Vacation Rental Scam

Vacation Rental Scam: How It Works

You’re looking to pull in a bit of extra income and put up your house/condo for rent online, as a vacation property. It could be on specialty sites such as Airbnb or VRBO.

One day, you receive a request from somebody inquiring about the apartment next month for a business trip. He even sends you a cheque in advance, to make sure you book the condo for him.


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vacation rental scam

A couple of days before he is supposed to show up he calls you and says that, unfortunately, the trip has been called off, for various reasons (illness, death in the family, etc).

You are disappointed since you had to turn down other rental offers. However, he apologizes and suggests you can deposit his check and wire him back all but 10% for your troubles. You do so, and the cheque bounces a few business days later. You end up basically the same as you were, minus the few hundred dollars that you wired to him. So much for extra income. This is also known as the Fake Check Scam.

Vacation Rental Scam: How To Avoid

Wait until a check clears before counting it as your own money, and always be skeptical of deals that involve wiring money. Better safe than sorry.

Choose your vacation property wisely. Airbnb and VRBO are platforms that become safer and safer every day, so avoid postings on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

How To Report a Scammer

Let your family and online friends know about the Vacation Rental scam by sharing it on social media. You can also officially report scammers and any other suspicious activities to FTC (the Federal Trade Commission) using this link below:

Report To The FTC Here

How To Protect Yourself More

If you want amongst the first to find out the most notorious scams every single week by email, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter. You’ll receive periodic messages exposing fraud – no spam.

Meanwhile, educate yourself with some other rental fraud-related articles below, so that you know how to stay safe online. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other rental scammers.

Vacation Rental Scam by Owner

Rental Property Scams


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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

1 thought on “Vacation Rental Scam”

  1. Rick van Heijningen

    This scam is almost impossible through a vacation rental website because the firm all payments The set-they do not give details of homeowner before payment / booking.

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