Home Rental Scams: Landlord Alert

Home Rental Scams Landlord AlertIn our last post, we discussed the Insurance Debate for Vacation Homes from rental companies such as Airbnb. As these companies get more traction, rental home service customers and landlords are now becoming the targets of scammers looking to collect fraudulent payments.  HomeAway, another such company, has recently been victim of these scams and is seeking to keep the public’s knowledge under wraps. While renting your home can be lucrative, Connecticut Homeowners Insurance can help to combat the potential risks your vacation tenants pose.

A recent story in the Martha’s Vineyard Times recounted a woman who contacted Barbara Ronchetti, the owner of a rental property, to verify visit dates. Although the guest had already paid $3,000 to reserve the home, the space was no longer available. As it turns out, Natasha, the intended guest, had sent money to a scammer rather than the real owner as Ms. Ronchetti had no prior correspondence with her.

While these cons are incredibly unfortunate, HomeAway only guarantees partial reimbursement for these incidents. Each renter is eligible for a $1,000 refund upon detection of a scam. However, this money serves as a contingency to remain silent about the fraud.

Chief services officer Jeff Mosler clarified “Once it has been determined fraud of some kind occurred, we request that customers do not discuss the event in public. We believe that by limiting the details of a case where a consumer was scammed, we are preventing future fraudsters from replicating the event.”  He also told the Times that this policy is not intended to “inhibit transparency,” but rather to protect their users.

The $1,000 coverage for all renters does not, however, cover transactions through Western Union or MoneyGram and Mosler stressed the importance of avoiding using these services with untrusted sources. The HomeAway Payment feature is recommended to ensure safe money transfer. If this is utilized, renters receive $10,000 in fraud protection along with the option to buy rental insurance that costs $39-$149.

What’s more, landlord accounts are often hacked, as well. Some scammers go as far as to take over the personal email address used for renter correspondence, making the scam even easier to complete.

Some red flags to beware of include third party money transfer requests, overcharging for listed property prices, and monitoring suspicious sign in activity.

At Byrnes Agency, we offer comprehensive homeowners policies crafted to meet your specific needs. We provide a variety of personal policies to safeguard your property, assets, and investments. To learn more about our offerings, we invite you to contact us at one of our three locations.

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Dayville Office

Phone: (860) 774-8549
394 Lake Rd
Dayville, CT 06241
United States
info@byrnesagency.com
Hours of Operation: Monday- Friday 9:00am-5:00pm

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Norwich Office

Phone: (860) 886-5498
6 Consumers Avenue
Norwich, CT 06360
United States
info@byrnesagency.com
Hours of Operation: Monday- Friday 9:00am-5:00pm

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Woodstock Office

Phone: (860) 928-7928
1226 Connecticut 169
Woodstock, CT 06281
United States
info@byrnesagency.com
Hours of Operation: Monday- Friday 9:00am-5:00pm

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