The holiday season is upon us. You will by now have booked for summer '19, and maybe you're looking for later in the off-season or even next year (high fives to the organised among us!).
What you will want to be aware of and prepared for, are the scammers out there who, in recent years have taken thousands from innocent holiday-makers. Here are some top tips on how to avoid it:
- Check out the rental company who are offering the property. Ask people on the ground if they know them - online forums and social media are perfect for this.
- Call the company and preferably call them on a landline. In Spain, all landlines begin with a 9, in Mallorca with 971 or even 871. Be wary if only a mobile number is given (it will begin with a 6), a fixed contact number implies a fixed address and is a little more secure.
- Look at the links and web addresses. What looks like a well-known company name could have been altered slightly. Changing .com to .org for example. "Cloning" a website is the kind of trickery these crooks like to try.
- Once you have the address of the property, check out the satellite view on google maps. You can zoom in enough to know if the pictures you've seen match with what google shows you from above.
- If you're renting directly from an owner, call them for a chat. Ask them about the property and the practicalities. You should be able to gauge if this person really knows the property, or if he is trying to sell you a holiday in someone else's (or one that doesn't exist).
- Look out for the owner's name in any reviews and google him.
- Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If it is really cheap and available in the key weeks of summer, there is something going on.
- When it comes to paying, a deposit is not a bad thing. But, a 50% deposit is too much. 25% is reasonable and full amount just two months before your holiday.
- Choose your payment method wisely too. A bank transfer offers you no back-up, wired money transfers by companies like Western Union are untraceable. Paypal offers some protection if your account is linked to a credit card. Payment by credit card offers you some protection (there may be surcharges, check terms and conditions with your bank).
- Use Prestige Villas. We are an international team based here in the north of Mallorca. With our years of experience behind us, we've combined our expectations and standards so we can find you the villa of your dreams.
We hope this helps! If you are looking for a villa holiday in Mallorca for later this year or 2020, then head over to our website and see what we have available.