We were victims of a scam through a listing on HomeAway.nScammers are intercepting emails sent to the owners through the Homeaway site, posing as the owner and then vanishing once money has been received. nWe have found HomeAway to be unresponsive after two weeks and are concerned that others could suffer our same fate. nPlease review our experience below and find other similar situations at <community.homeaway.com/message/12940#12940> nOn Saturday, Dec 2, our daughter emailed the property owner of Homeaway to request a reservation using the link through the Homeaway.com website. A response was received that day from Holidays Agency LTDn<[email protected]> asking for our address and number in party information for the contract. None of the emails we received from them were signed with a name. nThe afternoon of Sunday, Dec 3, our daughter replied to the email with the requested information and a response was received early Monday, Dec 4, with a rental agreement and refund information letter attached. The refund letternrequested our bank account information so they could refund our deposit through bank transfer. They also told us we must respond within 72 hours to guarantee the price. The contract had an official looking seal with a Carefree RentalnGuarantee logo. nOn Tuesday, Dec 6, our daughter noted that the contract had the address incorrectly listed as a rental property in Rhode Island instead of Fort Lauderdale. She emailed a request for a corrected contract which was received that day. nOn Wednesday, Dec 7, we did some online checking of the owners name, Holidays Agency Ltd, etc. The owner listed on Homeaway had an international phone number and, as we were away from home and our cell phones did not have overseas calling capability, we did not call. We then arranged with our bank to transfer the money as the termsnof the contract requested. That afternoon we purchased the Carefree Rental Guarantee insurance online and in navigating around the Homeaway website we came across a Community message posted that same day regarding a scam that sounded frighteningly like our situation. (link above) nWe immediately contacted our bank to attempt to halt the bank transfer and contacted the Homeaway help line. Within an hour our daughter received an email cautioning her about a possible scam involving the property and advising her toncontact the owner again through the Homeaway website to confirm we were dealing with the correct person. The next morning Thursday, Dec 8, we received a response from the owner saying the property was already booked for those dates. Clearly we had been dealing with a scammer instead of the owner nOn Monday, Dec 12, we received an email from Holidays Agency to confirm the booking period and the payment. We responded with regrets we must cancel our reservation and requested a refund via certified check and have received nonresponse. nHomeaway is investigating. We are out $3800 and are sadder, but wiser.
Internet, Texas United States of America