Lookout for holiday scams

2019-12-05 06:00
Be aware of holiday scams.PHOTO: Seeff

Be aware of holiday scams.PHOTO: Seeff

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With the holiday season upon us, it is easy to get caught up in the hype of a good online deal and before you know it, you are scammed out of your hard earned money and have no holiday to show for it either.

Leigh Mulholland of Seeff ShortStay for Hout Bay, Llandudno and Southern Suburbs says with the explosion of online holiday and accommodation advertising and booking sites, it is easy to get caught.

She gives some advice and a few important “need to knows” when it comes to booking holiday accommodation.

“Do your homework,” she says. “Research to ensure you know who you are booking with as there are so many stories of scammers. Check the legitimacy of the booking agent or site as well as the establishment being advertised. Never transfer money unless you are one hundred percent sure of the legitimacy of the advert and booking agent or site.”

Be especially alert when it comes to unknown sites, she warns.

According to Sandra Cruz, Rental Property Asset Manager from Seeff False Bay some of the well-known sites include Airbnb, Safari Now, Booking.com, Tripadvisor and of course the sites of credible local short-term rental agencies.

“A next important aspect is budgeting correctly and verifying the actual costs. These adverts are often unclear in terms of what is included and what is not. It is not uncommon for certain activities to be add-ons to the advertised price and there is nothing worse than arriving for your holiday only to find that meals are not part of the deal or you cannot participate in all the activities,” says Cruz.

“Double check what is included and whether the advertised rates apply to the period of your booking as peak season rates are usually much higher.

Mulholland says you should also research the costs of restaurants and other facilities in the area to ensure that you budget correctly for your holiday.

The terms and conditions of the booking should also be scrutinised so that you know exactly what you are in for.

“Internet research and social media can be a great way to find out about unknown places or establishments. Be sure to confirm your booking before departure and find out where to collect the keys and so on,” she says.

Mulholland says you should also research the location.

“Properties advertised on sites such as Airbnb are often not clear about where they are located and holiday makers can be very disappointed to find that they are not actually getting a beach location but have to take transport to the beaches,” she says.

Finally, check what facilities and amenities are available.

“Find out what the accommodation offers, especially if it is self-catering. If you are looking for extras, check up on this, alternatively you may be better off upgrading your booking for better amenities,” says Mulholland.

“Scammers and fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated and at this time of year use holidays as one of their tools to scam you out of your hard earned money. They know that people look for good or last minute deals and literally millions are lost to fraudsters in this way.”

She added the important final tip of buying travel deals: “If a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”

With the holiday season upon us, it is easy to get caught up in the hype of a good online deal and before you know it, you are scammed out of your hard earned money and have no holiday to show for it either.

Leigh Mulholland of Seeff ShortStay for Hout Bay, Llandudno and Southern Suburbs says with the explosion of online holiday and accommodation advertising and booking sites, it is easy to get caught.

She gives some advice and a few important “need to knows” when it comes to booking holiday accommodation.

“Do your homework,” she says. “Research to ensure you know who you are booking with as there are so many stories of scammers. Check the legitimacy of the booking agent or site as well as the establishment being advertised. Never transfer money unless you are one hundred percent sure of the legitimacy of the advert and booking agent or site.”

Be especially alert when it comes to unknown sites, she warns.

According to Sandra Cruz, Rental Property Asset Manager from Seeff False Bay some of the well-known sites include Airbnb, Safari Now, Booking.com, Tripadvisor and of course the sites of credible local short-term rental agencies.

“A next important aspect is budgeting correctly and verifying the actual costs. These adverts are often unclear in terms of what is included and what is not. It is not uncommon for certain activities to be add-ons to the advertised price and there is nothing worse than arriving for your holiday only to find that meals are not part of the deal or you cannot participate in all the activities,” says Cruz.

“Double check what is included and whether the advertised rates apply to the period of your booking as peak season rates are usually much higher.

Mulholland says you should also research the costs of restaurants and other facilities in the area to ensure that you budget correctly for your holiday.

The terms and conditions of the booking should also be scrutinised so that you know exactly what you are in for.

“Internet research and social media can be a great way to find out about unknown places or establishments. Be sure to confirm your booking before departure and find out where to collect the keys and so on,” she says.

Mulholland says you should also research the location.

“Properties advertised on sites such as Airbnb are often not clear about where they are located and holiday makers can be very disappointed to find that they are not actually getting a beach location but have to take transport to the beaches,” she says.

Finally, check what facilities and amenities are available.

“Find out what the accommodation offers, especially if it is self-catering. If you are looking for extras, check up on this, alternatively you may be better off upgrading your booking for better amenities,” Mulholland says.

“Scammers and fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated and at this time of year use holidays as one of their tools to scam you out of your hard earned money. They know that people look for good or last minute deals and literally millions are lost to fraudsters in this way.”

She added the important final tip of buying travel deals: “If a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”

With the holiday season upon us, it is easy to get caught up in the hype of a good online deal and before you know it, you are scammed out of your hard earned money and have no holiday to show for it either.

Leigh Mulholland of Seeff ShortStay for Hout Bay, Llandudno and Southern Suburbs says with the explosion of online holiday and accommodation advertising and booking sites, it is easy to get caught.

She gives some advice and a few important “need to knows” when it comes to booking holiday accommodation.

“Do your homework,” she says. “Research to ensure you know who you are booking with as there are so many stories of scammers. Check the legitimacy of the booking agent or site as well as the establishment being advertised. Never transfer money unless you are one hundred percent sure of the legitimacy of the advert and booking agent or site.”

Be especially alert when it comes to unknown sites, she warns.

According to Sandra Cruz, Rental Property Asset Manager from Seeff False Bay some of the well-known sites include Airbnb, Safari Now, Booking.com, Tripadvisor and of course the sites of credible local short-term rental agencies. “A next important aspect is budgeting correctly and verifying the actual costs. These adverts are often unclear in terms of what is included and what is not. It is not uncommon for certain activities to be add-ons to the advertised price and there is nothing worse than arriving for your holiday only to find that meals are not part of the deal or you cannot participate in all the activities,” says Cruz.

“Double check what is included and whether the advertised rates apply to the period of your booking as peak season rates are usually much higher.

Mulholland says you should also research the costs of restaurants and other facilities in the area to ensure that you budget correctly for your holiday.

The terms and conditions of the booking should also be scrutinised so that you know exactly what you are in for.

“Internet research and social media can be a great way to find out about unknown places or establishments. Be sure to confirm your booking before departure and find out where to collect the keys and so on,” she says.

Mulholland says you should also research the location.

“Properties advertised on sites such as Airbnb are often not clear about where they are located and holiday makers can be very disappointed to find that they are not actually getting a beach location but have to take transport to the beaches,” she says.

Finally, check what facilities and amenities are available.

“Find out what the accommodation offers, especially if it is self-catering. If you are looking for extras, check up on this, alternatively you may be better off upgrading your booking for better amenities,” says Mulholland.

“Scammers and fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated and at this time of year use holidays as one of their tools to scam you out of your hard earned money. They know that people look for good or last minute deals and literally millions are lost to fraudsters in this way.”

She added the important final tip of buying travel deals: “If a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”

With the holiday season upon us, it is easy to get caught up in the hype of a good online deal and before you know it, you are scammed out of your hard earned money and have no holiday to show for it either.

Leigh Mulholland of Seeff ShortStay for Hout Bay, Llandudno and Southern Suburbs says with the explosion of online holiday and accommodation advertising and booking sites, it is easy to get caught.

She gives some advice and a few important “need to knows” when it comes to booking holiday accommodation.

“Do your homework,” she says. “Research to ensure you know who you are booking with as there are so many stories of scammers. Check the legitimacy of the booking agent or site as well as the establishment being advertised. Never transfer money unless you are one hundred percent sure of the legitimacy of the advert and booking agent or site.”

Be especially alert when it comes to unknown sites, she warns.

According to Sandra Cruz, Rental Property Asset Manager from Seeff False Bay some of the well-known sites include Airbnb, Safari Now, Booking.com, Tripadvisor and of course the sites of credible local short-term rental agencies.

“A next important aspect is budgeting correctly and verifying the actual costs. These adverts are often unclear in terms of what is included and what is not. It is not uncommon for certain activities to be add-ons to the advertised price and there is nothing worse than arriving for your holiday only to find that meals are not part of the deal or you cannot participate in all the activities,” says Cruz.

“Double check what is included and whether the advertised rates apply to the period of your booking as peak season rates are usually much higher.

Mulholland says you should also research the costs of restaurants and other facilities in the area to ensure that you budget correctly for your holiday.

The terms and conditions of the booking should also be scrutinised so that you know exactly what you are in for.

“Internet research and social media can be a great way to find out about unknown places or establishments. Be sure to confirm your booking before departure and find out where to collect the keys and so on,” she says.

Mulholland says you should also research the location.

“Properties advertised on sites such as Airbnb are often not clear about where they are located and holiday makers can be very disappointed to find that they are not actually getting a beach location but have to take transport to the beaches,” she says.

Finally, check what facilities and amenities are available.

“Find out what the accommodation offers, especially if it is self-catering. If you are looking for extras, check up on this, alternatively you may be better off upgrading your booking for better amenities,”

“Scammers and fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated and at this time of year use holidays as one of their tools to scam you out of your hard earned money. They know that people look for good or last minute deals and literally millions are lost to fraudsters in this way.”

She added the important final tip of buying travel deals: “If a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”

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