SCAM ALERT: Beware of Summer Rental Fraud

By Rudman Winchell Attorney


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 for more information on fraud prevention.


These materials have been prepared by Rudman Winchell for educational purposes only. They should not be considered legal advice. The transmission of this information to you is not intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. You should not send any confidential or private information to Rudman Winchell until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established, in writing.