Author Topic: Holiday Accomodation Scam Alert  (Read 771 times)

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Offline JohnF

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Holiday Accomodation Scam Alert
« on: April 09, 2018, 14:44:18 PM »
Latest figures released by the City of London Police show the average amount lost by holidaymakers to accommodation scammers was £1,500 and in total last year approximately £6.7m was stolen by fraudsters.

The new rental regulations in Turkey have stopped quite a few folks renting out their villa/apartment during the summer months as the costs involved can be the difference between making a decent profit and either making very little or running at a loss.

As a result, there is less choice in the private rental market than in previous years so in some areas it is a renters market.  A prime situation for fraudulent booking sites.

A few things to look out for:

A price that is almost too good to be true - self explanatory.

An owner only accepting payment by Western Union or bank transfer - once you hit the pay button with this type of payment thats it, its gone and only in rare cases will your bank be able to trace it and recover your funds.  By the time you realise you've been scammed, it's usually far too late to do anything.

An owner suggesting that you do the rental away from the web site "to avoid commission" - if, on the face of it, he's trying to cheat the booking web site, he may do the same with you.

Spelling and grammar errors on the web site or ad itself - often English is not the scammers first language and sloppy ones don't get it checked.  Genuine owners are usually careful and make sure their ad is error free.

There are a few things you can do to help avoid being scammed.

The first piece of information you need is to know that the property has been properly registered for paying guests in Turkey - don't accept any compromise here, you could be turfed out on your ear with nowhere to stay if the authorities find out.  A simple thing such as reporting a lost camera or other theft will have the Polis or Jandarma asking you questions about your accommodation.

Unfortunately there isn't, as yet, a form or certificate that an owner can show you to confirm the rental is legal.  You could ask for a screenshot of their Vergi Levhasi which shows they are properly registered with the Turkish tax man as a holiday rental business.

Here is a link to what it looks like: http://www.calis-beach.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=64069.msg444848#msg444848

Always use a credit card for payments unless you know the renter personally (e.g. you've booked with them before), and even then verify all details with them directly, not via a web site messaging function.

Check the web address in the URL bar at the top of your browser, e.g. make sure it's homeaway.co.uk and not something like homeeaway.co.uk, which could be a cloned site.  Also look for the little padlock next to the web address, and check that it says https and not http.

Avoid random listings on places like Facebook or other free listing sites. 

Do your research before committing hard cash - check out review sites and simply Google the villa/apartment name (or the owner's name) and see what comes up.  You could even get someone who lives in Fethiye/Calis to pop round for a nosy if you're apprehensive that a booking may not be genuine.

These are just a few pointers and apply pretty much anywhere when booking accommodation online (for Spain you need their short let registration number), feel free to add any advice I may have missed.  My infallibility cloak is away getting serviced this week.

JF





Offline Ray1951

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Re: Holiday Accomodation Scam Alert
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2018, 12:55:39 PM »
Great post.




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