How to avoid being scammed in Ballito is one of the very popular questions we have clients ask us. Its very hard to pick up on the scam artists of today as they are becoming so convincing at going to great lengths to make their accommodation look real. Over the years we have learnt how to spot the scammers – even if you are wrong, you would rather be safe than sorry.
Here, we have put together 5 tips to make sure you don’t fall prey to a scam artist:
- Are you booking off Gumtree, Olx, Junkmail, Facebook? These advertising platforms have no verification process. Anyone can literally copy an agency post and make up their own advert. If you are booking off these advertising platforms, don’t be scared to ask an ‘owner’ for some sort of proof that the unit is in fact there’s. (A utility bill, sale agreement etc).
- Many owners go through Accommodation Agencies to market their unit or house and of course to get bookings and deal with clients so that the owners don’t have to deal with clients directly. If you are booking through an agency, always check that they have a legitimate website, a bank account in the agencies name, an office address, a work email and telephone number.
- Make sure you receive terms and conditions. Any owner or agency will make sure that they are covered with a full set of terms and conditions, with a cancellation policy.
- Are you being invoiced properly? You should be invoiced off a proper invoicing system. Although some owners may invoice you off an excel spreadsheet, make sure that all the correct information is there. Ask yourself these questions:
Does this invoice look professional?
Is there a 50% deposit required?
Is there enough information being presented to me?
Are you being charged a booking fee and breakage deposit?
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions!! Ask everything you can about the accommodation! The address, cleaning details, DSTV details, ask the owner what there is to do in the area, ask about which beach they would recommend or what restaurant they like. Anyone who owns a property in Ballito will easily be able to answer these questions. If you can, ask these questions directly over the phone to catch them off guard.
We cant stress enough to do your research! These are just a few ways to make sure you are booking accommodation that is legitimate. Don’t fall into the trap that many trusting and unsuspecting clients do and they don’t even know it until they get to the ‘key collection’ spot and there is nothing and no one with that name.read more