Summer Vacation Nightmare: Couple Scammed in Fake Rental Listing

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Two of the biggest rental companies, HomeAway, which owns VRBO, and Flipkey, told ABC News that this rarely happens to their customers. They suggest that travelers should avoid communicating with anyone off their sites and never wire money. Instead, they recommend paying with a credit card or PayPal account.

In a statement to ABC News regarding the Doners' case, HomeAway said, "Phishing is a common form of Internet fraud, and to our dismay, the vacation rental industry is an attractive target. Because the phishers target the property owner or manager’s email accounts, we must emphasize that this is not a breach of the HomeAway system based on the information we have, which is why we cannot prevent it from happening. But if one traveler is affected, that’s one too many. With this said, a phishing attack that results in traveler loss is extremely rare on HomeAway websites. Less than .02 percent of travelers experience such a loss. This means that 99.98 percent of travelers who come to HomeAway have a great experience. We will continue to educate owners and travelers about phishing and how they can protect themselves to prevent it."

The Doners hope sharing their story will help other summer travelers get their dream vacation, without getting taken.

“If we can keep anybody from doing something like this and save them money, that would be a very good thing,” said Nancy Doner.

Have horror stories of your own? Please send your stories, pictures and videos to ABC.WorldNews@abc.com

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