4 Replies Latest reply: May 1, 2012 2:41 AM by lovetobegrandma RSS

    Scam by "owner"?

    New Member

      was trying to rent a house in Florida for the month of May. Always travel very last minute and get offers of up to 40-60% off.

      Got a response from an owner offering me 75%!!! off a OCEANFRONT home, making it an increadible and unresistable offer.The spelling was really bad (keep in mind, I am German, and my spelling is not perfect as well, but that was really bad spelling). Everything was getting set, when she wrote me the adress. I checked it out on Google, and it was not an oceanfront property. We had always corresponded under the advertised oceanfront home at homeaway. When I told her, that this is not the house that is advertised, she did not respond anymore. Strangely, I googled her name, and it came up as a very high profile real estate agent, that only sells homes over 1 million, and actually has this oceanfront home listed for sale. Had she just wrote me, that it was a mixup in homes, and she had answered under the wrong request it would have been ok, but I had no idea what that other home looked like, and she did not give any explanation. Had I not checked out the adress, I would have signed the contract, thinking to get an oceanfront home. Seems like a scam to me, I gave all my emails to homeaway, yet the home is still listed. I cant give other potential renters a warning, to watch what they are signing, since you can only write a rieview if you have stayed there. Anyone have similar experiences?

        • Re: Scam by "owner"?
          stjvilla Active Contributor

          Sure sounds like a scam.  Probably the scammer found this real estate listing and used that to set up a phony rental.  It doesn't happen often, but is a known con.

           

          You did just the right thing checking this out, so congratulations on dodging that bullet.  This sounds like a case of "If it seems too good to be true, it propbably is!"

            • Re: Scam by "owner"?
              New Member

              I was thinking the same thing, yet the real estate agent grew up in eastern europe, so the bad spelling would fit, even though I dont understand why a real estate agency selling only million dollar homes would have an agent with such bad spelling. Also I dont understand why homeaway does not close that rental page, its still there.

              And your right, "too good to be true", and so it is ;-)

            • Re: Scam by "owner"?
              carol Premier Contributor

              It does seem odd.  Did you ever try to call the owner directly?  Another thing to look for is on the Owner sidebar at the bottom -- it says how long the advertiser has been with Homeaway.   While most new listings are perfectly legitimate, it's worthwhile to be a little more careful with brand new listings. 

               

              I have heard many complaints about property managers with multiple properties having only one Homeaway ad for all of them and shifting renters to whatever property happens to be open.  I'm glad you were alert and didn't fall for it!

                • Re: Scam by "owner"?
                  New Member
                  • was thinking of calling, but wanted to see her explanation in writing, so that I would have something as proof, in case the explanation seemed logical, but did not work out at the end. then I would have something to give to homeaway. Also I can be easily be talked in to something on the phone, so I dont give out my phone number till I am sure thats the house I want to rent.
                  • I was also looking for how long it was listed, since I had seen on the page "vacationrental" that some homes where only there for a month or so, but i cant see on the page from" homeaway" how long its listed.
                  • Just checked again, it is off Homeaway, guess I was right.