Despite consumer education and widespread warnings, online scams involving rental properties continue to flourish. The old adage “if it sounds too good to be true” should raise the antenna of a prospective tenant. Many of these scams target renters for year round properties but may also involve summer and seasonal rentals. A classified ad placed by a scammer on a site such as Craigslist may appear legitimate. A rental listing may include an array of images and complete listing info, even the name of an agent or owner. Often, a scammer has scraped the information from an authentic posting on another website; he then configures a false email address and other contact information. When contacted by a prospective tenant, the scammer relates the need to rent quickly or maintains that he is overseas, has lost his key or another reason he is not available to show the property. Buyer/tenant beware! Don’t be fooled into sending funds to secure a rental from an unknown source. Use your judgement; if the advertised rate is far below market value or if the “owner” seems anxious, pause and question the legitimacy. Do your homework; visit the agency or property if possible, or send a local friend in your stead. Ask for references or a history on the agency. The internet has become an indisputable resource for locating rental property but use common sense to avoid falling victim to misrepresentation.
Steele Associates has proudly represented the owners of fine summer rental properties for over 25 years and served generations of satisfied tenants. View our selection of summer rental homes online; contact us for more details and let us match your needs with the perfect summer vacation spot, worry free.