Last year, Spain hit a record number of 75 million visitors, with the Canary Islands being the third most popular region (+13.2% compared to 2015).
This is great news for the Canarian tourist industry and has helped with generating more than €1.3 million in revenue. But, the downside of the popularity of the Canary Islands as a holiday destination and specifically the holiday rental industry, is that it has led to a high number of scam/fraudulent websites cropping up.
These fraudulent holiday rental websites often look professional but there are red flags which you can look out for which will help you spot a fraudulent website.
Here are some alarm bells you should hear before sending an enquiry:
1. A suspicious profile?
How long has the villa been on the online platform? - The registration date is usually on the webpage and advert. Consider that a longer period on the website gives the advert authority.
Comments are really important and can give you an idea of others guests experiences. Don’t trust them if there are many “everything was awesome” ones.
3. Locate the property.
Try to find an exact address of the property and then use google maps to find out how it looks. Make sure your Google Street View is updated to benefit from this option.
4. Speak to the owner.
At least one phone number should be listed on the advert. Ask the owner for their postal address and the name of the area, etc. Don’t sign a contract with anyone who cannot provide accurate information about his/her property.
5. Use your common sense.
Is there anything suspicious about the description? Do the prices seem right for this property? Ask yourself before you take any initial steps.
6. Watch out for the small print
Be particularly aware about the small print. Ensure the terms for the return of the deposit are clear and reasonable. Ensure that you are satisfied with the written agreement.
7. The credit card is your best friend.
It’s one of the safest methods of payment in this case. In addition, Paypal could provide some additional protection if your account is linked to a credit card. Some sites like Spain-Holiday.com have a protection system to avoid fraud and phishing.
8. Remain vigilant
Once on the property, check everything carefully. Take photos of everything that does not match the details in the advertisement. If there is a problem, contact the owner as soon as possible.
There is always a risk every time you decide to book directly with the owner. However, these tips will help make your booking safest, don't let fraudsters put you off.
Holiday rentals offer a flexible, relaxed holiday environment and they are the preferred accommodation for thousands of holidaymakers every year.
For the safest possible route to booking a holiday rental property in Spain, the holiday rental company, Spain-Holiday.com, has recently increased its presence in the Canary Islands by acquiring EspañaBreaks, a company with a long-term presence in the region.