Most times, renting out your home on a vacation rental site is a safe and straightforward process. However, since the dawn of time, there have been people that look for ways to take advantage of other people. This is even more true with the invention of the Internet. Unfortunately, vacation rental scams happen all the time, and they’re not always easy to spot. At Hosty, when we’re not perfecting the perfect vacation management software, we’re working on keeping you safe. Learn more about ways to spot potential vacation rental scams below.
How to tell if it could be a vacation rental scams
Check out that email address
A vast majority of people incorporate their name in the email address. After all, you want your email recipient to know who the communication is from. If you get a message from someone who’s name doesn’t match their email in the slightest, it may be a red flag.
Is the trip a “surprise” for a loved one?
Despite this sounding like a wonderful treat, a surprise trip may not have the best intentions. Scammers can use this tactic to cancel travel plans, cause confusion, and ultimately, find a way to get your credit card information. If the travel plans sound convoluted or the person booking your property refuses to give you the name of the person traveling, you may be at risk for this type of scam.
You know their life story before you meet them
Vacation rental scammers may try to give you too much information, so you’ll trust them more. If a potential guest provides you with their occupation, their lengthy backstory, or a sad tale about why they’re traveling to your city in the first email, be wary. They may want to make you feel bad for them so they can manipulate you.
The get your property information wrong
If you’re renting a room in the city and the potential guests ask about your “large country home”, be cautious. People trying to scam your vacation rental business may be sending blanket emails to hundreds of Airbnb hosts to see if anyone will respond.
They want to pay you off the books
The most common vacation rental scam that you see is potential guests trying to pay you outside of your vacation rental platform. Unsafe payment agreements are one of the most common ways for scammers to get your credit card information or steal your identity. If they aren’t willing to pay you the way you want to be paid – they’re bad news.
It just feels off
Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right about potential guest, don’t rent to them, or at least take a little time to vet them properly. It’s worth the few extra messages to figure them out. Most of the time, your instincts will be right.
We hope that with these tips and a little luck, you’ll never get taken by a vacation rental scam. Keep checking our blog for updated information to help you become the best Airbnb host you can be!