Identity theft is becoming more and more common. Some people may impersonate you as a holiday rental owner, retrieve your ads (photos and texts) and publish them again with their email address and contact details for payment.
Phishing is also widespread. You can receive an SMS or an email that seems to come from a holiday rental site on which you have published your ad. You click on the link and you arrive on a fake page where the scammers will use your connection to use your account and divert the money from your holiday rental. If you want to rent an apartment, check for-sale.com/ for more information.
How to avoid rental payment scams ?
Always check the contact details of people who contact you. A simple Google search with the name or email address of the person who contacts you will let you know if other holiday rental owners have already been victims of this scam or not.
Any suspicious details in the coordinates should alert you.
If the email address does not end with known names (Orange, Gmail, Wanadoo, Hotmail…) be careful.
Spelling and grammar errors in your email exchanges should also alert you.
If you have any doubts, prefer a first contact by phone. This real exchange will allow you to ensure the existence and sincerity of the tenants.
If the tenant pays you more than the rental price, wait until you receive the full payment before refunding the difference.
Pirates want to pretend to be ideal travellers. Be very careful.
Look carefully in your discussions to see if the tenant asks many questions related to the description of your property.
To gain your empathy, scammers will make you believe that their stay is a business trip, a honeymoon or a gift for a friend. This may alert you.
If travellers book for a fixed date but explain that they are flexible, it can also be a scam.
How to avoid identity scams ?
Regarding identity theft, it is best never to give out your personal information (identity card, passport, etc.)
There are monitoring sites online. Their systems to see if anyone uses your name on the Internet. All you have to do is create an alert with your first and last name. You will then receive by email content that may correspond to identity theft. You can use Google Alert, Scoop it or Feedly for example.
Please note: you can use agencies to manage your holiday rental. Agencies are used to this type of scam and this will help you avoid them.