The email scam artists currently targeting vacation rental owners seem to have taken notes from the ‘Nigerian Prince’ fraudsters who’ve been around for decades. Maybe not as obvious, fraudulent inquiries on your rental property are likely to show up in your inbox. They will sound just as friendly as any legitimate inquiry, so take a look at these red flags:
- Poor grammar and punctuation, plus bad spacing and line breaks. Especially when the request is coming from another country, this may seem normal. But the scammer may be pre-screening your patience level and naïveté.
- Discrepancies about your rental property, such as calling your cabin an apartment suggest mass email.
- Claims the trip is a surprise for someone else or a honeymoon. Generates warmth, creates distance.
- Specifies dates then says they’re flexible. Or requests an extended stay, especially off-season for your location.
- Inquiry comes from the UK or from a free email service, particularly Gmail, which is harder to trace.