How to recognize vacation rental scams?

Learn tips here on how to avoid being a victim of temporal rental scams in Panama.

These have been recurrent events all around the country, which is why it is important to recognise them and protect your integrity.

Let’s see how to recognize these scams:

What are vacation rental scams in Panama?

The international – temporary, short or vacation – home rental industry is no exception to scams.

The most common scam is the old strategy of “pig in the hole” or misleading advertising: the image online says one thing, but the reality in person is another. “This was not what the photos showed!” the victim often says.

Another scam that has happened is that the client makes the payment, depositing it to the account that the supplier indicated to confirm the reservation, and at the time of receiving the keys to go to the property, the contact was lost, or did not respond again. Fatal! There have also been situations where the location of the property is wrong, causing confusion and delays.

Tips on how to avoid being a victim of the temporary rental scams in Panama

Do not trust extremely low prices

If you are answering to a reservation with an “ad” – that is, from an individual on a general site and not a specific one from a company in this industry -, it is recommended to be wary of properties with very low prices, which when compared to other similar properties of the same level you can see that they are too good to be true.

This lends itself to “phishing” the customer, or showing flashy properties at a low price that will hook and fool them.

Stay wary of unclear advertisements.

Sometimes scammers, or unprofessional people, make posts or advertisements in which the property’s description is vague or ambiguous, or does not include a detailed list of the services offered to the guests.

The phantom host

In this industry you must be able to clearly identify which company offers the home for rent and its direct contact. If there is no one with whom you can speak to directly by phone, chat or mail, do not continue trying.

Try to find out names, credentials and other information that is legitimate and provides security.

Advertisements without location

Before, and of course after making a deposit, the property’s host must give you the exact address and a reference point that can be located by Google or another app.

Pay attention to temporary rental contracts

Be careful if the company that offers the rental does not give you a formal contract to attest to the service and the transaction. You have the right to demand written evidence and to obtain invoices and other formalities.

Pay attention to payment methods

The property’s owner must be able to offer you secure payment methods, such as a direct transaction or via platforms like Yappy or Nequi. Avoid paying in cash, if possible. 

The reservation must be trustworthy and transparent.

This is why it is recommended making it through an agency dedicated to providing this service. Receiving payment or deposit confirmations and having a personalized service during the process is essential. 

When in doubt, you can trust Alkeyler

By making a direct deposit through an agency like Alkeyler, you can make sure the information provided is real, and the property has been curated and prepared for its guests.

In Alkeyler, we are 100% transparent with offers: what you see is always what you receive. So much so that we spend time and money improving and adapting each property to serve all kinds of people, including pets. This is a guarantee of quality and service that is the ideal of the industry.

Alkeyler

Primera Agencia de Alquiler Vacacional en Panamá Alquiler | Hosting | Soluciones | Remodelación

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