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View Full Version : Please Please help, am I being scammed?


LOLA2
06-08-2006, 08:43 AM
I decided to rent a 5 br ppol house in Windsor palms 4 1 week. The Price was $2,750 including security deposit. At first before I signed contract we were communicating all the time trough e-mail no problems. Every time I had a question she would answer it right away. I said several times that when I sent my payment in I would like a receipt. Well I signed contract and sent in all money, minus securit deposit. I emailed her a couple weeks later to make sure she got everything. No reply. I waited about 2 weeks and still nothing so I e-mailed again asking if she has been getting my e-mails and to please call me on my cell to confirm that she has. Well I ended up getting a phone call (messeage) on my cell stating she has received my e-mails and has responded to them. She said there must be something wrong with my e-mail.

Well about a month ago I sent security deposit along with note asking for a receipt that I was paid in full and asked how long before vacation I would get info packet. 2 weeks went by with no receipt and no response but check was cashed. So I e-mailed her again and told her to send me a receipt and to e-mail my husband (instead of me) that she got my message and to call and just confirm she got my e-mail.
Another week goes by and still no response. Of course I am feeling pretty nervous I just gave a ton of money to a stranger and now we are out of touch. I finally told my husband the other day and he said as far as he knows there is no way that I cannot get her e-mails and she is lying.
I do get all other e-mails as I usually do and I check every day, no one else has access or knows my password, and even If they did why would it be only her e-mails that I am not getting. I really don't know what to do at this point. Please give me you feedback. It is also weird that we had good communication up to the point that she received contract and and money, and then at that same time all communication fails. Please help!!!

chrisann
06-08-2006, 08:49 AM
I'm just wondering why you sent her the security deposit after she had already left you hanging regarding the other payment you made? Did you pay through paypal? If you did, I think you might be covered, I'm not sure though.

JANNYANS
06-08-2006, 09:19 AM
Seems a high price for a week to me so I hope you haven't been scammed .
Have you checked on the Osceola property appraisers site that the owners are who they say they are?
http://ira.property-appraiser.org/

you obviously know their name so it should be easy to find them .

There could be many reason the communication has broken down she maybe away herself.
If I can be of help just ask .

LOLA2
06-08-2006, 09:31 AM
Well I pay for things when I have the money. I paid for security deposit because I just wanted it paid off since I had so many other things to save for. It seemed like a nice website see below and I originally saw her home on vr360. I would think these sights do backround checks, but I don't know.

http://www.dsnyhomes.com/

tednvon
06-08-2006, 09:32 AM
Hello, not sure I read correct, but did you send full amount BEFORE the security deposit? If so, how far ahead of the rental did you send the money?
Usually the payment is required somewhere around 3 months prior to rental.

Could you tell us which company or site you found the home. Does it have a web site...was it on a "by owner" site or through a company.

Windsor Hills is a very nice and high end area. The price you paid does sound a little high, however. Did you write a personal check to an individual or a company?

It has been very rare to hear of any reports of scams on rental homes. Some companies have been pretty shady, but the owners direct have been very dependable. I suppose it is inevitable that a smammer could build a web site, market a home, and then just take the money without having a home. I sincerely hope that is not the case with you.

Hopefully, it is just a lazier than most owner who is assuming you don't worry about these things because they don't and feel they have communicated with you regarding the sale, and once the money is in hand, just assume you are a satisfied customer.

Keep us posted as a board like this can really help expose problems if they exist or calm fears if it is just a communication issue...

Ted

LOLA2
06-08-2006, 09:37 AM
I made out check directly to owner and sent in with contract.

Yes I apid full amount then I paid security deposit. I know I did it before I needed to, but I had the money and I wanted it to be paid so I could start paying off other componets of our vacation - cruise , tickets ect.

LOLA2
06-08-2006, 09:39 AM
I am sorry it is Windsor Hills not Windsor Palms. I get comfused because she has house in both subdivisions.

isla bonita
06-08-2006, 09:40 AM
Not sure why your emails would go unanswered except they may be on their own vacation.

I know when we are having fun when we are down I tell everyone I will be away and if they have anything I will get back to them when I get back.

They might have just forgot to let you know but if you would like to check here is the Osceola county tax office website.

http://ira.property-appraiser.org/
press I agree and then put in the name of the owners.

Hope all is well let us know how things turn out.

LOLA2
06-08-2006, 10:00 AM
There were no matches when I typed in her name.

tednvon
06-08-2006, 10:06 AM
Hello again..

I can see why the price is a bit high...those are some fancy homes...looks like Pam markets at least 4 very high end homes...I am guessing she is not the owner but the manager. Even more reason to believe that communication may have slowed after cash in the bank...so the name of the owner may not be available to you, if she is manager, not owner.

...I would call that phone number over and over until I get her...I would tell her nicely that you have really been concerned and very worried. Tell her exactly why so she gets the message that just because she thinks everything is OK, YOU need to be communicated with...

I would be very very surprised if this is a scam...those homes look to me like they are the brainchild of one person who took decorating to the 9's...

By the way, the rates are exactly what you paid, so that is totally on the up and up.

again, call call call and let us know...Ted

LOLA2
06-08-2006, 10:12 AM
Thanks, I will keep you up date.

hanncam
06-08-2006, 10:46 AM
that price seems quite high to me. I have rented several 4 bedroom pool homes with a few minutes drive to disney and the MOST I have ever paid was $1400 for a week....

I am sorry if I am worrying you but everytime I have ever been in contact with people who own their homes I have had no trouble in getting a response. And that includes when I have rented houses that had UK owners...

I hope everything goes well....

JANNYANS
06-08-2006, 10:54 AM
Lola
Does the owner live in TINLEY PARK , IL 60477 - if so I have found her on the county site .

LOLA2
06-08-2006, 11:29 AM
Lola
Does the owner live in TINLEY PARK , IL 60477 - if so I have found her on the county site .


Yes!!

mbb
06-08-2006, 04:27 PM
Why I love these boards :goodvibes
Ya'll are a great help :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

Hope everything is working out okay, Lola!:)

Let us know!!

:sunny:

momof3disneyholics
06-08-2006, 04:55 PM
Just curious, but I am wondering after looking at those pictures how much theft they have from people renting their houses and how do they keep track of things like all those toys and stuffed animals? I wonder if they keep an inventory and check it everytime the rental changes hands? Just a thought because I know I wouldn't want to be liable for all that stuff in those kids bedrooms and playrooms.

isla bonita
06-08-2006, 05:15 PM
We have an inventory and a few things have been taken but for the most part I have had very good renters. One video game was gone and just the case was left. One game was cracked. Not to bad for almost 2 years.

I have a harder time with keeping my pool towels. I try to have cute ones for the kids and I am always missing one but in its place is a new one just not the ones I had in the closet. I can not say they are taken because they are always replaced with new ones.

JANNYANS
06-08-2006, 05:37 PM
It is down to trust momof 3 :) I have loads of toys , games and dressing up clothes for my yopunger guests and have not lost any -in fact my collection has grown.My biggest loss was a table lamp that was part of a set -it obviously got broken byt the management at the time didn't bother to report it to me so I had to replace the lot at my own expense.

I have had the odd towel go missing but nothing major .Renting out myself means I cna build upoa rappor with my guests before they visit .

minnie29uk
06-09-2006, 04:37 PM
Management Companies will check our homes for larger/more expensive items.But on the whole,it is alot of trust.But as others have said,I often return to the villa and find lots of goodies other guests have left behind.
Im sure you'll be fine - have a great holiday,
Lynn

jj1403
06-09-2006, 05:04 PM
Wow, everyone really did some great detective work! I want to everyone where I'm staying just so you can reasure me!!!

grammynelliebelle
06-09-2006, 08:37 PM
Thanks, I will keep you up date.
Lola2- How are you doing? Have you been able to get through to the property owner?/manager. I hope you will hear soon so you can relax and get on with enjoying your planning. :goodvibes We did the home renting for the first time last November and had a great time. I was a little nervous at first sending that money, but all went well and it was one of our best vacations. Hope it is the same for you. Those houses are something else!

DisneyMommyMichelle
06-09-2006, 08:50 PM
Lola i hope all is well!! WAY2GO DISers that helped her out!!

japajsm
06-10-2006, 12:06 PM
Lola, my family is renting a DSNY house this December. I faxed the contract and sent the deposit and did not receive an aknowledgement from the owner or manager that either one had been received. I sent an email asking if they had received the fax and check and received an email saying yes they had and thanking me for the followup.

Has anyone else rented one of these houses? Can you please tell us your experience - good or bad??

Thanks.

isla bonita
06-10-2006, 01:22 PM
Hey japajsm I am also a fellow RIer. We are a little south in EG.

My mom rented one 6 years ago and we loved it so much we bought one almost 2 years ago so that might tell you something. It gives you a lot of room so that your vacation does not end when you go home after the parks every night. Well it does for us any way.

We go out to the pool and enjoy a late night by swimming and playing cards. I am a better texas holdem player but still not good. When I get a good hand I still over bet and every one knows to jusat let me have the pot. Bluffing is not in my vocabulary yet. Sorry went off on a tangent.

It allows you to have a healthy breakfast with out spending lots of $$. Also we plan down days we do not do commando style in the parks. We also have a lot of time to do it we have longer vacations.

I have been known to actually cook on the grill and save $$ for dinner some nights. We have snacks and drinks at all times and it again saves us a lot of $$.

Most homes have something for every one to enjoy there short time there. I think it is a very economical way for a family to go on vacation and really kick back and enjoy each other with extra bathrooms that alone literally save your sanity. We are minutes from the parks and yes even if on site I would never again be with out a car any way. We also get to explore one of the most diverse areas that has something for every one to enjoy.

I do have to say as much as we like WDW we also love the rest that Florida has to offer. That may be a big reason that the villas work so well for us. Honestly last Sept/Oct. we dear I say it never left our pool home. We did go down town Disney to get more parts for our mr. potatoe heads but that is as close to WDW as we came.

One of my renters had WDW tickets that they did not use because their kids wanted to stay in the house and just play. Honest it is true.

With all that pushing the villas they are not for every one and if you are spending a great deal on your vacation, you want it to be to your liking and it is not for every one. If you do decide to try it, if it is not to your liking, you never have to try it again.

LOLA2
06-10-2006, 05:23 PM
I am having a real hard time replying today, something seems wrong with the site hopefully it works!! JAPAJSM - wow now I'm really greaked out. I got your pm but had a hard time replying there so thought I would try here. Have you given Pam your
entire balance, if so what happened? I'm sure you didn't though it is still pretty early.
I will just die if pictures are not same as house, as this is why my kids fell in love with it. I would like to know also if anyone else rented form DSNYand what happened. I
hope I am not being dupped - my husband will never let me rent a house again. I will let you know what happens, it has been almost a week since I e-mailed Pam and I thought I would give it 2 weeks in case she is on vacation. If she does not respond I will fax her where I faxed contract to and then hopefully I will get a response.

MaMa3Princess
06-10-2006, 07:09 PM
:grouphug: LOLA,

I hope that thing start looking up. Eventhough this is very rare occurance most owners are on the up and up, I pray that your is too. My hubby would probably be on the road trying to track this person down if we had ponied up that amount of money and got no response. Like I said, I hope some one pipes in and reassure you that this house is legitimate!! :grouphug:

tednvon
06-11-2006, 10:53 AM
Lola..........CALL HER! 708-525-9167

Web site came up fine for me...An email or fax is not enough, you are losing too much sleep!...Call her today!

I still think that this is way too sophisticated a web site to be a scam...but she does need to understand how to provide "service" as well as a home...

Good luck...Ted

MOMTOMOOTOO
06-11-2006, 12:18 PM
I agree it does not sound like a scam, but maybe she is just busy. I know its not an excuse, but she already has your $ so she is not in a hurry to get back to you.

The pictures look incredible so I am sure you will have a great time. It's a kids dream home :thumbsup2

UKDEB
06-11-2006, 01:22 PM
Lola..........
Web site came up fine for me...An email or fax is not enough, you are losing too much sleep!...Call her today!
I agree, Ted. Lola, why on earth have you not tried to phone?

pamelaperino
06-11-2006, 02:46 PM
Hi Lola,
I am trying to contact you. My name is Pamela Perino and I am the owner of DSNY HOMES. Some one emailed me to check the the things that were being said about us on this discussion board.
I am very confused as to what you are saying as I have no record in our file of having any contact with you. Is it possible that your reservation is under a different name.
I am always available by phone at [EDITED BY WebmasterPete - phone numbers are not permitted] and also email.
Also we have four homes but we do not even own a five bedroom home as all of ours are 6 bedrooms. Is is possible that you have a reservation with another company and confused us with them.
Please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss this matter.
We have an excellent reputation and I am very concerned that future guests may be receiving incorrect information about us.
Kindest Regards,
Pam

LOLA2
06-11-2006, 10:09 PM
Pam first time I ever sent a private message on here, hope it works.

pamelaperino
06-12-2006, 12:11 AM
Dear Lola,
We do have a resveration for you under the name of [EDITED BY WebmasterPete - No personally identifiable information on the open forums please - especially not real names]. When I send out emails I always send myself a copy and put it in the guest's file. To date there are 15 emails to and from you. One of the emails explains that you do not need to pay in full untill 8 weeks before arrival but you said you wanted to pay early even tho the security deposit was all that was required at the time.
The last email contained a receipt that I have emailed two times to you and even the directions and door/alarm codes that I normally do not sent untill a month before because you wanted to know how soon you would get your info package. If my email is undeliverable my server sends me back a notice which never has happened in this case. My phone number and email are not only listed on my website but on all the booking forms as well. My phone is on 24/7.
I do not understand why you chose not to call me if you thought there was a problem. At this time since there is such a lack of communition I feel we should return your payment in full so you can find another home to rent.

In your email you said not to worry because my site will not get a bad name and that probably more people went to our site because of you. Well I disagree with that considering that the question that you asked was whether you were being scammed.
We work very hard to make sure that our guests have wonderful vacations in our homes and our guest books are all filled with positive comments.

I would appreciate your clearing this matter up on the DIS website and let me know how you would like to proceed.
Kindest Regards,
Pam

peigirl
06-12-2006, 03:22 AM
Lola

Maybe your email has a spam filter. I know mine does and if I keep receiving emails with the same subject line, the spam filter will put the email in a junk folder until I OK the sender. Maybe this is why you did not receive the other emails.

Paula

LOLA2
06-12-2006, 08:03 AM
Dear Lola,
We do have a resveration for you under the name of [EDITED TO REMOVE NAME]. When I send out emails I always send myself a copy and put it in the guest's file. To date there are 15 emails to and from you. One of the emails explains that you do not need to pay in full untill 8 weeks before arrival but you said you wanted to pay early even tho the security deposit was all that was required at the time.
The last email contained a receipt that I have emailed two times to you and even the directions and door/alarm codes that I normally do not sent untill a month before because you wanted to know how soon you would get your info package. If my email is undeliverable my server sends me back a notice which never has happened in this case. My phone number and email are not only listed on my website but on all the booking forms as well. My phone is on 24/7.
I do not understand why you chose not to call me if you thought there was a problem. At this time since there is such a lack of communition I feel we should return your payment in full so you can find another home to rent.

In your email you said not to worry because my site will not get a bad name and that probably more people went to our site because of you. Well I disagree with that considering that the question that you asked was whether you were being scammed.
We work very hard to make sure that our guests have wonderful vacations in our homes and our guest books are all filled with positive comments.

I would appreciate your clearing this matter up on the DIS website and let me know how you would like to proceed.
Kindest Regards,
Pam

I pm you

tednvon
06-13-2006, 04:26 PM
Just like Disney...a happy ending!!

Ted

UKDEB
06-13-2006, 05:24 PM
I pm you
So, Lola, why not do as Pam has asked and clear this matter up here, publicly? We've all been through this with you and I, for one, am interested to know how it turns out.

UKDEB
06-13-2006, 05:25 PM
Pam, if it's any consolation, you have come out of this with integrity and credibility in my book.

pamelaperino
06-13-2006, 10:50 PM
Hi Debbie,
Thank you for your kind words. We talked on the phone and I am very happy to say "Lola" and her family are going to be our guests in Oct.
This was really just an email problem and I can certainly understand her concern. I am just glad it all worked out. I love happy endings!
Pam

LOLA2
06-13-2006, 11:26 PM
All is good- thanks everyone for your support and reccomendations on this matter! All is good now, no worries! I will post a review of our trip report in November - but can I just say that I sure do love staying off site at homes, so much more relaxing and space. I can't wait. :thumbsup2

peigirl
06-14-2006, 07:49 AM
Have a happy and magical vacation Lola, I am so glad everything worked out for you. The homes look so beautiful.

Paula

MaMa3Princess
06-14-2006, 07:36 PM
Ya-HOO :cool1:

We love happy endings and please post a review. THat house may be perfect for me and my sis-in-laws family!!!

W

LOLA2
06-14-2006, 10:26 PM
Will do! - and once again thank you to all for your support!!

wisbucky
06-15-2006, 11:28 AM
Dear Lola,
We do have a resveration for you under the name of [EDITED BY WebmasterPete - No personally identifiable information on the open forums please - especially not real names]. When I send out emails I always send myself a copy and put it in the guest's file. To date there are 15 emails to and from you. One of the emails explains that you do not need to pay in full untill 8 weeks before arrival but you said you wanted to pay early even tho the security deposit was all that was required at the time.
The last email contained a receipt that I have emailed two times to you and even the directions and door/alarm codes that I normally do not sent untill a month before because you wanted to know how soon you would get your info package. If my email is undeliverable my server sends me back a notice which never has happened in this case. My phone number and email are not only listed on my website but on all the booking forms as well. My phone is on 24/7.
I do not understand why you chose not to call me if you thought there was a problem. At this time since there is such a lack of communition I feel we should return your payment in full so you can find another home to rent.

In your email you said not to worry because my site will not get a bad name and that probably more people went to our site because of you. Well I disagree with that considering that the question that you asked was whether you were being scammed.
We work very hard to make sure that our guests have wonderful vacations in our homes and our guest books are all filled with positive comments.

I would appreciate your clearing this matter up on the DIS website and let me know how you would like to proceed.
Kindest Regards,
Pam



We do not normally stay off site but have considered it in the past. After seeing that Pam was willing to respond on these boards to this ordeal I feel very confident in pursing her homes to rent. Thanks Pam for going the extra distance and clearing this all up on the boards. I am sure you have gained trust and probably many potential renters here. :banana:

LOLA2
06-15-2006, 05:27 PM
Here are two really cool houses also, I would like to try them at somepoint, but a little expensive.

http://www.mickeysmaingatemanor.com/
http://www.minniesmaingatemanor.com/


Here is where we are staying - i'ts with the kids fireman room.
http://www.dsnyhomes.com/

I think we made a good choice.

Rpsemont
06-15-2006, 05:59 PM
Lola,

Glad it seems that everything is working out. As an item of note, and in response to your original concerns, I thought I would share a little story.
A few years ago I rented points from someone here on the DIS and we have stayed in touch and even gotten together at WDW a couple times.
This past winter, I e-mailed him to see if they were going to be there the same time as us. Got no reply. A couple weeks later tried again. No reply.
Came back from our trip and tried again. No reply. Then one day on my cell phone voice mail is a message from him asking if I'd been getting his e-mails! That he had responded to all of mine. I had him send me another e-mail and send a copy to yahoo address I have. I discovered that his e-mails were going directly into a deleted items folder. I had the MIS dept at work (Since it was my work e-mail that was blocking them) check into it and they couldn't figure out why it was happening. Ultimately we had to remove some filtering rules in order for his e-mails to get through. I still don't know why this made a difference, since I had those same rules in place last year when his e-mails WOULD come through. Sometimes these computers are a real anxiety causer!

HappyCamperToo
06-18-2006, 04:49 PM
So, once one has found a vacation home that meets one's needs, what are the next steps to ensure that there is no "scam." Do payments always take place by sending a check? Wouldn't there be more security for the renter if paid for with a credit card--could dispute charge if home wasn't there, or not what was listed? Even though as had been said almost all deals seem to be reliable...how should the renter protect herself? I saw the link to the property appraisers website. Is checking there one of the steps? What else?
Thanks.

minnie29uk
06-18-2006, 05:23 PM
So, once one has found a vacation home that meets one's needs, what are the next steps to ensure that there is no "scam." Do payments always take place by sending a check? Wouldn't there be more security for the renter if paid for with a credit card--could dispute charge if home wasn't there, or not what was listed? Even though as had been said almost all deals seem to be reliable...how should the renter protect herself? I saw the link to the property appraisers website. Is checking there one of the steps? What else?
Thanks.

Hi!
If you have any concerns - yes,you can check the property appraisers website.
The more conscientious advertising sites offer owner verification schemes - so that can offer the renter peace of mind- like www.lastminutevillas.net
Yes,you can pay by credit card and have the additional security this may provide
I myself have not heard of any renter being scammed?

Regards,
Lynn

JANNYANS
06-19-2006, 01:59 AM
In addition to the property appraiser sites and either a listing site that verifies its owners -there are several around -you can ask for details of the owners management company and ask questions of them.
You could rent a home that someone has recommended to you .
Not all owners will be able to accept cc payments as being an individual the costs are a bit high.

Remember renting a home is a 2 way process which involves trust on the part of both guest and owner and if you take time to build up a relationship with each other by asking/answering questions then it is in most cases a good one .