We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.


Which Poipu hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Spruce Grove, Canada
posts: 65
reviews: 14

I have the chance to rent a condo via VRBO. I sent the usual generic e mail and the price is excellent etc - how can I find out if the person I am dealing with is legit - he says he si the owner - any way of finding out - suggestions please.

Huntington Beach...
posts: 663
reviews: 10
1. Re: vrbo

I have rented many properties thru vrbo, and have never had any problem. However, even if the site screens all of its users there is still a chance of a scam. Here are a few things to look for - If the owners only contact with you is by e-mail, or wants the entire payment up front, I would be a little wary. Or if they don't use some sort of formal written rental agreement, that would raise a red flag. One of the best things to do is check the ad carefully to be sure it looks legit, and also see if there are any reviews of the unit in question here on TA before you purchase.

Spruce Grove, Canada
posts: 65
reviews: 14
2. Re: vrbo

Yes there is no phone number only e mail the e mail is to a rental agency and when I questioned the price he said it was because he owned it and there would be not commission. He also said he was carfree member but again who knows. I will try and check out the particular unit here in TA Thanks for your response.

Moorpark, California
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Catalina Island
posts: 12,911
reviews: 46
3. Re: vrbo

The forum might be able to help you with this. A lot of us know the rentals in Poipu very well.

Atlanta, GA
posts: 105
reviews: 15
4. Re: vrbo

Are there any reviews for this property? I'd say it is a red flag if there are not any reviews (unless it was just listed).

posts: 7,608
reviews: 27
5. Re: vrbo

Here is a helpful piece from the Vrbo/Homeaway site that addresses Security, FAQs etc



Those owners that offer payments to be made through "Reservation Manager" are ideal as this offers a free of charge fraud protection of $10,000

Having said all that....no phone number on the listing.....I would move on. The vrbo website even recommends for the traveller to contact them if there is not an owner's Ph # listed.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
posts: 28,641
reviews: 35
6. Re: vrbo

If you will share the link to the property, that would be helpful. :)

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Tucson
posts: 2,680
reviews: 69
7. Re: vrbo

We have rented many times through VRBO on Kauai and have never had a problem. But we always do our homework. Others have already given you some good tips, but here is one more: Ask the owner for references from people who have actually stayed there. If they aren't willing to give you that information, look elsewhere.

posts: 27,904
reviews: 89
8. Re: vrbo

You are probably fine, but google the condo or the name of the owner and I bet other things will pop up on the internet. It might be a facebook page or other ways they rent their condo. Ask for references of past guests and call them. If you don't feel comfortable with the arrangements there are other ways to find a rental.

posts: 62
9. Re: vrbo

We own a VRBO and have scammers  approach us and we also have guests who want to confirm our identity.  

1.  I agree with the above posters that googling and reviews are a very good source of info.  If it "feels off," it is.  

2.  Your owner has a rental agency email.  He should be able to provide a phone number, name and physical location of a legitimate rental office and there should be a website, other staff, etc. that you can verify.  

3. If your arrival date is within 60 days you may legitimately be asked to pay in full.

4.  Also, if this person owns it, that name will show on the Hawaii property tax records.  It isn't foolproof, as a scammer can use that name,  but it's another piece of info you can use.  For Hawaii Tax records search:


5.  You could also ask for the Temporary Vacation Rental permit number and find out the owner of record and contact info from the County of Kauai:  http://www.kauai.gov/default.aspx?tabid=61

6.  The State of Hawaii recently passed HB 2078 which requires all vacation rentals to provide on their listing on-island contact info (not necessarily the owner) and provide that info and a list of all websites the property is listed on to the applicable HOA or condo association.  The owner should be able to steer you to that third party HOA and they should have the same


7.  A VRBO owner is also to have a Hawaii business license and Hawaii tax ID, both of which may provide additional info.  As per HB 2078, the tax ID is to be posted on the listing.  

To search tax IDs, business or owner name: https://dotax.ehawaii.gov/tls/app

To search business licenses:


ON, Canada
posts: 10,088
reviews: 34
10. Re: vrbo

<<"Yes there is no phone number only e mail the e mail is to a rental agency">>

Does the rental agency have a website with a phone number?

<<"He also said he was carfree member...">>

What is that ?