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Beware of Holiday Home Scams

January 22, 2015

Your dream of spending your holiday in the sun-drenched home you rented could evaporate—along with any money you paid up front. Several recent stories of consumers losing thousands of pounds to fraudsters via property-booking services reveal a serious lack of consumer protection for anyone renting a holiday home.

To avoid a similar fate, always book holiday cottages with a credit card rather than a cheque or cash—using a credit card is the only way to safeguard your payment against fraud. Be wary of homes that look too cheap, and never spend any money before speaking with a real person. Fraudsters can hack property owners’ emails, pretending to be the actual owners and asking for bulk cash payments in advance.

Fraudsters can even fabricate a listing, so you should always Google the property to confirm it exists. Ask for references from previous visitors, read reviews and never pay the whole bill upfront.

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