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    Data at Risk

    With the prevalence of fraud and internet hacking, how do you ensure your organization plays it safe on the web?

    There is fraud risk everywhere on the internet, and with their skyrocketing popularity, vacation rental websites are no exception. If you are a vacation rental homeowner or property manager, and use an online marketplace to rent out your vacation home, it’s important not to take the platform’s security measures for granted. While advanced technology can usually spot fraudsters, there are also actions that you should take to ensure that you do not become another fraud statistic, or be taken advantage of by your renters looking for loopholes in your rental contract.

    To see if you are maximizing security measures to prevent being victimized, take this short quiz on the vacation home rental process. To discover the reasoning behind the answers listed at the bottom of the page, check out the VRMA blog (vrma.org/blog).

    1. You have listed your vacation home online and chose to use the online marketplace’s rental agreement. What is your next step?

    A. Accept the agreement’s terms and move on; it’s the marketplace’s job to police these transactions. If something goes wrong, it’s on them to make it right.
    B. Double-check the agreement to make sure the financial numbers are fair and then accept.
    C. Go through the agreement with a fine-tooth comb, to the point of memorization.
    D. Find a lawyer to help you decipher the terms and conditions of the agreement.

    2. You receive an online request from a prospective renter. The renter seems to be credible and provides a credit card for payment. What is your next step?

    A. Accept the payment. You listed this property to make money, not to care where the money comes from.
    B. Perform a background check. You want to cover all of your bases.
    C. Ask a couple smart follow-up questions to make sure this person is a good fit. Remember, a renter has a lot of options, so you don’t want to blow a transaction by taking up too much time deciding on them.
    D. Request an interview in person or via Skype before renting. You want to make sure your renters are who they say they are.

    3. You’ve accepted the renter’s payment, and they are set to arrive at your vacation rental home. What is your next step?

    A. Leave the key under the mat and leave them to it.
    B. Give them your contact info and tell them to check in with you when they’ve arrived.
    C. Pop by and meet them.
    D. Ask for further proof of identity.

    4. Everything checks out. Then:

    A. It’s OK to spend the money they gave you right away. You did your due diligence.
    B. Check your cash reserves and expenses before deciding what to do with the money.
    C. You’re free to spend that money once you’ve checked over the place after their stay and nothing is damaged.
    D. Wait six months before spending the money. 



    1. C
    2. B
    3. B and C
    4. B
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