Private rental of holiday accommodation has never been more popular. Unfortunately, this means more and more of us have been getting fleeced on fake holiday home rentals.
For most people and certainly those in the holiday home rental market, the search begins online. Today’s consumers are faced with a plethora of glossy images, great descriptions, maps and even customer reviews, what can go wrong?
Before the Internet, the search for a private holiday home rental wasslow and impractical. Then along came Home and Away, Holiday Rentals and more recently Airbnb. Voila! These platforms are designed to protect renters as best as possible and thank goodness (big tick for Statigo!).
When considering the private rental market where holidaymakers deal directly with owners – there is an increasing problem. At the time of writing, Humberside Police is investigating 18 cases of potential fraud involving a ‘fake' log cabin in Sherwood Forest with several families losing up to £170 in deposits. While this isn't a life changing amount, Humberside Police estimates the current value of potential online fraud in our area to be around £64,000.
In a market that is growing every year, this problem is not going to go away. In the caravan industry alone, sales and rentals increase around 10% every year, and it's a £6 billion economy in the UK, so how can you rent a caravan with peace of mind? For you budding holiday makers, Statigo is the solution in the caravan market for solving this problem, but what else can you do to protect yourself? Here are our top tips!
- Check the photos! Be wary of the nicest-looking photos. Ask the caravan owner for additional images — an honest owner will always have them. Ask the owner to use FaceTime or Skype to show you the property live.
- Location location location: Use Google Earth and Streetview to confirm that the property exists, and call the caravan park to investigate further.
- Beware of a very low price. If the prices seem too good to be true, it probably is. If you don’t have a feel for what a reasonable price is in an area, shop around to get one by using sites such as Home and Away (and Statigo!). Look for odd behaviour in the renter as you negotiate on price – they will usually look for a quick deal and be pushy.
- Beware of anonymous cash transfer. The preferred methods of payment among criminals are cash and cash-transfer services like MoneyGram and Western Union as they are untraceable. Beware of anyone wanting to accept money in this way and where possible have an agreement which includes their bank details and address.
- Read the comments. The feedback from previous renters that appears on sites like Statigo is extremely useful, and you will be able to detect patterns in fake reviews. If possible, try and contact a reviewer who has stayed before.
- Trust your gut. If you apply some scepticism to the process, you're more likely to see red flags. You're also more likely to catch suspicious behaviour and walk away if you're worried.
Statigo will provide a safe place where renter and owner are protected. Don’t let scammers ruin your next holiday and register with us today.