Follow our advice to ensure that you get the holiday that you've booked
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
1. Be certain that the property exists
You've seen the pictures, you've read the reviews. But is it real? Read the description and reviews thoroughly, paying attention to the time-span of reviews.
- Be worried if the reviews were submitted in quick succession and are all written in the same style.
- Be cautious if you can't find the property on Google Streetview
- Be concerned if the style of the building doesn't match buildings in the area.
2. Is the advertiser connected with the property?
It only takes a criminal a few minutes to grab the photos and text of a real holiday property and use them to create a new advert or web page. The property may be a real holiday property but does the advertiser really run it?
An owner will advertise a property in more than one place. Usually, their own web page plus at least two listing sites. Use google to try to find the same property with the same owner advertised elsewhere.
Often, the owner's name will be mentioned by reviewers.
3. Might you be communicating with a hijacked email account?
If your host's email account has been hijacked, you could be exchanging emails with a fraudster instead of the owner. You should always guard against this risk.
Make a call to the phone number that you saw on the property advert. Check that the person at the other end is the same person that you have exchanged emails with.
Ask questions about the area. For example: where is best for food shopping? A vague answer should alarm you.
4. Red flags
If there is no availability calendar or the calendar shows 100% available: Ask questions
If the advertiser suggests a discount for early payment or tries to rush you to pay: RUN
If the advertiser can't give detailed answers to your questions about the property : RUN
If the advertiser doesn't seem to know the area: RUN