Sites like AirBNB, HomeAway and VRBO make it easy to connect homeowners with prospective renters. Homeowners have an online brochure showcasing their property. Renters scan the listings looking for the perfect business or vacation stay. Communication happens directly between the two parties using the site’s closed email system.
Recently, my mother shared an email with me that she recently received regarding a rental property we own in Phoenix, Arizona. There were two instances, one right after another, of what could have easily passed initially as a legitimate rental situation. Thanks to her quick thinking, no money was lost.
First, she received a rental request from a secretary who said she was inquiring about our home on behalf of her boss. He was traveling to Phoenix from Dubai with a few co-workers. The secretary asked several legitimate questions such as the home’s distance from the airport and whether daily cleaning was available.
My mother promptly answered each of her questions. Then, the secretary explained she could not book our home without confirming it was acceptable to her boss. A few hours later, the secretary emailed my mother with the good news. Her boss loves the home and definitely would like to stay there. There was just one problem.
Her boss does not like to use credit cards online. He does not think they are secure. He would like to send a check for the total rental amount, in United States dollars, of course.