Consumer Reports: Vacation rental scams - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Consumer Reports: Vacation rental scams

Posted: Updated:
Criminals are hacking into the email accounts of owners of rental properties, and defrauding renters out of a lot of money. Criminals are hacking into the email accounts of owners of rental properties, and defrauding renters out of a lot of money.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(CONSUMER REPORTS) - Consumer Reports says beware of vacation rental scams that can pack a very nasty surprise. Criminals are hacking into the email accounts of owners of rental properties, and defrauding renters out of a lot of money.

Here's how one scam works: Thieves hack into the email of property owners listing their properties on popular vacation rental sites like VRBO.com. The thieves pose as the owner and send forged contracts to potential renters, telling them to deposit money in a bank.

Another ploy: criminals lure potential renters with properties that are in foreclosure or don't even exist.

To protect yourself, Consumer Reports advises before you send any money, call the owner, and develop a business relationship. That way you can assess the legitimacy of the listing and the person's right to rent it.

How you pay is also important. Never use payments like wire transfers, cashier's checks or money orders. They don't provide protection in the event of fraud.

The safest ways to pay are by credit card, PayPal, or by using the payment transfer option on the rental website.

Consumer Reports also recommends using the website Flipkey if you want to rent a house or apartment. It conducts background checks on landlords and makes sure the properties are legitimate.

Consumer Reports says you might also consider rental guarantee insurance. The vacation websites VRBO and Homeaway provide $10,000 of coverage for $39.

Copyright 2014 Consumer Reports. All rights reserved.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Prostitution sting results in 12 arrests

    Prostitution sting results in 12 arrests

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:19:10 GMT
    (WMC) – A prostitution sting was conducted at a Southaven hotel Thursday. As a result, the following 12 people were arrested: Preston K. Mitchell, 52, Memphis, Tenn., charged with procuring prostitutionMore >>
    A prostitution sting was conducted at a Southaven hotel Thursday. Twelve people were arrested.More >>
  • Fight leads to gunshots and mayhem in Stone County

    Fight leads to gunshots and mayhem in Stone County

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:24 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:24:50 GMT
    Stone County Deputy Chief Phyllis Olds described a Saturday night fight this way, "It's by the grace of God that nobody was killed." That fight reportedly started at an outdoor block party.More >>
    Stone County Deputy Chief Phyllis Olds described a Saturday night fight this way, "It's by the grace of God that nobody was killed." That fight reportedly started at an outdoor block party. Deputies said it escalated into a gun battle near the Cadillac Club on Thelma Andrews Road.More >>
  • You saw his photo, and like that, police nab an alleged burglar

    You saw his photo, and like that, police nab an alleged burglar

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:23 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:23:50 GMT
    A surveillance picture shown on WLOX News and WLOX.com Monday night, and surveillance video posted on Facebook by a car burglary victim helped D'Iberville Police find an alleged burglar.More >>
    A surveillance picture shown on WLOX News and WLOX.com Monday night, and surveillance video posted on Facebook by a car burglary victim helped D'Iberville Police find an alleged burglar. A day after airing that photo, and reading Facebook posts, police realized their suspect was in Jackson County. With the help of Jackson County deputies, they arrested John Edward Dennis on a charge of burglary of an automobile.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.