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Issues with a rental through VRBO - any advice would be appreciated

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Hi everyone. I've been planning my dream vacation to Europe for the past two years. The first stop is a week in London. Last year after much research and debate I selected what I thought was the perfect rental in London. The owners were very responsive, the unit had good feedback, etc. I signed a rental agreement and paid for 25% of the total rental price to hold the unit.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. The remaining 75% of the rental price was due April 1st so I contacted them two weeks ago to confirm their e-mail address for the Paypal payment. They didn't reply. I had to send them a total of 3 messages to get a response from them, in which they told me that the unit was no longer available but that they had another one that was. It wasn't as nice as the first one but I agreed to the swap, pending their response to a couple of questions I had. It turns out that the other unit isn't theirs, but belongs to a friend. And per VRBO, it's not available for 1/2 of the time that I'm going to be in London. Naturally I contacted the people I was dealing with about this. And, no surprise, they stopped replying to me.

It's now been 5 days, during which I've sent 4 messages with no response. I've told them that I want a refund of the payment I sent them and they've ignored me. The trip was not registered with VRBO's guarantee program because it wasn't paid for in full yet and because I don't leave for another 6 weeks. I'm not one to just let people steal money from me, though, and I'm more than willing to file complaints/legal action with any applicable agency, including the Internet Crime Complaint Center. The unit is in London but the owners are in Australia so I'm not 100% sure which police department (maybe both?) to make a theft/fraud report with.

Have any of you dealt with something like this before? How did you handle it? Did you get your money back? Thanks in advance for any advice/tips - they're greatly appreciated.

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