With the demand for Ibiza villas hitting an all time high, con artists are preying on unsuspecting tourists by copying villa details from genuine websites then passing them off as their own.
They then ask for a payment to be sent by bank transfer promising to meet the clients on arrival in Ibiza but once they get the money they disconnect their phones and the website gets taken down.
The problem has reached such a point that many villa websites such as HomeAway and Owners Direct have changed their business model to compete with Airbnb so that funds are only released to villa owners and operators once clients have arrived and are happy in their chosen villa.
So what can you do to counter these pirates? Firstly do a little online research. Has the company got a Facebook page that is active and has genuine commentary? Does it have a Twitter or Instagram account that is active? Have you googled the name of the person you are talking to? Are you speaking to an office or a foreign voice at the end of a random mobile phone?
If the deal looks too good to be true then it usually is. Don’t send any money to obscure bank accounts that can’t be traced. Only send money once you are entirely satisfied that you are talking to a genuine villa operator and there are plenty of good ones out there.
If in doubt then don’t do anything until you are happy. If possible speak to friends who have dealt with villa operators in Ibiza and get a direct referral.
In this social media cyber world you can usually spot the scammers a mile away by their posture and don’t hesitate to challenge them.
HomeAway, Owners Direct, Holiday Lettings and AirBnB now offer to ring fence your money so take advantage of this service. Alternatively use an established Ibiza Villa Operator that is accountable.
It isn’t rocket science but can also be a potential minefield if you don’t do your homework. The good news is that if you do follow some of these guidelines you can get unbelievable deals on some amazing villa.