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HomeNewsTennessee Consumer Affairs says Beware Vacation Rental Scams

Tennessee Consumer Affairs says Beware Vacation Rental Scams

Tennessee Division of Consumer AffairsNashville, TN – Summertime is the ideal season for road trips and mini-vacations. However, traveling away from the security and protection of your home can make you vulnerable to scammers and identity thieves.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs offers tips to help consumers avoid vacation rental scams when preparing for fun during the summer season.


“There’s no worse summer surprise than driving five hours to get to a vacation rental that doesn’t exist,” said TDCI Deputy Commissioner Bill Giannini. “Tennessee consumers should familiarize themselves with the red flags of vacation rental scams. Do extensive research before committing to a rental or giving anyone your personal information or money.”

As you plan your summer road trip, review these tips to ensure that your vacation rental is legitimate:

Vacation Rental Scam Prevention Tips

Exercise caution. If a stranger calls to offer you a discounted vacation rental, do not offer personal information or payment without knowing all the facts. Request as much information as possible to validate the offer. If the caller refuses to answer your questions or replies with a scripted response, this is a red flag. A legitimate salesperson will answer your questions and allow you time to consider. When in doubt, write down the caller’s contact information and consider returning the call once you are sure the call is not a scam. If you believe you are being scammed, contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov. You may also register for the National Do Not Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov.

Verify before you pay. Before leasing vacation property, contact the Division of Consumer Affairs or your local Better Business Bureau to ask if complaints have been filed against the property manager, management company or property owner. Ensure the real estate agent is properly licensed in the State of Tennessee by visiting http://verify.tn.gov

Read the fine print. Before signing a rental agreement or contract, read all the terms, conditions, policies and financial obligations. You may consider having a lawyer review the agreement or contract before signing.

NEVER wire money to strangers. When booking your vacation rental property, avoid anyone who only accepts payment via wire transfer. Always use a secure method of payment, such as a credit card or legitimate online payment option.


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