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District Attorney Vern Pierson Issues Public Service Announcement “Enjoy Tahoe, But Don’t Be Conned” Dave Stevenson (530) 303-2411 2016-03-24 District Attorney


The El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office announces a Public Service Announcement video to educate the public on ways to avoid being conned when you choose to rent a vacation home on line.

El Dorado County is a vacation destination with its beautiful lakes and rivers, award winning wineries and year round fun in South Lake Tahoe. However, scammers have found a way to commit fraud and spoil your vacation. This video gives you some “dos and don’ts” when it comes to renting your dream vacation home.

Scammers have created fake websites, reviews and have even copied other websites making their site look legitimate. Scams have included other vacation rental homes, vacant homes, and homes that are currently being lived in by the owner. Recent statistics reveal that this fraudulent criminal behavior is on the rise with losses in the millions

Although these cases can be difficult to investigate and prosecute, our office employs a Real Estate Fraud Investigator to handle these complaints. This Investigator uses advanced tracking tools, internet collaboration with allied agencies and the private sector, coupled with search warrants, which have been very successful in the identification of suspects.

District Attorney Vern Pierson commented, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and this is why we are encouraging people to watch our video and use these few basic steps before renting a vacation home.

  • Use a rental company with a local address and a published phone number with a tried and true history;
  • Use a credit card that will protect you for the initial payment;
  • Speak with the person via the phone and confirm ownership through the County Assessor's Office;
  • NEVER wire money anywhere including a legitimate bank account; and,

Please watch the video at: and view our blog at