Park City fraud alert: police field rental complaints
December 23, 2014
Some people attempting to rent a place in Park City are not finding the holiday spirit.
The Park City Police Department in recent weeks has fielded complaints about suspected fraud involving rentals, something that is occasionally reported during the ski season.
Some of the cases reported to the Police Department in recent weeks included:
In the Dec. 18 case on Fairway Village Drive, a prospective renter realized the property was not available prior to sending money, Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, said. He said the place was advertised at $2,200 per month with a $1,300 security deposit. The police continue to investigate the case for potential fraud-related charges, Kirk said.
A property-management company apparently reported the Dec. 20 case on Ridge Drive. Kirk said someone at the company saw the online listing and realized the place was not for rent.
It was not immediately clear whether the cases involved advertisements for long-term rentals or for vacation rentals. Park City properties are regularly listed for rent in each of the categories.
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Justin Martinez, a Summit County Sheriff’s Office captain, said he was not aware of similar reports filed at the Sheriff’s Office in recent weeks.
The reports were logged in the early part of the ski season and as the busy Christmas-to-New Year’s stretch approached. Critical parts of the ski season, including the Sundance Film Festival, Presidents Day weekend and spring break, are also periods of heavy rental business.
The Police Department has long suggested prospective renters be careful when they are considering booking lodging online. Kirk said people should ensure a listing is legitimate prior to sending money.
There have been suggestions in the past by the police or the lodging industry that people should book places directly through a property, through a licensed property-management company or via online travel sites like Travelocity.
People with information about the suspected fraud cases may contact the Police Department at 615-5500. The department also operates a tip line, 615-5847. The department offers an online tip form at: http://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=994.
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