Airbnb, tips to avoid online scams that ruin the holidays

Airbnb, tips to avoid online scams that ruin the holidays


From the trap of the wire transfer to the clone-sites to the users who forget the ads: the tips to stay away from the rip-offs, according to the portal for short rentals and the Postal Police

(Photo: Pixabay) fear scams on Airbnb, there is only one defense strategy: use Airbnb. Paradoxical? Not so much: the rip-offs related to the portal that helps manage short-term rentals usually occur once you leave the official website and venture into private negotiations, perhaps using other pages. This is where the scam usually starts: officially the cases of security problems reported on Airbnb in 2019 are, in fact, only 0.05%. Keep your eyes open, therefore, when you navigate outside the waters of the portal: in 2020, with the outbreak of the pandemic, the reports on the website of the Postal and Communications Police grew by 142% compared to the previous year. But in the second summer at the time of Covid-19 there could also be bins, so to speak, involuntary. After so many months of hiatus it is possible that some hosts have forgotten to update the booking calendar and may not rent anymore. Better, therefore, to check the date of the last review, advised by Airbnb, to find out if he has already had guests after the months of the red zone, and once the reservation is made, contact him directly to make sure that everything is confirmed.

Keep an eye on profiles and reviews

Most of the problems, we said, occur outside the official Airbnb website, where in addition to the assistance indications there are a series of safeguards. Payments, for example, are all tracked and those who rent the house receive the money only 24 hours after the guests have arrived, so that any problems can be reported immediately. In addition to the scam itself (i.e. the proposal to rent a house that, once on site, it turns out no longer exists), there are also other obstacles that the assistance service helps to overcome, usually with a refund: it can happen that find accommodation that is not clean and unsafe from a hygienic point of view, a landlord who does not undertake to fix a serious problem, an apartment that does not correspond to the description and photos, a promised service (from air conditioning to the possibility of bring animals with you) which is non-existent. To prevent such situations, the advice is to choose well who will host us, studying their profile. Better to opt for those with high scores (from 4.5 upwards), good reviews, a long experience as a host (better to forget the users created a few days ago). For newbies to the site, it is better to aim for superhosts, i.e. guests who have the certification given by the site to those who are more reliable, through a badge. Also pay attention to the announcement, which is clear and detailed. In any case, the Airbnb assistance service is always active.

The trap of the wire transfer

(Photo: Pexels) Nothing, however, can ruin a holiday as much as arriving at the address where there should be the chosen (and paid for) house and find nothing. Scams of this type usually take place off the Airbnb site and follow a fairly established pattern, called the brain on the run. How does it work? Contact takes place via other ad and rental sites or from the official portal, the winking tenant proposes to communicate via email to save a little. Right from the start, the potential host proves to be considerate and very professional, justifying the imperfect Italian of the communications by saying that he is a foreigner. He explains that he is abroad at the moment and therefore proposes to use Airbnb, with which he collaborates and does business, as a tool to safely complete the booking: to welcome you upon your arrival you will find someone in charge of him. At this point he sends you a link to proceed with the booking: here the catch is triggered. The page you land on is fake: it was rebuilt by copying Airbnb graphics and structure but it is a fake. You can already see it from the link: the real and safe ones all have the same structure, namely:, where the x is a progressive number that identifies the ad (a variant can be the .com instead of .it). The page that is sent to you is instead a scam: step by step it takes you to the reservation that requires payment by bank transfer. Here the alarm must go off: Airbnb never asks for wire transfers, but uses tools such as credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal and Postepay. Once you get paid, the scammer will send you perfectly credible receipt emails. Then it will disappear.

The pandemic effect

The main advice to stay away from fraud, therefore, is one: stay on the Airbnb website, avoiding making arrangements and making payments to the outside. And check carefully the links of the ads (even when you open them from a smartphone) that are sent, because they could be clone-sites so well done as not to raise suspicions. An extra security? Starting from the images of the ad, do the reverse search through Google (here is explained how) to make sure that they are not photos taken from another ad and used to deceive you. While to avoid surprises on Airbnb, as we have said, choose hosts that have already been recognized as trustworthy by other users, who have left good reviews (in fact, the reviews are not made to the single house, but to the owner who could rent more accommodations. ). And given the particular period we are experiencing, one more tip: after so many months of inactivity, there are those who may have totally forgotten that they have posted an ad on Airbnb. Therefore, after booking (especially if there is direct booking that is not managed manually by the host), write or call to make sure that the apartment is still available after Covid. You will avoid a cold shower that could ruin your holiday.

Web - 26 Jun

Why hackers increasingly attack hospitals

It is not a brilliant idea to publish the photo of the green pass on social networks

In memory of John McAfee


Airbnb Estate Hacker Travel globalData.fldTopic = "Airbnb, Summer, Hacker, Travel"

This opera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Powered by Blogger.