SCAM ALERT: Beware of Summer Rental Fraud
Beware of rental rip-offs this summer. Fraudsters steal photos and descriptions of properties from real estate, hotel or vacation rental websites and then clone the ads, but with discounted prices. After making the deal, the scammer asks the renter for upfront payment. It’s only later that the renter finds the rental isn’t available and may not even exist. Some tips for avoiding this scam: Never pay by wire transfer or prepaid debit card. Don’t deal only by email – get a phone number and Google it for past complaints. And be suspicious of weekly rentals that are too flexible. Most vacation rental owners require a Saturday-to-Saturday stay in the summer.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.