True story of how Seth Kugel (NYTimes Frugal Traveler writer) got scammed while booking a vacation rental apartment in London. Some important lessons from his experience, on how to :
- Always use a credit card. He wire transferred the money and then there was no way to get it back. Credit cards will usually refund your money if something goes wrong.
- Check for previous scams. Search Web sites like Scamwarners.com, Fraudwatchers.org, Scam.com and 419legal.org, if a previous traveler has warned that the rental you are interested in might be a scam.
- Use reputable and tested sites. Airbnb, Roomorama, Hostelworld and a few others are trusted services which will have some measures to protect the user.