Fraud has become a widespread phenomenon when looking for vacation accommodations. This often happens to new travelers who have no idea on how to avoid scam traps.
Scammers have creative ways to attract victims; it, however, doesn’t mean that you cannot prevent this type of scams. Below is a list indicating numerous ways on how to avoid fraud when selecting accommodations for your holiday.
Complete booking on high-ranking websites
There are so many high-ranking sites available for anyone who wants to book vacation accommodations securely. First of all, a high-ranking site is a webpage that appears on the first page of a search engine whenever you initiate a specific search.
Some of the most common sites for booking hotels and vacation homes include booking.com and TripAdvisor. These are the most common sites that offer genuine services. They have served a considerable number of travelers with no complaints from travelers.
Never pay the full amount in advance
The biggest mistake most people make is to pay for their vacation accommodations in full. If you find a site asking for full payment when making your bookings, avoid it. Instead, pay a partial amount to guarantee you the accommodation space then complete the rest of the payment on site.
This way, in case you end up on a fraud site, you won’t have to worry about losing so much of your money. Also, have a look at the payment methods. Secure sites will always use credit cards as a payment method.
Scroll through the customer reviews
If there is one thing that will always help you distinguish between a legit site and fraud site is customer review. This is a statement that a customer leaves on the website stating how satisfactory or unsatisfactory the services were.
By going through every review, you will have a hint whether the site is a fraudulent or not. The best part about customer reviews is that some customers usually go into details indicating how the whole transaction went.
If the page doesn’t have a customer review, consider it a fraud site.
Confirm the address of the accommodation
Technology has made searches to be very simple, and this includes address confirmation. Every vacation accommodation has to have an address. You can use google maps and other location checkers to confirm that the building is precisely where the description states.
In case it is not, then conclude that it is a fraud site. Authentic vacation accommodation sites often include the right location of the building.
Use reverse phone lookup sites like Spokeo
Use phone number search to make your investigation of the contact included in the advertisement website. The phone number lookup will enable you to pull out any criminal records the owner of the number has.
If you see any felony, know that you are dealing with a fraud site. You thus have to neglect the website and its information entirely and look elsewhere for your accommodations. Most knowledgeable travelers use reverse number lookup Spokeo as their first option when determining if a vacation accommodation website is a fraud.
Confirm the picture of the accommodation is real and not stolen
Some people usually go to any site, download some photos of the accommodation and use them on their fraud website. Well, you can figure out if they stole the picture by searching for it online. If you find it belongs to a high ranking site, then know that you are dealing with a scam. Others source the pictures from places such as Pixabay and Unsplash. A good website will not go for an already existing photo, but instead, it will use fresh images of the site. It is thus mandatory to confirm the pictures are from another place.
With the number of fraud websites cropping up every day, it is very important that you be very keen so that you don’t end up a victim. The above methods will enable you to separate a fraud website from the genuine once. Always make sure that you do a phone number lookup. It is one of the most important steps since you get to know if you are dealing with a criminal. Use the information above to secure your vacation accommodation without being scammed.
Valerie Malecha is a content writer for Spokeo. Her main interests are traveling, meeting new people and trying something new. She is experienced in marketing, business, travel, and technology topics.