The probably worst thing that can happen after weeks and months of planning your perfect vacation is arriving at your new holiday home and realising that it is not there – or better said: that it does not exist! We know that in the jungle of online holiday rental ads it is not difficult to get lost and not be able to distinguish between what is real and what not. That is why we want to give you five simple tips how to avoid a holiday scam:
1) Is a registration number given?
In Mallorca there is an easy and simple way to find out if your booking is a real one: All registered holiday rental properties need a registration number for verification purposes. Check the property description of the holiday rental to see if this number is mentioned. If not, ask the owner for it.
Also, the government of the Balearic Islands has created an app to check out all registered properties. The app is called: Holiday rental check (Verificador alquiler turistico).
2) Check personal information
What information are given about the owner or the agency? Do they have a local address and phone number? It is important to check their website to see what information are shared about them. Do not hesitate to also call them and ask about the property, the area and more details, if the ad is a real one they will easily provide you with lots of information. If they do not answer any calls and also do not call you back – you better forget about making that booking.
3) Check other reviews and opinions
You can find many portals online like Homeaway, AirBnB, Tripadvisor etc. where other guests might have left a review on the house you are inquiring for. So before making a hasty decision check out reviews and opinions from others first and read through what they say about the property.
4) If it seems too good to be true, it is probably not true
A luxury villa with pool and all amenities and services included for a really dirt-cheap price? Do not let yourself be fooled! Compare prices and properties and remain realistic.
5) Eyes open with a suspicious website appearance
Fake websites often do not put a lot of effort into creating a website and go more for the copy and paste kind of style. Photos are not their own and texts are easily taken from somewhere else. To check if the website is actually a fake one, you can just do the same: Copy texts and search for them online to see if they also appear somewhere else.
Unfortunately, a holiday scam cannot always be avoided. Booking a holiday online is an uncertain procedure which implies lots of faith for the agency or the people you are booking it with. You cannot test it in advance to see if you like it or not. You pay for it and hope for the best; that your holiday turns out the way you were planning it. We know the struggle.
But we hope that with these tips it will become easier for you to distinguish a real ad from a fake one and to enjoy your holiday to the fullest! Be assured that this is one of our main goals!
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