• Don’t be fooled by photos posted online. Do your own research and use online applications (Google Maps, Google Earth, Street View, etc.) to see if the location is where it says it is. It’s common for these scammers to use pictures they’ve hijacked from legitimate websites.
• Search names, addresses and phone numbers online to validate who you’re speaking with.
• Never pay by wire transfer or pre-paid money card. Use a credit card or Pay Pal. Money is easier to track that way.
• Ask for a copy of the rental contract and read it before you pay a deposit. Make sure you know all the terms and conditions, including the cancellation policy.
• Verify reservations directly with any companies involved (airline, rental car company, hotel, cruise line, etc.) to confirm arrangements have actually been made to your specifications.
• Don’t rely solely on e-mail. It’s a red flag if a landlord won’t provide an address or phone number.
• Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
If you'd like to learn more about vacation scams or check out companies offering vacation rentals, visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776–5301