Holiday scammers. Don’t be fooled by these rental offers!

Every year, as soon as the dust settles after the picnic, the cold zucchini will pass, and the sun will come out from behind the clouds forever, a person close to me calls me and asks me two very important questions.

The first question is: Do you already know where you are going on vacation?

The answer is usually yes. So the person close to me asks the second question, which seems to be more important than the first.

The second question: Do you already have housing?!

No room, no apartment, no hotel, not even a lodging, just “housing”. Always “headquarters” as in the army. Because there are no jokes with these things in season.

According to my family, a stay is like a dentist, like a car mechanic, like a plumber and a hairdresser together – did you find a good or a good one? Then stick with it and don’t worry. And he’s pretty right about what, how about what, but there are no jokes about this stuff in season.

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Let those who do not believe listen.

Cuba, 37: We were in college, a friend suggested a larger group. Entered “housing by the sea” in the search engine. Presentation appeared – judging by the pictures – very attractive. We come to the place: the burrow. Yes, the bedding was clean, but other than that everything was old, unwashed and rusted. Utensils in the kitchen have a 2-inch layer of fat.

Polina, 35: Small seaside town in Poland, high season. We had a rented en suite room with balcony overlooking the sea. On site the rude owner tells us there was an exchange and we’ll get another room. Overlooking the house next door because “someone else got ours”. The room itself was clearly not cleaned well, if filled with sand from previous guests. Trash is not emptied. As you indicated, the owner shrugged his shoulders and said it is what it is and we can’t stand it. We did not take. It was a mistake because we landed farther from the sea in a nearby village. But okay, the rules.

And finally, I’ll add my little story: an apartment in Lisbon. Beautiful, it is a pity without a window. What looked like a window in the photos online turned out to be a curtain hanging on the wall.

Those who don’t believe in the audible stories may reach for recorded swings. Every summer the media reports on “horror hotels”, “horror apartments” and “horror vacations”. For example, last year in “Gazeta Wyborcza” you could read the story of an unlucky couple who wanted to relax in Pomerania. “When they stood at the door of a rented apartment in Gdask, it turned out that the photos from the booking site had nothing to do with reality. They found a hut with mushrooms on the wall, and a tastefully unadorned place for PLN 500 a night ”- the story began, in which also appeared in the later parts such threads as: Hidden fees, mutual locks, malicious text messages from the owner, and in the end – the complaint rejected.

Let’s say it again: There are no jokes with these things in season.

So that your vacation doesn’t turn into a big hobo in search of shelter, take some time to get ready before you leave. It does not provide 100% protection against fraud but always some.

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There are two threats lurking in vacationers. The first is obvious fraud, that is, simply “renting” a dwelling that does not exist.

Usually the procedure looks like this: the scammer places an ad on one of the classifieds sites, praises the value of the accommodation in the description, and illustrates the whole (often stolen from the Internet) with photos of a random apartment. When it finds a client, it requests an advance payment, and when the transfer reaches it, it drops the connection.

So-called “headquarters” fraud turns out to be a fairly common form of extortion. Only in that year, such cases were reported, incl. In Karpacz, Szklarska Poreba and Sopot, one of the highest cases in general was the one that occurred in 2006, when a fraudster, who offered to stay in Zakopane, extorted about 400,000 people. zloty.

How not to be fooled? dampening enthusiasm. Miracles may happen, but when we encounter an offer in high season, such as: “Luxury, fully equipped apartment for 10 people, sea view, sauna and pool, cost: PLN 100 per night”, it would be wise to look additionally.

Opinions about him posted on the Internet can be a form of tenant verification, but they can’t be completely trusted – not only can Putin’s “fake news” trolls. The method worth using is to view the building on Google Street View – at least we’ll know if it’s actually there.

See also: How do you pack your bags for vacation?

In addition to obvious scams, there are also subtle scams. In such a situation, the headquarters does exist, but it is not the existence we wanted. It is a very small, very cramped existence, without sun, not equipped, without a view, without air conditioning, without balcony, in short: inadequate.

Sometimes disappointment is the result of our excessive expectations. However, more often than not, it results from the verbal acrobatics of the advertiser. Because reading and understanding vacation rental offers is a special skill. It is the ability to read at the level of definition, to find hidden meanings, and to break semantic symbols. Efficiency that can boldly (if not yet) become the subject of scientific analysis.

Below is a short glossary to help develop this ability. Of course, do not exhaust the linguistic resources of advertisers (which seem to be constantly increasing), but let each word in it resemble a red lamp that lights up while reading the ad.

  • family Noisy place, maybe crowded too.
  • minimalistic Equipment is limited to an existential minimum
  • economic Equipment is limited beyond the above mentioned minimum
  • modern – Furnishings in exotic colors, a zebra rug.
  • with a goal – Wall view is also a view
  • close to the sea – “Near” is a relative term. From the outskirts of eba to Batyek it is certainly closer than the outskirts of Krakow
  • attractive – It’s a more relative concept. For some, gravity, for example, is survival.

This is, of course, a menu prepared with a pinch of salt – there are certainly many advertisements with the above statements, and they relate to quite suitable places.

See also: the dramatic story of a mermaid from the beach. Diagnosis: skin cancer

What if you stifled enthusiasm and metalwork didn’t help? What if we turned out to be unlucky vacationers? Unfortunately, not much. It remains to report the matter to the police, or perhaps to file a complaint with the entity through which we rented the accommodation. However, in the case of both solutions, we must be prepared for the fact that our leave will end earlier than the measure aimed at achieving equity.

Well, at least when you come back, you’ll be able to honestly tell yourself that “everywhere is good, home is better”.

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