For those who shop vacation Rentals on CL....BE WARNED!!!!!!. You need to be smart and do your research. multiple countries AND even in the U.S. have an army of computer tekkies that are scamming you by taking all the information from VRBO/Homeaway, Zillow, and other legitimate rental companies posting fake ads on CL.
I just came from my property (3/1/19) and I had a couple show up from Canada.. fortunately I was there !! They showed me a receipt that showed they paid out $1700 for the entire month of March to some creep with the last name of Nguyen with a Minnesota cell phone number. To give you an example, this property goes for $8000 per month during season through VRBO, these victims shelled out $1700 using CL and they are now looking for accommodations.
First of all there is nothing you or the government can do. CL just doesn't care, the only way to get rid of these scumbag hacks is to not contact them at all. Do not send them your information, do not send them money, if you do, well then you are only to blame.
Do the research, here are some ways of verification:
First and foremost, do not book through CL if the ad looks to good to be true.. Homes being scammed are properties with professional pics and extremely cheap prices.
Ask the contact to show a copy of their "Short term vacation rental permit" issued by the city of Palm Springs, this is not a classified document, it must be posted in view of every guest in every vacation rental in the city of PS. Once you receive the copy take the "TOT # "from the permit and call the city to verify. If the agent from CL has none or refuses to give you a copy it is a scam. Describe the permit to the rep at the city, they will verify the legitimacy of the property.
Get the "city ID#" (different from the TOT#) from your contact and call the city of Palm Springs to verify ownership.
In conclusion, these people are not that smart, what is funny is that they are extremely obvious, DO NOT RENT ANYTHING UNTIL THE CITY HAS VERIFIED THE PROPERTY. Just because these creeps have phone numbers (burner phones) and U.S. addresses, doesn't mean they are for real.
Look at the pics attached to this post, I have found examples of pictures and desrciptions found on some of these rental sites matching them to the ads on CL.
do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers