The Challenge in Avoiding Rental Scams
Vacation rental scam stories have become a popular news topic. The introduction of the internet has opened the door to more and more cottage rentals being available to the travelling public and unfortunately, now we are seeing rental scams which result in renters paying a substantial amount of money, only to find out there is no cottage, or that the cottage they thought they had booked is already occupied - usually by the cottage owner who has no idea his cottage has been "rented'!
Here is why it is hard to avoid:
Making sure the property actually exists sounds simple enough but this can be very tricky even with Google Maps and Google Earth. Many properties in cottage country are not mappable, and even if they are, scammers can also hack into existing listings and make themselves the contact resulting in a fake booking.
As the old saying goes, "if it looks too good to be true it probably is" but let's face it, these days there are so many cottages available and the competition is so steep that it is hard to determine if a good deal is real or not.
We all shop online and this means we are all used to paying online. Paying by credit card, e-transfer or wire transfer is easy. And again, unfortunately, scammers have access to these easy pay methods too.
In the end the best way to avoid cottage rental scams is to use a legitimate agency like ours. We are an Ontario registered travel agency and a member of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO). We personally visit each property, take our own photographs and write our own property descriptions. We post real testimonials and can answer any questions that are not answered on the website by phone or email. Will it cost you a bit more? Maybe.…. but it's worth it!