WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Before booking that relaxing getaway, be sure to do some research. Scammers target tourists looking to rent property and it could turn a dream vacation into a nightmare.
President of the North Central Texas BBB Monica Horton said vacation rip-offs are in the top 10 scams they see and has caused people to lose thousands. The median loss they recorded in 2017 was $1,180 per consumer.
Some places that are advertised may not even exist or may not live up to how they have been promoted.
Here are a few tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of a scam:
1. Beware of renters that are difficult to get in contact with, only communicate with you via an email address, or do not have a phone number or mailing address.
2. If they ever ask you to wire money do not do it
3. If you need to pay, use a credit card
4. Check the domain name of a website on whois.icann.org to see who owns it
5. Crooks like to build in a sense of urgency and say that someone else is looking at renting that vacation spot for the same date. Do not let the pressure lead to a hasty purchase
7. Check public records of the location
8. Look at reviews.