Sorry to hear that. It's rough out there and I would be really hesitant to rent from anybody I don't have regular contact through one of these forums or through an agency. That's just not for me. I also don't rent much as it's not really worth all the work when you have people dumping their points on the market at $15 per rather than sell off the thing they can't afford anymore.I've been duped out of a small deposit when attempting to rent before. The person used a real name I crossed the given against the Orange County website as having a DVC contract, an email using the same name, and I was given references. I'm pretty in top of this stuff and it was elaborate enough of a con that I did report it to the FBI. The only thing I could have done differently was use paypal merchants. Although I'd rather receive through friends and family if renting out I'd still recommend merchants if you're really unusure.