SCAM ALERT: Summertime Scammers Target Rental Homes

When it comes to summer vacations, a lot of people want something different than a hotel. But renting homes and beach cottages could pose a risk.

Kathie Grealish told NBC News she rents out her summer house with a view, but got an odd call one day from a woman who thought she had signed a contract to rent the house. Grealish said she never got that contract. As it turns out, someone hacked into her email and sent off a forged contract through the website vrbo.com, a vacation rental by owner site.

According to the fake contract, the renter was supposed to send nearly $3,000 to a foreign bank.

So how do you make sure your money goes toward your vacation and not a scammer's vacation? Experts recommend you use a credit card, paypal or the payment transfer option on the rental website. That will help protect your money.

Experts also recommend you check out the website flipkey.com. The website can do background checks on landlords and help ensure properties are legitimate.


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