Getting hit with a fraudulent charge can result in a loss of income, and disputing it is a difficult and time-consuming task. Since fighting fraud can be an uphill battle, it’s important to protect yourself. Below are six tips to spot and prevent fraudulent vacation rental payments from taking business away from you.
1. Make sure your rental agreement is airtight
Before you rent out a vacation property, read through your rental agreement with a fine-tooth comb. Imagine a fraudster is reading it with intentions of taking advantage of you. Include all important information and make sure terms are clear.
2. Know who your guest is
Taking the time to vet your guests can help prevent fraudulent charges. Start by engaging in a friendly conversation to get to know your renter and get a better sense of their credibility. Conduct a Google search to find out if they indeed are a real person. Surprisingly, you can learn quite a bit of information about a person online.
3. Check to see if information is consistent
Did you get the guest’s verification code, the 3-digit security code (CVC) on their credit card? Does the credit card on file match the information the guest provided? Ask to see your guest’s government issued identification and make a photocopy. Verify their mailing address, phone number, and email, then match it against the information you have on file.
You can manually lookup the guest's computer address on a site such as IP-Lookup.net. Verifying this information can help see if the location they are paying from matches the credit information provided. The same thing can be done with their phone number. Use a reverse phone number lookup to see if they are the same person assigned to that number.
4. Keep detailed, accurate records
Running a vacation rental property is a lot of work and it is easy to overwork yourself. Despite the challenges, do your best to stay organized. Staying on top of all your documents can protect you from fraudulent activities. Keep your accounting information as accurate as possible to track what business is coming in or out. If you are ever hit with a fraudulent chargeback, then you will be ready to provide all the essential documentation. Also, remember to shred any documents containing sensitive information such as credit card numbers or your business information. This will help protect both you and your guests.
5. Keep track of staff activities
Another reason keeping accurate accounting records is important is because fraudulent charges can be coming from within. Set the example at the top be transparent and to help ensure your managers act honestly. Make sure you have a detailed policy regarding what is expected from your employees and what is not allowed. Establish a clear distinction between employees doing accounting tasks and the handling of transactions or reservations. Having an extra set of eyes and being aware is a great way to prevent fraudulent activities.
6. Be aware of last-minute bookings
A last-minute booking could be a sign of suspicious activity. Proceed with these reservations with caution. Be extra vigilant to see if they have provided you with an email that could hint to a fraudster like JohnSmith@SpamEmail.com.
While it takes time and effort, reviewing all reservations can prevent fraudulent vacation rental payments. Remember to do your research and trust your instinct regarding a renter. It could save you the hassle of going through the process of fighting fraudulent charges.
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This content was content was provided by Yapstone, a preferred payment processor that integrates with KigoPay. Yapstone is a market tailored payments solution for platforms, software providers, and marketplaces. We specialize in partnering with companies to lower their costs, reduce their risk and liability and help them create a seamless user experience. With over $18 billion in annual transaction volume, a market specific fraud platform, and 24/7/365 customer support in seven languages, Yapstone is uniquely positioned to provide a complete global payment solution. Yapstone has offices in Walnut Creek, Santa Monica, and Drogheda, Ireland. To learn more, visit Yapstone.com.