Be sure to use only trusted service providers when you are booking a holiday villa.
Unfortunately, many holidaymakers have been duped by fraudulent websites created by scammers.
These sites offer what appear to be dream deals, but often the rental holiday homes do not exist or are already booked through legitimate channels and they don’t have any real contact.
ECOIBIZA is committed to raising awareness about this problem to ensure that people receive the holidays they deserve.
Here is our guide on how to book your villa holiday safely.
Verify that the holiday company is a Travel Agency or Real Estate Agency and should belong and be registered in Associations such as AVIBA (Association of Travel Agencies of the Balearic Islands +34 971 72 22 44), or that of the Community that belongs) or API, ApIbiza (from Real Estate +34 971302911), to the Association of AVAT (Tourist Housing Association +34971302911), to PIMEEF (Small and Medium Enterprises of Ibiza and Formentera), Ibiza Luxury Destination (+34 971302490). These companies will protect you from losing your money or being stranded abroad or in Spain if you have flight reservations; the Tourist Offices of the town where you want to go can inform you. In Ibiza, the telephone number is +34 34 971 399232. ECOIBIZA, like all consolidated companies, displays prominently the logos of the Associations to which they belong, which you can ensure, by calling them, to be a company completely legal and safe.
Be careful when paying by bank transfer since most fraudulent websites only request bank transfers, and once the money has been transferred, there is no way to get it back. Never pay your holiday by bank transfer unless you are sure who you are paying and what it is for. The name of the Company, Agency or Real Estate appears.
Are all payments by credit card safe? NO. If you pay by credit card, you may have protection under section 75 of the credit card law, but that only applies in certain circumstances in which the credit card company has a direct relationship with the provider of your holiday accommodation.. Some scammers will allow you to pay by credit card, but they will ask you to pay a third party to accept credit cards, and then, following their instructions, the company will transfer the funds directly to an account to which the scammers have told them to send to In this case, the company that paid by credit card did nothing wrong and your money is not protected.
Who do you really pay? A fake website may have copied the legitimate details of a company, so when you check the address and details of the company, everything seems correct. The scammers then ask you to “pay the owner directly” and send a transfer to an account that has someone’s personal name, which has nothing to do with the genuine company.
Research if the website been created recently? Use domain name registrations on sites like Nominalia and see when the websites were registered. If you registered only a few months ago, however, they will state that they have been established for many years. In addition, they can show reviews, opinions of clients before that date; This is an important warning sign. BUT, even if the domain name for the website was established many years ago, do not take it as proof alone that they have been in business for a long time. Criminals can wait until an old domain name is not used to expire naturally, and then request it to take care of it, so it seems that they have been operating for a long time.
They appear at the top in an Internet search engine searches, it must be fine! NO! Many scammers pay companies such as Internet search engines (“pay per click” advertising campaigns) to appear on page 1 of Internet search engines for common searches, such as “Villas de Mallorca”, “Villas of the Canary Islands », etc. While Internet search engines help eliminate these ads, it can be a lengthy process before scammers are detected and removed.
Contact numbers: some fake websites do not have phone numbers, or if they do, they only have mobile phone numbers. Some show a “normal” telephone number but these tend not to be area specific (the equivalent in the United Kingdom of a 0345 number), so you cannot see where they are. Request a local phone number to talk with them and a scanned copy of your phone bill. None of the scammers want to give a phone number that sets the location where they are.
Verify the business address Some fake sites do not have an address, or the address they gave is invented. If in doubt, look at the address in Google Street View, can you see any sign of that company there? Can you contact someone close to you who can confirm that there is an office there and that they are who they say they are?
Examine the image of the site As these are fake websites, all content on the site will be false and will be taken from other legitimate sites. Upload an image using Google image search of the villa and company employees to see if they have been copied from original sites. Some scammers will also “flip” the images so they are not in a search. Use the FlipAPicture website to “flip” the images horizontally and then search for them. If you find them elsewhere, contact and ask that company.
But they have a money back guarantee! Remember, everything on the website will be a lie
Lower prices, too much availability Do you have a lot of availability in high season? Are the prices lower than what you can find elsewhere? Start by asking for something that is virtually impossible, for example, a mid-week outing in high season for a duration of 17 nights in a large villa. It would be highly, very unlikely to be really available.
But there can’t be many villa websites to make false claims? Well, we have found around 100 fake websites that clearly made false statements and many of them are still active. Be careful not to confuse them with genuine companies that have similar names. Scammers try to use similar names and phrases that genuine companies use. Below are some examples of websites that have done this, it is not a complete list.
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