What is a scammer?

A scammer is someone that uses deceit to steal from another. With the accessibility and anonymity that the internet provides, scammers have become more widespread. This is most evident in the vacation rentals industry where vacation travelers have lost millions of dollars from scammers over the past few years.

Beware of classified ad sites such as Craigslist.com and Backpage.com who have their fare share of scammers. Many of the advertisements you see on these websites offer weekly rentals in Miami at prices that seem almost too good to be true. Most often these ads have been posted by scammers in an effort to take your money.

Not all of classified ads on the internet are fraudulent and you can definitely find the perfect Miami Beach accommodation at a great price. However, you must be careful and know how to detect the ‘red flags’ that may indicate a fraudulent listing. Read the tips below to reduce your chances of becoming the victim of an internet scammer.

  • Make sure you verify the location of the property through Google.
  • Google the landlord or owner’s name, email address and even the phone number.
  • Check local property records to verify the owner’s name.
  • Make sure there is a written signed contract before sending payment.
  • Beware of anyone that asks you to send a deposit in the form of a cashier's check, money order, or wire transfer.