Ways to reduce risk of falling prey to holiday home fraud

 

Many 60lifers are fortunate to be able to travel frequently at different times of the year and may wish to take a holiday rental.

If you are planning to rent a holiday home or villa, spare a thought for the man who was reported as having recently paid his deposit on the holiday home of his dreams in Spain discovered when arriving at the address he had been given that the villa did not exist. He had been well and truly conned, and there was no compensation available for his loss of around £1,000. Sad to say this is not an isolated case,and this type of  fraud has been going on for years. The widespread use of booking online has added to the risks.

The holiday scams can take many forms. For instance,the holiday property is non-existent, or the owner is not the person who advertised the property for rent.

What to Do?

There are several fairly easy things you can do to help minimise the risk of your own holiday rental horribilis , including :

  • If you use a travel company check that it is a member of a recognised travel association
  • if you use a website try to check-out owner details, and make contact with the owner other than over the internet for details of previous users of the property. Check-out published testimonials to validate owner claims.
  • A little online research with Google maps or street view may help confirm that the advertised property both exists and matches the details ‘on the ground.’
  • At the time of booking you should have a proper booking contract providing all basic terms of the rental
  • Pay by credit card or Paypal , or combine both these payment methods. In this way you should be able to recover monies paid if your rental is a scam

‘Buyer beware’, has never been more appropriate in these transactions. We often spend a great deal of planning in detail where we wish to stay on holiday. Loss may be difficult to completely eliminate from the acts of determined fraudsters, but being alert to the dangers and spending a little time in ownership research should prevent you from being one of their victims.

There are many excellent articles on travel and insurance websites. Here is one site concerned with the prevention of fraud in the holiday homes sector which may offer you some helpful advice.

 

Here’s wishing you a happy and carefree holiday!

 

 

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