Fake room rentals take toll on Hawaii tourists - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Fake room rentals take toll on Hawaii tourists

HONOLULU (AP) - If a deal for a Hawaii condominium rental sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Honolulu police say hundreds if not thousands of Hawaii visitors arrive to find out the housing accommodations they spent money on do not exist or belong to someone else.

Police Lt. John McCarthy tells the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that out-of-state scammers use photos from legitimate real estate ads to create fraudulent online ads.

Sacramento, California, resident Brett Westphal was a victim last January. He booked a deal for a Waikiki condo advertised at $80 per night and sent $580 to a Texas address.

He learned it was a scam when he arrived in Honolulu.

Jessica Lani Rich of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii says some people have lost thousands.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly