Last year alone, an estimated 5,000 holidaymakers lost millions when they discovered their rental homes in Spain, France and other European countries had not been booked.(Data from The Olive Press)
Unfortunately the Phishing scams are still happening especially on the big rental sites. This is a huge problem for clients and for owners of holiday villas.
This month South France Villas received 2 phone calls from people that had been scammed by using one of the large advertising sites, distraught as they had lost all their monies and had nowhere to go.
One family had lost 10.000 Euro and the other 6000 Euro, both had transferred money to a Spanish bank account. One family had contacted the advertising company to check that the owner was legit as he was concerned about paying the large payment and they replied and said yes all was ok, so he paid his monies. These websites do say:
We make no warranties or representations as to the accuracy, completeness, legality, performance or suitability of the adverts. We accept no liability arising from reliance upon this information made by any user of the site. You should conduct your own research and familiarise yourself with our terms and conditions.
Many websites are now charging a booking fee which the client has to pay, this ranges from 5% to 15%. This can be misleading if you have a set budget, they earmark your monies as soon as your request a booking even before the owner has agreed to the booking. The advantage though is that by paying this fee you have payment protection.
An owner also contacted us as her advert on one of these sites had been amended from a one bedroom to a four bedroom apartment, and her account had been hacked.
If you are looking to book a villa holiday in the South of France or anywhere else then please do take extra care and ensure that you make as many checks as possible. Agencies will completely understand and be happy to put you at ease.
South France Villas have been established for over 15 years and we pride ourselves on knowing all our houses and are committed to customer satisfaction, our team is always happy to go that extra mile for you. If you have a villa to rent in the South of France or if you are looking to rent one then please do not hesitate to contact us.