Imagine having booked a nice villa somewhere in Spain to spend the holidays with the family. You will be able to enjoy two weeks on the Spanish coast, get tanned, try the Spanish specialties and of course take a dip in the pool. Everything is perfect until you get to your holiday home. Unfortunately, it appears to be occupied by other guests, who, on the other hand, have no idea what are you doing in their holiday home. Sadly, holiday home rentals frauds occur regularly and there are more and more victims. This is a result of more people going on a holiday, therefore the risk of fraud is increasing. According to the Office Internet Security, it is even among the top 10 most common internet frauds. It seems so unlikely, but it can happen to you too.
What could happen?
Criminals pretend to be lessors: they take the accommodation’s information from a website such as photos, descriptions, even the prices are the same. You can arrive at the booked place, but it may result that it’s already occupied, for instance. In these cases, the one that acts as a landlord wants to help you with everything and all that for a low price. It seems like the perfect deal. However, once you arrive, the beautiful apartment by the sea that you have rented doesn’t exist at all. In the end, you stay without shelter and with no money refund.
You are in contact with the landlord and then you suddenly receive an e-mail from another e-mail address. In this case, the e-mail address is hacked. The rest of the contact goes through the hacker’s e-mail address and the actual landlord has no idea why the contact suddenly stopped. The hacker sends a payment request and as soon as you have paid it, you are supposed to go on a holiday. However, the landlord knows nothing about it.
How do I prevent holiday home rentals frauds?
First, make sure that the holiday home rentals have a registration number. This means that the accommodation is registered at the town hall. If it is registered, it means that the accommodation is legal and meets the minimum statutory requirements. These requirements differ depending on the country. However, if you can’t find a registration number, contact the website where the accommodation is displayed.
Be careful where you book, as booking through a private individual is less familiar than through an agency. Holiday rental portals are protected by law if they work with agencies. In the event of fraud, the holiday home rentals can make a declaration against the agency, and sanctions will follow, if necessary. This works differently for private individuals and the legislation is less strict. When something goes wrong, neither the private individual nor the portal takes responsibility.
Work with reliable sites. Browse through the website. See, if it’s just a simple telephone number left or is extensive information requested? The more extensive the information, the safer the holiday rent portal. Tax numbers are also often requested. In addition, read the conditions of the holiday home rentals website carefully, especially the payment conditions. If the payments go through the portal, it’s safer than via bank transfer. Security and privacy are guaranteed through the portals and the transactions are protected.
Don’t make any payments before you are sure of the rental portal policy. To avoid further problems, never make a payment if the reservation isn’t yet established.
Also never enter any data because criminals can easily hack your passwords. Make sure you also don’t enter any bank details when a reservation hasn’t been made yet. When you are booking, do this at a reliable website where your privacy is guaranteed.
Use Google Maps to confirm the location. This is important to check whether the accommodation is actually at the mentioned address. It’s one of the easiest but most important things to find out.
Moreover, note the language skills of the landlord when you have contact. Criminals often use a translation machine such as Google Translate. So if there are many grammatical errors or erroneous words, that already rings a bell. Take a look at the photos and the advertisements carefully. If the photos and the information are of high quality, it’s probably reliable holiday home rentals.
But most importantly, don’t book there, even though it may seem like the cheapest option. Always, go for safety and reliability!
What we offer as Muchosol
At Muchosol, we work exclusively with real estate agencies, this means that we offer reliable holiday home rentals, and we want to ensure a high quality stay without worries. All our accommodations are managed by professional rental organizations that have a registration number and are therefore 100% legal.
All organizations that we work with, also have a tax number, so that we know for sure, that we work with reliable organizations. When you place a reservation, this takes place via our web portal. We hereby request data from the customer that will only be used for this purpose. The same applies to payment details, which also take place through our portal. Therefore, we guarantee the privacy of the customer and data protection.
If you see an accommodation on our portal, you will immediately notice the registration number of this accommodation, right into the description. You can also see on the map (at the bottom of the page) where the accommodation is exactly located. Furthermore, below you can immediately see what the exact conditions of the reservation are, regarding cancellation and additional information, so that you are well-informed.
At Muchosol, we work with a transparent pricing policy, so you will promptly see what the costs will be for the booking. All additional costs and optional extras which are mentioned instantly, so that you can see the final price…and without surprises afterwards.
The professionalism of our customer service is very important to us. Our goal isn’t only to offer the perfect accommodation but also a smooth process when booking. Our customer service is always trying to go the extra mile and meet all your criteria. If there are any problems with accommodation, we are happy to resolve it, as quickly as possible. In addition, we can also look for alternatives. To prevent misunderstandings, we operate also in different languages, so that we can also assist you in the best possible way.
To conclude, at Muchosol we do everything we can, to ensure that you can enjoy a care-free holiday. We offer a transparent pricing policy, guarantee your privacy and we are at your disposal to clarify any queries related to holiday home rentals. So, simply, what’s left is to enjoy the #MuchosolExperience!