Spotlight on – Rental Scams
When selecting a vacation rental – ONLY work with established private owners or property management companies on St John. Here’s why …
May 2013 – Craigslist USVI – posted under apts/housing for rent is Posting ID: 3792287094. The description and pictures are too good to be true. Constructed of island stone and mahogany – this 720 sq’, 2BR/2BA, has a heated pool and views of Reef Bay and Rams Head. At just $1300 it would be an absolute steal …literally!
The problem is that the property is actually a 2800 sq’ luxury villa listed for sale by Seaglass Properties for $2,250,000. A call to Seaglass confirmed our suspicions – they don’t know anything about the posting on Craigslist! No doubt the staff at Seaglass will follow up to ask that the listing be pulled.
We were curious to see who might be behind the scam. Turns out it is someone calling themselves Soba C. Victor the same person attempting a similar scam in Panama under the name Victor C. Soba! He requests personal information and a $500 deposit before he sends a set of keys to your new place!
Thanks to an eagle-eyed reader that alerted us to the scam posting, this would-be “teef” probably won’t get anybody’s money. But let it be a lesson to anyone planning to vacation on St John – “too good to be true is probably just that …”
So who can I trust?
If you’re looking for a rental villa on St John we DO NOT suggest searching VRBO, FlipKey or HomeAway. They offer lots of listings – BUT, you’ll pay a 4% – 15% “guest service fee” and have to weed out listings that aren’t on St John ( because they’re featured listings from St Thomas!). We strongly suggest you contact one of St John’s respected property management companies to assist in your search. They’ll likely have just what you’re looking for – or can offer up a suggestion or two.
On-island villa rental and property management sites: