New warning to people booking vacation rentals

Posted at 7:09 AM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 10:09:01-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diegans planning their summer vacations may be trying to save money by renting a private room instead of a hotel room, but there's a new warning going out to keep those planners from getting scammed.

"I wouldn't chance it just going through a private person," said Jerelyn Cady, who is renting a vacation home in Mission Beach this week. "I think you have some protections when you go through the major websites."

The Better Business Bureau said this week it got 1,000 complaints about vacation rental businesses in the last year.

The BBB has new guidance to avoid scams. It says there are a few giveaways -- like requests to wire money, not sending a contract with terms and a cancellation policy, and pricing the unit way lower than its neighbors.

The bureau also says to make sure their email address is affiliated with a vacation rental site and not a personal site. Some of the vacation rental sites offer certain protections against scams.

One way to spot a fake ad is to copy the property description into Google. That can help determine whether it's a duplicate of the real one.

The bureau says to immediately notify your credit card company to dispute the charges if you fall victim to a scam. You should also notify the website on which you found the listing.