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Craigslist vacation rentals: legit or scam?

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Washington DC...
posts: 258
reviews: 208
Craigslist vacation rentals: legit or scam?

I am looking to come to Sundance next month and seeking a vacation rental, and the Tripadvisor ones being expensive, I turned to Craigslist where there are several good-sounding options. But without reviews, I have no way of knowing if they are legit or, like in places like NYC, they are known to turn out to be scams... Do you have any knowledge or experience of these? I'm scared to pay for somewhere, fly to Park City, and find myself poor and homeless... Thanks!

12 replies to this topic
Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
posts: 11,676
reviews: 232
1. Re: Craigslist vacation rentals: legit or scam?

No way to know from the information you provided here. Obviously VRBO and other services aren't foolproof but they do have some safeguards that are not present in Craigslist. The over arching point you should consider is that there is a market price. And during Sundance it's higher. No one renting property is going to be unaware of that. If you see something that's under market price, I would pretty much figure it's a scam.

Good luck.

Hudson Valley
posts: 1,292
reviews: 1
2. Re: Craigslist vacation rentals: legit or scam?

Tumbleweed said what I was thinking - if it seems to good to be true, then it probably is. You can always follow up on the Craiglist one with a number of questions, requests for references, etc. but personally I would stick with more traditional methods for rentals.

Park City, Utah
posts: 90
reviews: 1
3. Re: Craigslist vacation rentals: legit or scam?

I would steer clear of craigslist - especially during Sundance. Every year people are scammed out of money and a rental by people offering houses that aren't actually for rent. Read the local newspaper - The Park Record - parkrecord.com/ci_22551411/lodging-scams-low…

Stick with established local firms and/or properties.

Washington DC...
posts: 258
reviews: 208
4. Re: Craigslist vacation rentals: legit or scam?

Thanks for these v helpful answers everyone - even though I was hoping to hear differently! Since I can only afford up to $200/night, I guess I can't go. What a shame.

Lexington, Kentucky
posts: 1
5. Re: Craigslist vacation rentals: legit or scam?

Definitely be careful! Got scammed on a place in Key West. Place existed, but "rentees weren't associated with it in any way! Fortunately, not too bad a place to find yourself stranded and homeless!!! Also, didn't lose any money on the deal as it was all through paypal, but someone made out nicely on them, fleeing with the deposit. Don't know how to advise to protect from this, but there has got to be a creative way to confirm if they are legit. Good luck!

Park City, Utah
posts: 120
reviews: 1
6. Re: Craigslist vacation rentals: legit or scam?

Anyone operating legitimately (be they are large property management firm or an individual owner) has to have a business license with summit county and you can look up their business license at http://bl.summitcounty.org/ . Why I suppose it is possible that they could be scamming the government but not you, if they are willing to cheat the government, good chance they are willing to cheat you. I assume you have their name, go to http://bl.summitcounty.org/ , type it in and you should be able to quickly determine if they (be they from craigslist, vrbo or elsewhere) are legit or not.

Park City, Utah
posts: 120
reviews: 1
7. Re: Craigslist vacation rentals: legit or scam?

also note that while you may need to be a bit flexible (e.g., accept accommodations short drive vs walking or bus to venues) that you can find accommodations for sundance under $200/night, here is one example for $150/night with some sundance nights still available >> www.vrbo.com/388097

Park City, Utah
posts: 120
reviews: 1
8. Re: Craigslist vacation rentals: legit or scam?

Here is another one, rate for full unit during Sundance $349, but it has a lockout, rent only the hotel unit portion and you are likely within budget. Right on bus route, steps to restaurants/entertainment, and Newpark Hotel is rated by Trip Advisor as one of the top 10 properties in Park City. See www.vrbo.com/499857

Park City, Utah
posts: 120
reviews: 1
9. Re: Craigslist vacation rentals: legit or scam?

Slight correction in terms of validating that the person you are renting from is legitimate. If inside the official city limits of Park City which includes Old Town, Prospector, PCMR you will need to call the city of Park City Finance department at (435) 615-5225. Meanwhile for the rest of Park City, including Canyons, Kimball Junction, etc. the Summit County link provided previously (http://bl.summitcounty.org/) is correct and provides an easy means to verify the the person/business you are dealing with is legitimate.

Weaverville, North...
posts: 3
reviews: 1
10. Re: Craigslist vacation rentals: legit or scam?

After doing a lot of research for a trip to Park City over the New Year's holiday, I found that VRBO offered some of the best options and prices, and you could screen from the reviews. If you aren't looking for a "luxurious" unit and are OK with walking or taking public transportation (the buses are free), you can find some reasonable deals.

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