. Run.

2. Use a site that verifies the owners, like or use a management company or realtor you trust.

3. Research the property to see if it is listed elsewhere. Search the address and property tax records to see if you are actually communicating with the REAL owner. Beware of properties that are for sale or foreclosure.

4. Talk to the contact on the phone, NOT by text or email. You should be able to find them on Facebook, Linkedin, or other social or professional sites.

5. Check out Google maps to see if the neighborhood and house match the pictures.

6. If the deal seems too good to be true, it is! A deal is only a deal if it is real. And usually it isn't

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