Destin Vacationers Scam Warning
Posted by Karrie Rose on Monday, July 11th, 2011 at 6:03pm.
There are few things as enjoyable as preparing a long-overdue vacation. You spend hours researching online, find the perfect location, choose a great vacation property, pay the deposit and head off to your destination with nothing but a suitcase and thoughts of sun and relaxation.
You arrive at your perfect beach home after a long journey, the kids spilling excitedly from the car, and you step up to the door as the family unloads the trunk. But, instead of being met by an agent, or key-holding owner, you find that the place is either already occupied by other vacationers or in total darkness. Your dream vacation has turned into a nightmare. You are a long way from home, with nowhere to stay and several hundred dollars out of pocket.
Unfortunately, the above scenario has become something of an all-too-frequent occurrence in Florida's more popular resorts and destinations in recent years. In Destin, this problem is hitting vacationers and valid property rental companies hard as online rental scams reach worrying levels.
It seems that unscrupulous thieves are targeting unwitting renters and fraudulently posting rental properties on legitimate listings websites. The heartless criminals copy the details and pictures of bona fide vacation homes from established websites and replicate the information on listings sites, claiming to be the owners of the properties. They drop the price considerably, luring cost-conscious property seekers who gladly pay the bargain prices only to find later that they have been scammed out of their hard-earned savings.
Use Caution When Choosing Your Destin Property
Here at Destin-Florida-Real-Estate we're getting calls from worried vacationers on a worryingly regular basis. If you are searching for that perfect Destin, Florida getaway, use caution when dealing with companies or individuals who list their properties on generic websites. If they fail to publish a genuine phone number, ask for deposits to be paid by wire transfer, or if their advertisements are littered with spelling errors and bad grammar you would be well advised to steer clear. Only trust those online rental companies who accept credit cards, or other protected payment methods, and if you have any doubts concerning the legitimacy of the advertised property check with the Destin Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau.
By taking a few simple precautions, and remembering that old adage that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, you and your family should be able to avoid becoming the next victims of this mean-spirited crime. Choose you vacation home carefully, and you'll soon be enjoying the best of Destin, where your only concerns will be how to choose which fabulous Emerald Coast restaurant you will be dining in tonight!
By the Karrie Rose Writing Team
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