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How to avoid scams while booking a vacation

BBB says the best way to avoid scams is by booking on legitimate websites, rental agencies and hotels

Beware of vacation rental scams on your next big trip!

There’s still a few weeks left of summer and if you’re planning a last-minute vacation, the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Virginia is warning against vacation rental scams.

Julie Wheeler, the president of the BBB Serving Western Virginia said it’s a big issue for people looking outside the area and even locally, whether it’s a rental at the lake or in the mountains.

She warns that a listing could be a scam if everything’s booked and then something pops up all of a sudden or if the price is better than other listings.

Beware of rentals on Craigslist and Facebook too.

She said you even need to be cautious on sites like Airbnb, which has built-in protections because scammers will try to immediately get you off the site.

“VRBO and Airbnb, they’ve got some protections built into their site that help somewhat,” said Wheeler. “But what the folks that have the fake listings or are trying to scam you, they try to immediately get you off the site so that you don’t have those protections. And then they’re going to ask you to send a certified check or to wire money versus using a credit card, which you would use through their site. So somebody offers you something that maybe you couldn’t find anywhere else and they immediately want you off the site, you want to steer very clear because chances are you’re about to be scammed.”

The best advice is to use legitimate online sites and rental agencies or book directly through the hotel. Wheeler also recommends that you always pay with a credit card.

About the Author:

Lindsey joined the WSLS 10 team as a reporter in February 2019 and is thrilled to call Roanoke her new home!