Tampa area beach rental companies warn about rental property scam

CLEARWATER, Fla. — A Tampa area beach rental company says they found images of the properties they manage on fake websites that are trying to scam tourists. 

BeachTimeRentals manages 60 properties around the area including spots on Clearwater and Indian Rocks Beach.

The owners tell ABC Action News they recently found images of the properties on a Craigslist posting, with information not linked to them. 

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Scammers can list your home as a rental property

Kenny Hayslett said they don't advertise on Craigslist, and it should be a warning, "So they represent that they are with our company, but they aren't."

The posting on the internet says it went up seven days ago and is advertising an exclusive waterfront vacation rental with five bedrooms on Clearwater Beach.

The ad also states "Christmas deals."

Hayslett said they want to warn tourists and people who are trying to book vacations. 

A big red flag should be if there's no phone number associated with a listing — he suggests you never book a rental by only communicating with someone by text or the internet. 

"They're not going to provide you their contact information," he explained. "They'll only commit through communicating through email or text messages."

Hayslett said you likely never rentals on Craigslist or websites like backpages.com.

Other tips include always booking a rental on your credit card, in case you need to file a fraud claim to get your money back. 

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