Holiday Accommodation Booking Advice
Booking a short break or your annual summer holiday accommodation should be an enjoyable experience. From scanning glossy travel publications to reviewing online accommodation websites is where the fun begins.
Unfortunately for some, the enjoyment is short lived! Why? Holiday accommodation booking fraud has increased by more than 425% in recent years as many holidaymakers fall victim to criminals posing to be legitimate holiday agents or accommodation owners.
For those that fall, victim, it’s not till they reach their holiday destination that they find they have been part of a scam, having paid thousands of pounds for accommodation that does not exist. Regrettably, it's not until a guest arrives at their destination only to find the accommodation does not exist and those criminals nowhere to be found.
Hopefully, you are reading this section prior to booking your holiday, in which case you could prevent the above happening to you. There are many ways in which you could prevent your family and friends from becoming the fraudster’s next victims.
We have listed some vital points below which we urge you to consider when making your accommodation booking:
- Always make sure the accommodation is a member of Veraccom – Verified Holiday Accommodation. This guarantees that we have fully verified the identity of the owner; we have verified the ownership and the existence of the property by having visited and checked the accommodation against the photos and description listed. For your protection, if the property you are interested in booking for your next holiday is not a member of Veraccom, you can contact us and we will invite the owner to become a member prior to your booking
- Use the Veraccom website search function and choose with confidence one of our member's properties that have been fully verified. Our list of properties is continually growing so always check back with us.
- Only use reputable holiday accommodation rental websites. Make sure the listed properties with the Veraccom badge and members Veraccom licence identity number are visible on the individual property pages before you book or ask the owner to contact us to become verified
- For your protection, before entering your personal details on to any website, check in the website address bar starts with “shttp or https” and has a secure padlock icon in the address bar and not on the actual webpage. If none of these features exists, we would advise you not to use the website!
- Check how long the property and the owner have been advertising for and any reviews on the property to get an idea they are legitimate.
- Check online for previous guest experiences and reviews. Sometimes you may need to read between the lines and make your own decisions based on what you see and feel comfortable with
- Avoid paying the owner directly into their bank account and be cautious if you are asked to pay the full amount of the holiday rental upfront unless it’s a last minute booking. Read the Terms and conditions of booking.
- Pay with a Credit card as they often they carry a level of protection on purchases made. Some Debit cards have protection also. But, in both cases, check with your card issuer before you book if you are not sure
- Always ensure you check your online debit/credit card statement after you have made payment and that only the agreed amount of money has been deducted from your card
- Don’t be too quick to book a holiday rental that looks too cheap to be true, because quite often that is the case and disappointment often follows
- Ask to see the accommodation rental agreement in advance of making the booking to ensure you know what you are agreeing to
- Check the payment terms and cancellation policy before making a booking as often it’s too late to make changes once you have handed over your hard earned cash
- Ensure you have adequate travel insurance at all times and be sure to read the small print!
- Check out the location of the property to ensure that it is where it is meant to be. You don't want to arrive to find it is on the side of a cliff.
- We all want to see the good in everyone we do business with, however, Veraccom strongly advise, always do your due diligence and don’t leave things to chance
- If you are booking flights, package holidays or hotels, always make sure you use a reputable well-established company and make sure they are members of a governing body. For example, in the UK this would be ABTA, ATOL, IATA. Don’t be fooled into buying from touts or bogus unknown companies, as in most cases this will end in disaster and your holiday insurance will not cover you in these cases
- Sign up to receive our newsletter at the bottom of this page. We will keep you up to date with news and views, when new properties are added, location features and much more…
Check out our page "Guarding Against Fraud" on this website, dedicated to ensuring awareness where you could fall victim to fraud. We would urge you to review this information as a preventative measure and share with colleagues, family and friends. Even the most seasoned travellers get caught in the fraudsters web.