Are you looking for a cheap summer vacation rental? Whether you want a private home, a condo, or an apartment rental, you can usually find it on Unfortunately, you will also find vacation rental scams. These scams are all over the internet, not just on Craigslist. How can you protect yourself?

Use your best judgment. You may be surprised far common sense goes when it comes to spotting a scam. Avoid vacation deals for rentals that are just too good to be true. Are all other Las Vegas rentals at least $500 a night? Why is only one $100 a night? It might be the sign of a scam. Many of us mistakenly believe that frauds aim higher. With a lower “fake,” price, more travelers fall victim. In the end, it means more money for the frauds.

Use an online map to bring up the vacation rental address. A number of interactive maps online, including those offered by Yahoo and Google, allow you to switch to a satellite view. You can see the building in question. Take the address of the vacation rentals and look it up on the map. Make sure a similar building is there. Is there a vacant lot or a trailer park instead of condos? Many times, scammers steal pictures from real owners online. They then use those pictures and typically make up an address. That is why you should always check the address on an interactive map with a satellite view first.

For the best luck searching vacation rentals on Craigslist, search popular vacation destinations. When many internet users use, they select their state and city. If you live in New York and want to travel to Florida, you may find Disney tickets offered by local sellers, but you are unlikely to find rentals listed. You will find Florida vacation rentals listed under Florida. Don’t miss out on a good deal just because you were looking in the wrong place.

Since Craigslist does not allow multi-city searches, you would need to visit each Florida city page independently to search. Don’t do this; it wastes time. Instead, download the a search tool to save time. Search multiple cities, entire states, or all of Craigslist to find good deals on rentals. Just be sure to keep the above mentioned scam spotting tips in mind when doing so.