While the internet has made it easier to book a holiday, it is also being utilised by fraudsters to trick people out of their hard-earned cash.

Criminals are increasingly targeting unsuspecting holidaymakers and businesses who book short-term rental accommodation online, to the extent that the industry has become tainted with fear and doubt.

I-PRAC has pioneered a new industry standard that will make it almost impossible for criminals to operate in this area.

Legitimate rental agencies and property owners pay to be approved by I-PRAC’s official body of industry experts who carry out a robust and in-depth verification process. This involves several stages of checks, including identity, company ownership and bank account details, as well as verification of online platform listings.

Approved members receive a personalised I-PRAC logo and unique ID number to use in their marketing material and on their websites. Travellers can also search for a member’s ID number on the I-PRAC website to verify that they’re a legitimate operator.

While I-PRAC is great for private property owners who have no other way of proving their identity, it is also an extremely useful tool for rental agencies.

Beating fraud

While rental fraud is a bigger problem for private homeowners, it’s not limited to this sector alone. Some fraudsters will go to extreme lengths to carry out their scams. This can involve creating fake rental agency websites, listing several properties they don’t own and even fake Companies House numbers with links to a bogus Companies House page.

These scams often include landline phone numbers that are diverted to mobile phones, making it appear that there is an office location.

I-PRAC is an easy and sure-fire way to prove your identity – and it can’t be faked.

Going the extra mile

Although there are documents you can produce to prove your identity as a rental agency, having I-PRAC approval adds that extra and undisputable layer of security for your customers.

It shows you take their safety seriously and that you have gone the extra mile to provide them a secure service that they can use with confidence.

Increased lead conversion

Rental agencies are often bidding for large contracts with major corporate operations. These potential new clients will contact several rental agencies for a quote. They will be looking for evidence of professionalism, as well as a reasonable price.

Showing that you have I-PRAC approval could therefore be the deciding factor between you and the competition.

Cleaning up the industry

As well as the individual benefits to your business, joining I-PRAC also means you’ll be helping to stop the fraudsters who are harming your industry.

Because of the robust verification processes involved in joining I-PRAC, anyone booking through an I-PRAC approved provider can do so safe in the knowledge that they won’t be conned.

Annual I-PRAC membership is just £899. Find out more about how to join I-PRAC by visiting our rental agencies page.