The Better Business Bureau is putting out a warning to Mainers who might be tempted by vacation rentals and timeshares that seem to good to be true. You know where this is going…

In our desperation to escape the Maine winter weather and all of the back-breaking heart attack inducing hard work that goes with it, we might make an uninformed travel choice.

Here is some important vacation rental information for you. Read it twice if you are toying with the idea of a rental that you found online.

  • Never pay upfront to someone claiming to be able to sell your vacation spot or timeshare for you. They will claim to have buyers lined up, you'll pay and they will disappear.
  • Check out the property on Google maps to see what it really looks like. Verify how close it is to where you want to be, like the beach.
  • Check BBB.org for online reviews.
  • Being asked to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card are also red flags, it's just like paying in cash. At least if you pay with a credit card you can dispute the charge if it turns out to be a scam.
  • Scammers will create a sense of urgency, hoping you will buckle and send them money before doing research on the property. If the price is way below other options in the area, be suspicious.