We have some friends who were recently scammed by a fake villa holiday website and we have had a few clients concerned about booking directly. We thought it would be a good idea to share some hints to make sure that when you book a holiday you do not get taken advantage of.
If you follow these tips you should be able to book direct and still feel safe.
- Check when the website was created and it's history, does it confirm what the owners are saying? Way Back Machine allows you to check not only the dates but actually see how websites looked in the past. We have had Villa Begur since 2003, www.villabegur.com in Way Back Machine shows this where you can see not only our original site but how it has evolved over time. We have had Villa Sa Riera since 2016 but the url www.villasariera.com for longer and you can see here how it used to point to the Villa Begur site until 2016.
- Speak to the owners on the phone. You should be able to ask questions about how long they have owned the property, what their favorite places to visit are and a genuine owner will know all about the layout of the property which should match up with what is on the website. You can also confirm their bank details before payment. We have our phone number on our website and you can call and speak to Claudia, we are always happy to talk to clients! For extra security you can send us your phone number on the Contact Us page on our website and we can call you.
- Check if the villa is listed on other sites, do the photos and owner's details match up with the website? Our villas are listed on the following sites
Airbnb - Villa Sa Riera , Villa Begur
Spain-Holiday.com Villa Sa Riera Villa Begur
If you wish to pay by credit card you can book directly through Airbnb if you prefer. We charge a little bit more through their site to cover the extra cost to us and there is also a service charge of 3% that the booker pays. If you like you can message us through either of these sites and we will contact you back
- Check social network profiles, do they all match the villa you are looking to rent? We are on Facebook , Instagram and youtube and are happy to be contacted through any of these sites as a double check.
- Finally use your common sense, is the price too good to be true? Was the website set up last week and is it based in Russia? Are they very keen for you to make the full payment in advance? If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.