Airbnb is becoming an increasingly popular way to see the world without having to worry about booking a room in a hotel. Airbnb offers travelers the opportunity to stay in someone’s home, thereby saving money and enjoying a more personal touch to their vacation.
Unfortunately, some travelers have fallen victim to Airbnb scams that result in them losing a lot of money and missing out on their much-needed vacation.
Fraudsters have targeted Airbnb, attempting to persuade people to make payments via a bank transfer rather than through the website. Victims realize a little too late that they have been the target of a scam. In some cases, victims have turned up to a property expecting to stay there, only to find that the genuine owner knows nothing about the arrangement.
Ronald Noble, founder of RKN Global, urges anyone who plans to book accommodation through Airbnb to stick to the website’s terms and conditions, and to send payments only through the website.
Fraudsters also might place fake advertisements on the Airbnb website and send out emails that seem to be authentic. The good news is that would-be travelers can protect themselves from falling victim to scams– but the worry is that not everyone has the ability to spot a scam.
In one such case, a marketing executive from London was convinced to part with almost £800 by talking to someone through what appeared to be Airbnb’s chat service. The British executive discovered a little too late that the authentic website does not have this feature, and that she had in fact lost all of her money.
Those wishing to book accommodation via Airbnb should make sure they always communicate via the website, regardless of whether they are offered a better deal elsewhere. The people behind genuine advertisements will never ask you to make a payment via a bank transfer, or ask you to contact them via email.
Airbnb works to protect potential guests by handling communications through their platform. Anyone communicating outside of the platform may not be eligible for a refund if they fall victim to a scam.