NEW ASHFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - Renni Li was excited about a beach vacation.
“Either Maine, or New Hampshire or Rhode Island,” she said,
She looked on several short-term rental websites and found what looked like the perfect place in Newport, RI.
Renni said, “there’s a property that pops up, a humongous house, a really pretty view and you see the swimming pool.”
So Renni booked it and paid about $3000 directly to the homeowner using a link that was emailed to her. She said, “the pool was so pretty, it says its 10 rooms and 6,500 square feet”
But when the homeowner later canceled the reservation, Renni knew something was wrong!
“They said the host refused the reservation,” said Renni.
So she contacted the rental website and informed them that her reservation was canceled by the host after she already paid in full.
“They said if you think it’s a fraud we can start an investigation it would take up to 10 days,” Renni said.
But when the company could no longer find the listing online or contact the host, they told her she was likely fooled by a fake homeowner. She said, “it’s also a verified host, so how did they verify it if it’s a scam?”
She asked to be refunded by the company said no.
“They said I’m sorry we’re not liable for your loss, we can’t do it,” Renni told us.
She said, “this is unfair, I’m going to fight for it.”
That’s when she reached out to SOLVE IT 7!
Renni said, “I got a response from you like two days after.”
We contacted the rental site and they told us they are now warning customers to only make payments through the website, not directly to homeowners.
Renni said, “I just don’t want the fraudster to steal someone else’s money again.”
And the company offered Renni full credit so she can rebook a different property for a summer getaway.
She said, “they’re doing the right thing– I feel relieved.”
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