Vacation Rental Scam – The Story

Filed under: Vacation Tips |

As you know, we were able to help out a family that had been scammed on a recent vacation trip to Orlando. The scam is pretty simple and it involves an online vacation rental booking agency luring unsuspecting people to make a reservation by paying for their accommodation by check.

The crooks tell people they will get a bigger discount, usually $50,  if they pay by check.

So the customer sends a check to an address that looks legitimate but is in fact a P.O. Box in the Orlando area. The customer then thinks everything is taken care of. They then receive an email giving them details of where to go to collect the keys to their vacation home.

Naturally, the big day soon arrives and the family set off for what they hope will be a great vacation. Only that vacation is about to be ruined. They arrive at the address given and find there is no key, there is no house and worse, the phone number to call is now disconnected.

What to do?

Some families decide to stay in a hotel or look for another vacation rental home… but of course, they have to pay all over again.

So what should you do if this happens to you?

Well, the first thing to do is call the Sheriff and report the crime. This is a very important step. It is important that everyone works together to stop these crooks doing this and to help protect other people.

Now, watch this video and learn from the Calderon families experience. The video contains some tips on how to protect your family on their next vacation…no matter where you decide to visit.

While this story has a happy ending, not all stories do. Some people get scammed and do nothing. Hilda and her family did something. We then followed through as a company with the Osceola County Sheriff. Today, as I write, the three web sites luring visitors to the Orlando area and then sucking them in to the scam are no longer working.

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