Credit card scams. They are every vacation rental owner’s nightmare. Bad news is they’re an ever-growing menace. Good news is there are ways to avoid them.
Here at Homes and Rooms, we heard of a case that used yet another approach to dupe owners. A vacation rental manager was scammed by a company credit card used to confirm and make final payment on a booking. When the guests arrived without the card, they claimed that as it was a company card they could not bring it. They did provide details of the company and they were contacted to provide details of the card. But there was no passport authentication with it.
Bank claimed payment was fraudulent
After the guests left, the bank claimed that the payment was fraudulent and that the amount had to be repaid to them. The case is continuing, but does not look hopeful for the owner.
There are various ways in which you as a vacation rental owner can guard against credit card scams like this happening to you.
You could use a reliable service such as PayPal. Use them for all your credit card processing and you need never see a credit card number or be responsible if things go amiss. It’s down to PayPal to weed out and reject the bad or suspect ones for you.
If you accept cards (and most owners do), to avoid the sort of credit card scams where you find yourself holding the baby, specify final payment 30 days before arrival. This is not unusual for vacation rentals so you should not lose any potential guests by doing this.
If you take a credit card for final payment, avoid credit card scams by making sure that a credit card authorization form is always filled out and electronically signed.
Minimize your exposure with Homes and Rooms
As we’ve said before, our services put you in control. Homes and Rooms subscribers can minimize their exposure by using the Dashboard and Guest Portal features we provide. The Guest Portal enables them to receive guest payments directly – we do not handle their money. And who wouldn’t like the money earned from their vacation rental property to go straight into their bank account?
It works like this: when a guest confirms a booking with one of our subscribers, they receive a link to the Guest Portal on the owner’s website. Inside the Guest Portal, guests can confirm their booking, make change requests, make a payment, view discounts and other offers as well as access any other documents and information owners may wish to provide.
Get immediate online payment
You can have your guests make immediate online payment whether it’s a security deposit, reservation deposit or full payment. When you set up you Homes and Room services, you are invited to select payment methods and partners from a wide selection and can change these at any time.
You can give your guests the option to pay via most credit cards or choose a secure payment service such as PayPal among other payment options. You can also offer Paypal and credit cards if you wish. The choice is yours.
Here at Homes and Rooms, we’ve done our best to minimize the risk to you from scammers. For more information on avoiding scams including credit card scams, take a look at our earlier blog.