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Travel Scams: Six Things You Must Do Before Choosing Accommodation on Vacation

Are you going on holiday? Good for you! It is always a great thing to take a little time off and unwind. When you decide to leave your responsibilities behind for a little while, you want to be sure to pick the right place to charge your batteries back. 

But right now, there are a lot of scammers taking advantage of honest people trying to book a place in a touristic destination. Don't let anyone ruin your holiday before it even begins and follow these six tips to rent the best place possible – and make sure it's a real place.


Choose Reliable Renting Websites

When you are looking for a place to stay, there are going to be multiple options online. One quick google search will show you hundreds upon hundreds of options. But not all of them are reliable. 

When you are going to a faraway land for holidays, it is best to do business with well-known sites like and avoid direct communication with actual owners. This might make it a little bit more expensive, but you will have people who are working to guarantee you have a place to stay and nothing to worry about during your holidays -- except for having a good time.


Avoid Upfront Payments

This is an important point to be made. When you are renting a room or a place, some owners ask for the entire payment upfront. This is a red flag. Places doing this should be avoided at all costs. 

In most tourist destinations, it is custom to give money upfront to make a reservation. But these places will only ask for a fraction of the full price, not full payment before you even get there. 

If someone asks for full payment before you even get to your destination, they are, more likely than not, going to scam you.


Investigate as Many Reviews as Possible

Even if you are using reliable websites and not giving the entire payment upfront, you can still find yourself dealing with scammers and con artists – or simply a bad experience. The best way to avoid all of these things is by reading as many reviews as you can. 

Nowadays, most people who are grateful for great accommodation will leave a good word on Yelp, Google Reviews, Tripadvisor, Booking or Facebook. And those who had a bad experience will let the entire world know as well. Make use of these sites to read what people are saying about where you want to go and avoid nasty experiences.


Check the Address 

Once you found the place that seems right for you, there are a couple of things you can do to verify everything is okay. A common scam is creating a publication using fake information, including a fake address. 

Before you decide to book the place, contact the owners and ask them for the address. Afterward, check Google Maps (or any other online map) and see if they are telling the truth. Google Maps is the best option, as you can use their "street view" mode to view things in -almost- real-time.


Run Phone Number Search

When you contact the owners to check their address, try to get as much information as you can from them. Ask them for a phone number to speak to them personally. Once you have that phone number, go to and find out everything you want about them. 

With Spokeo you could find out who is truly behind the phone number: their name, address and if they have a criminal record. This is the most important thing to do before renting a place. If you checked their address using Google Maps, you could also use Spokeo reverse phone lookup and find out everything about the place you will be staying in, as well. 

Spokeo reverse number lookup is a great, reliable tool to get to know who is behind the place you want to rent and whether he is trustworthy or not.


Google Image Search

When you are looking for a place to stay, the first thing you'll want to see - pictures. Everyone wants the most beautiful, comfortable, perfect looking place to spend their time away from home. And sometimes, the pictures that you are looking at are not taken from the place you will be staying at. 

A lot of people use stolen pictures to entice soon to be customers to rent their place. By the time you realize you were scammed with fake pictures, you'll already be there! The best way to avoid this is by using Google's image search to make sure you aren't being lied to with fake pictures.


[Sponsored Content. Article written by Maguire Haigh]

Maguire Haigh is a marketing manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies and business development. He also prefers traveling, exploring the world and meeting new people. Maguire has great experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.

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