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Warning!

Atlanta, GA
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11 posts
2 reviews
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Warning!

If you are thinking about renting a vacation apartment in Amsterdam, be aware of any owner that requires you to pay by a wire transfer. Although I felt that I checked out every detail, I was scammed $2500 I paid for a rental. These people are professionals. They know exactly what to say and do to get you to sign their fake contract and get your money. I only figured out what had happened two weeks before leaving for my trip when I couldn't contact the owner to make arrangements for checking in. I learned a hard lesson. ONLY pay by credit card. I will never recover my money.

Fort Worth, Texas
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
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14,204 posts
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1. Re: Warning!

$2500?...were you going to stay a month?. what is the outfit you were dealing with?...there are many legitimate apartment brokers in amsterdam that include wire transfer as one method of payment. so throwing a blanket statement out there to NEVER do a wire transfer is unfair to these other companies.

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
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16,003 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Warning!

Good grief.

How come some people never seem to find this forum so as to do their needed home work-----before they pay their money?

But seem to easily find the forum to complain------after they have been taken.

Boat, you may think you did your homework before sending off you $2500-----but your lack of asking for vetting info here belies that fact.

I agree with Steve a little actual info may help the next member.

Iowa
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10,252 posts
40 reviews
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3. Re: Warning!

Legitimate or not. Why would anyone wire money to another country? It's sending cash to a stranger.

If you had done any 'homework' at all you would not have wired money to anybody.

Did you ask why they wouldn't take PayPal or a credit card for a secure transaction?

Haarlem, The...
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1,714 posts
314 reviews
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4. Re: Warning!

I'm sorry you lost that much money to thieves.

People on this website can be so harsh. He has just lost a lot of money and of course realizes his mistake. I think it's good that he came here to post, not to complain but as a warning (as the title says). It's a fresh reminder to be careful.

Amersfoort, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
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7,807 posts
44 reviews
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5. Re: Warning!

It is quite routine, when renting an apartment, to be asked for money up front. There is nothing wrong with that.

In the vast majority of cases the renters are reliable and reputable but there are always scammers around. I have found them to be particularly prevalent on Craigslist which is why I never recommend that as a source for apartment rental.

The rule for anyone is to check in advance, either here or elsewhere, BEFORE parting with any money.

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
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16,003 posts
14 reviews
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6. Re: Warning!

You may think this is harsh. But we can do nothing for the OP as far as getting their money back. Saying how bad we feel will do nothing as far as making them feel better.

Others though may read this thread and-----remember.

The OP is not the first nor the last to lose money to a scam. If in fact that is what has happened.

With no information at all provided----its impossible to tell what happened.

Do your homework before you book. And certainly before you send off your money

Iowa
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10,252 posts
40 reviews
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7. Re: Warning!

There is nothing wrong with paying a deposit or maybe even more up front. I rented a houseboat apartment and had to pay 30% as a deposit thru PayPal. This was acceptable.

Paying $2500 cash up front in a wire transfer is surely not routine.

london
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1,284 posts
11 reviews
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8. Re: Warning!

I'm a long term regular on the TA in various countries and been to meetings in Spain to chat with other members, we all agree that on first instant look at how many posts have been sent before and on this case I see 2, I rest my case.

New Orleans...
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269 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: Warning!

The OP would have more credibility if he listed some details. How or where did he find the rental? Where did he send or wire the money? What was the name of the outfit.....etc. No one wants to lose money but details are very important. I have wired funds for apts & houseboats with no problems, but only to established rental agencies.

Atlanta, GA
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11 posts
2 reviews
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10. Re: Warning!

I found the listing on the website compareaway.com (which no longer exists) There were several reviews and many pictures. It was for a 3 bedroom/3 bathroom apartment located at 87 Damrak St. in Amsterdam. The building had an elevator and was on one level. One person in our group is mildly handicapped so finding a place on one level was important to me. My friends and I were staying for 13 days. The owner's name was listed as Juan Antonio Diaz Rodriguez.. There was a phone number listed and I called him twice to ask questions (as well as numerous emails). I left my number and he returned my calls within a few hours. Of course, he was very nice and very accomodating. The total cost was over $3000 so he offered if I paid the full amount up front, he would discount it 20%. My son happened to be in Amsterdam on business, so I asked him to find the location of the apartment just to make sure it indeed existed. He found it (above Kentucky Fried Chicken) and felt it was a great location and was a nice building. I was very concerned that I had to pay by wire transfer but he convinced me that was common in Amsterdam, so I agreed to do so. He sent me a contract, which he had signed, I signed, and returned. I have copies of two weeks of emails between the two of us and there is absolutely nothing in any of them to indicate this was not a legitimate listing. I am not inferring that all owners who require payment by wire transfers are not legitimate, I'm only warning people about my experience. Yes, I could have done some things differently (I should have just paid the deposit and not the full amount) but I'm not sure what else I could have done. I felt I had the website company (compare away) behind the listing so I trusted the owner. Obviously, Juan owned the website also because as soon as he received my money, the website disappeared. Lesson learned...and trip to celebrate my 60th birthday ruined.