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  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 1, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Steamboat Springs, vacation   

    Scammers tell renters to break the window if no one’s home 

    Scammers tell renters to break the window if no one's home

    Steamboat Springs in Colorado is a popular ski resort town. Any popular tourist hotspot will have its fair share of rental scammers and Steamboat Springs is no exception. An attorney was looking for a long term rental in Steamboat Springs and says that she encountered at least four scammers were trying to rent her a property that they didn’t actually own. One scammer is even said to have told the attorney that she could go look at the home herself and if the door was locked she could just break a window. That may just be the biggest red flag for a rental scam we’ve ever heard of.

    After that encounter, the attorney started doing research on the property she was hoping to rent and found out that the home was actually for sale and not for rent. Scammers had copied the ad from the legitimate realtor’s website and pasted the ad on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Zillow. If the attorney had not done her due diligence she may have found herself out of thousands of dollars paid to phony landlords for phony deposits.

    The attorney also gave some good advice on how to help sniff out a rental scammer. She recommends asking questions that only locals may know like what school did they send their kids too or things like that. Often these rental scammers will be based overseas and know very little about the local area.

    Please remember that if a prospective landlord tells you that you can’t see the property or need to break the window to see it, you’re probably talking to a scammer. We always recommend doing a reverse image search to see how many ads the pictures of the home appear in. If most of the ads say that the home is for rent but one says it’s for sale then the rental ads are more than likely scams. Lastly, you can always check with the county assessor’s office or website to see who the actual owner of the property is before handing over any money.

    While this kind of research can be time-consuming it’s worth it to put in the effort in order to avoid being scammed.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Expedia, , , , , , vacation   

    Scam strikes vacation sites! 

    Scam strikes vacation sites!

    If you’re still looking to plan your vacation for this summer, you may want to be extra careful who you book your vacation with. The Better Business Bureau has been warning potential vacation-goers to make sure you use the proper travel website when booking travel plans. While most reports we’ve seen have mentioned Expedia, we imagine that this could happen with any well-known travel website. The scam works like a lot of phishing scams by posing as a website that looks identical to sites like Expedia but directs you to call a different number than Expedia’s actual number. The scammers will then tell you that their system is down and can you make payment using a prepaid debit card. That should be your red flag as once payment is transferred from that card the money is gone. Real travel platforms will never ask you to pay by prepaid debit card or gift card.

    Speaking of the BBB, they’re also warning about a scam that’s currently happening in the Pacific Northwest. It appears that a genetic testing scam is happening there now. You may see commercials for services that promise to test your genetics to give you your ethnic makeup. Most of these are established services with decent reputations. However, there are scammers trying to cash in on this craze by coming to your door or setting up shop in senior centers. If you’re asked for any kind of medical insurance information such as your Medicare number it’s a scam. This particular scam is designed just to get your medical carrier information to be able to commit future insurance fraud with your information. This scam also tends to target those who are on Medicare or Medicaid.

    Lastly, we have a scam out of the Midwest where some Sheriffs Offices are warning residents about it. In this scam, you’ll receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a border agent from either the Canadian or Mexican border. These fake agents will say that a rental car registered in your name has been found with drugs in it. They’ll even try to say that your name has been connected with a drug cartel. The scammers will then try to ask you for financial information to try to clear the incident up such as your bank account or credit card numbers. If you receive one of these calls it’s recommended that you hang up immediately.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: beaches, , , , , , vacation   

    Delaware DOJ warns of Summer vacation rental scams 

    Delaware DOJ warns of Summer vacation rental scams

    Even though we are barely into the Spring season some consumers are already looking ahead to the Summer. If you’ve ever lived within driving distance of one of our nation’s beaches, you know that rental properties fill up fast and if you’re planning a Summer vacation there you have to get the jump on everyone else. Unfortunately, rental scammers are well aware of this and are trying to take advantage of unwitting vacationers. If you’re not familiar with the state of Delaware, they have some very nice beaches that are very popular with tourists. Some Delaware residents even travel to the South Jersey shore to vacation there. However, the First State is warning residents to be wary of vacation rental scams.

    The Delaware Department of Justice recently released a notice warning Delaware residents of potential vacation rental scams that could be happening in their area. Unsurprisingly, the Delaware DOJ singles out craigslist as one of the problem areas where these scams exist. Vacation rental scams work much the same way as any rental scam. A scammer will copy a legitimate ad for a rental property then post a similar ad on craigslist as if the scammer is the landlord. Once the scammer receives payment they disappear with your money while your vacation plans are ruined. This type of scam is not just limited to Delaware either.

    The Delaware DOJ offers some tips on how to not get scammed such as working with a realtor, using internet searches to make sure the property doesn’t have duplicate ads and using county property registries to make sure the property owner is who they say they are. We would also recommend not paying through unconventional means like wire transfers or gift cars as these are definitely red flags for scams. With just a little bit of homework and preparation, you can avoid having your summer vacation ruined by those looking to take advantage of people who just want to spend a few days at the beach.

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