INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - There's a new scam on the rise, targeting people looking to get some time away.
The Better Business Bureau says thousands of people are being scammed while buying vacation rentals.
Renting a home is growing in popularity with apps like Airbnb. What the scammers do is create realistic listings, using photos of houses for sale or real vacation home listings.
Families will think everything is fine. They make a payment, show up for their vacation and find there's no place to stay.
"You book a home, everything looks legitimate and then you fly across the ocean and show up and not only don't find that rental, but there's no home at all," said BBB's Tom Bartholomy.
The BBB says chances of getting your money back aren't good in these cases.
To protect your vacation... and your wallet, nly book with verified companies, such as Airbnb. Then, only pay with a credit card. Scammers will often ask for a wire transfer, a cashiers check or payment through an app like Venmo because they're harder to track.
And if you are tech-savvy, you can reverse Google image search the pictures to see if they are posted anywhere else online.
Generally speaking, remain skeptical. If you see something suspicious, flag it and report it to police and the BBB.