Vacation Rental Scams/Reality

By 8:00 PM , , , , , , ,

The husband and I decided a couple weeks ago that we were ready to book a condo at the beach for a much needed relaxing getaway...we decided we wanted a condo rather than a hotel so we could save some money by cooking some of our meals at the condo rather than eating out an entire week.

After posting on Facebook that we were looking for a condo, we had several friends recommend VRBO as the place to search for a condo. After several nights spent on the internet looking for a condo we would be interested in, we decided upon what we thought was the perfect condo...a condo right on the beach with a gorgeous view of the pool and ocean. However, after contacting the owner, he insisted we send a very large check in the mail to him to secure the condo...(we were skeptical having already been scammed via craigslist on a rental home a few months ago...but that's another story) when we requested a contract prior to sending him a check in the mail he got very offended and told us if we were so worried we should probably look somewhere else!

This is when we started our research...apparently there are no guarantees that the so called "owners" of the homes available for rent on vrbo actually even own the home they have listed. VRBO does offer "fraud" insurance for $40. After calling them to find out more about the offered insurance we found out that if we were to get to the condo and the deal was not legit the insurance would allow us to get the money we sent the owner back for the condo. HOWEVER....they would NOT refund us the gas money we had to spend to get to the beach/back home or the hotel we would have to get for the night if we didn't want to drive 8 hrs back the same day....for us it wasn't worth the stress. 

Luckily we were able to rent a condo from a family friend instead that we know we can trust.

I really wish we lived 50 years ago when you could still trust people....I seriously hate that we have to even be concerned about things like's sad but reality.

Have any of you ever used VRBO or any other on-line condo rental service? What has been your experience? I would love to some others experience for future vacation plans...

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