Fraudulent Vacation Rental Payment Alert
(July 14, 2023)- The Cape Coral Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit reminds our residents, visitors, property managers, and rental companies of a potential scam affecting our community.
Recently, we have been inundated with vacation rentals being the target of fraudulent transactions. Fraudsters are using fraudulent checks, e-checks, and credit cards for bookings. These subjects are utilizing sites like Bookings.com, Zillow, Realtor.com, Facebook, Craigslist, and directly online through property management company websites for vacation bookings. These bookings are paid with fraudulent forms of payment with fraudulent identification.
As Cape Coral continues to grow, our community has become a hotspot for vacation and long-term rentals; it is up to property owners individually and the property management companies they entrust to rent and manage their homes to verify the authenticity of those making bookings and producing payments. These criminals are creating fraudulent forms of payment and damaging the properties they occupy.
These vacation rentals are typically booked without sufficient notice, and these fraudsters provide payment and want to occupy the property urgently.
Remember to use due diligence and protect your investments when renting to potential vacationers. It is vital to ensure the company you chose to manage your property has a process for verifying forms and payments and backgrounds of likely occupants.
Our Financial Crimes Unit recommends a week or more notice before allowing occupancy, which will give adequate time for a check to clear to verify the authenticity of these forms of payment and enough time to complete any necessary background checks.