Beware of fake vacation booking websites masquerading as Airbnb

5 common scams threatening Airbnb users

Airbnb warns of five common scams, which are not unique to its platform.

1. Advance scam: Someone offers to pay you or give you something if you are paying through a service outside of Airbnb.

2. Phishing scam: Someone sends an email or a link that appears to be from Airbnb or another trusted site. Such messages attempt to trick you into providing you with confidential information such as passwords.

Phishing messages can contain malware to gain access to your computer to collect your personal information, including passwords, according to the company.

3. Travel scam: Someone is offering you a good deal on an ad if you pay or send a deposit by wire transfer. After receiving your money, the other party does not deliver the advertised reservation.

4. Overpayment scam: Someone offers to pay the owner (or manager) more than the price of a reservation, then asks them for money to cover the difference.

5. Third party booking scam: Someone offers to book and pay for an Airbnb listing through a third-party website or service, often claiming to have an Airbnb coupon or discount. Typically, these reservations are paid with stolen credit cards.

Airbnb offers cybersecurity tips that are important no matter what company you do business with.

  • Check the address of a website. If Airbnb, for example, is misspelled, the site is wrong. Here’s how to determine if an email or website for Airbnb is legitimate.
  • Look for a lock icon in the browser. You can tell if a website is secure by looking for the little padlock in your browser’s address bar; all Airbnb sites have the icon. If it does not appear in the address bar, your connection to the website is not secure and you do not need to enter any personal information.
  • Beware of threatening tones. Scam emails and websites often have an urgent tone and threaten account suspension, loss of a reservation, or delayed payment if you don’t click a link or provide certain information immediately.

If you have any doubts about the authenticity of an email, log into your Airbnb account and go from there, the company says.

Also, report bogus websites to Airbnb and if you have interacted with a scam site or are concerned about your account security, contact them here.

At BrandShield, Keren says travelers have become conditioned to shop for specials and last-minute deals online, but he prefers to deal with hotels and airlines on websites he thinks are really theirs. . While he might miss a discount, the peace of mind he bought is well worth it.

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