About this time last year, I blogged about how vacation condos can save alot of money on family vacations. I still prefer condo vacations for families, instead of a hotel for lots of reasons. So don’t abandon the condo idea, but listen to this…
This morning, I spoke to a friend of mine who runs a vacation rental business. He said that fraud has become rampant in recent weeks. His clients, vacation home owners, have had numerous families show up to their rental properties to check in. But alas, these poor unsuspecting vacationers fell for a scam, and gave their money to some erroneous scam artist. Yes, this property was advertised for rent with photos of the property, a description, list of amenities, etc. But the person who posted the advertisement and received payment for the rental was not the owner of the property. It was so disheartening to hear that while this used to happen occasionally, the problem has recently become epidemic. And the saddest part is that the unsuspecting vacationers are out of money, and out of a place to stay. The true owner of the vacation property has nothing to offer these poor people, except for where to find a local hotel. The tip here is that many of these vacationers answered an ad on Craigslist. So if you plan to rent a vacation property, be safe and rent from a reputable agency. To find out who is and who isn’t, google the property and rental agency associated with the property. Read all the information available and then decide if you’re dealing with the real proprietor.
Most of us can now recognize an internet scam, since so many of them have been going around for so long. But there are more and more born and morphing every day. A quick check on the “iC3” website, which works with the FBI, can keep you apprised of the latest internet scams. Read it and get creeped out! http://www.ic3.gov/crimeschemes.aspx
Being in the business I’m in, I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you about coupon fraud. Since the popularity of coupons is on the rise, con artists are luring unsuspecting victims with too good to be true coupon offers. The NGA, National Grocers Association, lists the most prevalent fraudulent coupons, most of which are distributed throughwebsites or by email. You can view updates here: http://www.nationalgrocers.org/Coupons/2010%20Coupons.html
It’s important to be aware of fraudulent coupons, because you, the victim, could be a party to the scam if you try to redeem one. To be safe, you should only print coupons from reputable websites, and as a general rule steer clear of PDF coupons. However, some manufacturers of foods don’t have sophisticated software and will offer coupons by PDF. If you’re sure the site is indeed the manufacturer of the product, then you’re probably safe to print their PDF coupon. But instead of spending time trying to find certified coupons on the internet, I can proudly say that there is no reason to look any further than Teri’s Coupon Center, where we update with the latest REAL coupons on a daily basis. In Teri’s Coupon Center, you can print FREE coupons from our website (encrypted, limited, and secure), from individual manufacturers’ websites, load virtual coupons to your club card, and more. Save money, but do it wisely!