When Carrie Martin and her family arrive at their latest VRBO rental, they are initially put off by the lack of cleanliness of the unit. That concern is quickly replaced when they hear a disturbance outside their bedroom window. Through the darkness, they see someone on a ladder trying to get in. The police take care of that problem, but will VRBO take care of Martin’s refund? “The tale of a dirty VRBO rental with a “lady” trying to crawl in the window”
You’ve found the perfect vacation rental. The owner asks you to pay via wire transfer. Should you do it? Meir Hurwitz, of Brooklyn, N.Y., did, and now he’s out nearly $17,000.
He’s not the first to be taken in by a vacation rental fraud and likely won’t be the last. Over the years this site has carried many stories warning about vacation rental scams. Many of those involved wire transfers. “Pay for your vacation rental with a wire transfer? Yes, but not this way”
Repeat: Please stop wiring money to strangers!
Too bad that Heidi Barker of Watertown, Conn. didn’t see this warning before she wired money for a vacation rental. She was planning a Caribbean vacation in St. Maarten. Using VRBO, she found a beachfront, ground floor, two-bedroom condo. The listing was legitimate. But the person she communicated with via email was not the owner. “Please stop wiring money to strangers!”
When Judith Hartlieb rents a condo through VRBO, the owner tells her that he’s not allowed to rent it to her and cancels her stay the day before her arrival. Then he offers her an alternative date. When she declines, he promises her a refund but doesn’t issue it to her. Can our advocates help? “I was refused entry to my VRBO rental, so where is my refund?”