So you think you are renting your beloved cottage to “Mr. and Mrs. Honest T” – right? But in reality, the couple turns out to be “Mr. and Mrs. Sam Scammer”! There is nothing worse than being swindled by a thief. With credit card fraud on the rise, be sure that your cottage rental is secure with these tips:
1. Be cautious of last minute rental bookings. Credit card thieves are pressed to use the stolen charge card as soon as possible before it is reported stolen and subsequently cancelled.
2. Once your rental has been successfully booked, the property owner should follow up with a professional, friendly phone call. A nervous thief may get tongue-tied with the details and display an uncomfortable temperament which may signal some red flags.
3. In advance of arrival, ask the traveller to show proof of photo identification via email or upon entrance. Many people feel uncomfortable asking for ID but it is absolutely acceptable. This request only reassures your guests that you are a responsible property owner that cares about everyone’s safety. Fraudsters also thrive on the concept that no one is available to greet them, therefore if you are living away from the property, have a friend/neighbor meet the traveller and collect the information.
4. Prior to giving the traveller access to your home, ask for an advance damage deposit. This deposit should be in the format cash, certified check or email money transfer. A credit card thief wants to make sure all transactions are completed online and on the same credit card. After all, it’s no fun spending his/her money.
5. Check your inquiry messages that highlight the purpose of the traveller’s trip. Fraudsters will often use slang and misspellings. Look carefully for inconsistencies (i.e. name spelling and phone numbers) and use of generic names as they are making up the details as they go along.
In the end, it is impossible for property owners to catch all fraudsters. That said, the tips above will reduce your risks. If you do not feel comfortable with the traveller in question, please contact CanadaStays Support at 1-866-808-6210 EXT. 0 for more help.