There are many beautiful homes and condos on Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, North Captiva, or wherever you might be searching. Yet at the same time, you also deserve to not have your time wasted by scams, and you deserve to feel and be completely safe during the entire vacation-hunting process.
While there were always things to be conscious about while hunting for a vacation rental, the increased use of online platforms to advertise a home or condo for rent (so much so that it’s hard to imagine a place for rent without a listing) means that the risk to fall prey to a host of new scams, many of which can cost you hundreds of dollars (or even thousands) and set you back weeks on your search is very real. We have dealt with these dastardly internet deviants personally with some of our rental properties, and we want to provide you with at least a base knowledge of how to protect yourself and pick the right vacation rental.
Be careful with your information until you know who you’re talking to is legitimate. Identity theft is big business and something you don’t need to be dealing with as you’re searching for something as fun as your next vacation. Sharing some information such as your name and email address is fine, but keep financial information off-limits until you are sure that you are dealing with a licensed vacation rental company.
Beware of instances where certain items such as deposits are far more costly than they should be. Someone might be charging more than it costs and leaving you to pay for the difference. At Breakaway Vacation properties, as well as many other Vacation Rental Companies, a deposit is required for a complete reservation. We require a 25% deposit if your trip is 60 or more days out. On a related note, beware of instances where certain items such as deposits are NOT requested, as this can be a red flag that the property may not be represented by a real Vacation Rental Company.
Be careful of last-minute changes and fees. Scammers or less reputable companies may try to get you invested and then move forward with increasingly shady actions or expensive fees, thinking you’ll pay them just to move forward. Be wary and consider how they might treat you down the line if you’re already being handled poorly before the rental agreement is signed.