Christmas holidays; Beware of these scams on Airbnb

What should you take care not to step on it during your Christmas holidays?

shutterstock 60021220 airbnb, Scams, Vacations, Travel, Christmas

Christmas is approaching and most of us want to travel again, while following the precautionary measures that countries have put in place regarding the pandemic. COVID-19.

And of course travel also means finding accommodation. While some like to arrange their travel through travel agencies and choose to stay in a hotel, others want to get to know the cities they are visiting by staying in accommodation located in modern, authentic neighborhoods that can be booked through services such as Airbnb.

However, before you rush to book this comfortable and adorable accommodation, you need to be careful with the scams you may encounter along the way.

According to experts from the global cyber security company ESET, these are some key points that you should be careful not to be deceived when booking accommodation on Airbnb.

Payments outside the Airbnb platform

Finally, you have found where you will stay for the vacation of your dreams. The photos look good, they are close to the sights you would like to visit or it is located in a nice neighborhood and generally everything looks great. However, once logged in the hosts try to persuade you to contact and pay outside the Airbnb platform. This should immediately alarm you, as everything should be done through the app itself, if nothing else for the reason that the service provider has no obligation to reimburse charges paid outside of its platform.

Even Airbnb itself warns of such scams and urges customers to immediately report hosts requesting payments outside the platform.  So if this happens, refuse to work with the host and contact Airbnb to resolve the issue.

An excellent offer, click on the link

Most of us travel either for business or leisure. And travel is even more attractive after some restrictions are lifted COVID-19, something fraudsters know very well. Therefore, it is very likely that fraudsters will present themselves as Airbnb in an attempt to defraud unsuspecting victims and steal their access and personal information. You may receive an email that looks like a genuine Airbnb email and advertises a great offer.

However, if you click on the link, it will either redirect you to a fake login page and once you enter your credentials the fraudsters will get them, or you may download malware to your device.

While most email services are now more than capable of filtering out these types of scams, some phishing emails may be out of control. So if you ever receive an unsolicited email, especially one that contains a link or attachment, do not click on it. To see the full URL, you can hover over the link to see where it redirects, and to stay safe, it's best to go straight to the official Airbnb website by typing it into your browser's address bar.

Apartments that are too good to be true

As you search the Airbnb platform for the perfect Christmas holiday rental, you may come across offers that will drive you crazy at first glance. These are usually luxury homes, in classy locations at ridiculously low prices - imagine a villa on the French Riviera for a few hundred dollars a night. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it probably is - most likely you will have fallen for a scam and you should definitely avoid booking.

However, if you decide that you want to take your chances, it's best to do your research. The first thing you could do is Examine the area where the apartment or house is located and analyze the average rental rates to see if they are unusually low. Another option is to reverse the image to see what is displayed - you may find that the images have been stolen from another website, which means that the offer or property is probably fake. If your suspicions are confirmed, you should report them immediately to Airbnb.

Beware of fake reviews

As you hunt for the accommodation of your choice, you will probably be looking for the combination of best price, location and comfort. This usually requires a lot of searching and research on the reviews made by previous tenants. While you're looking for great accommodation, you'll be on the lookout for anything suspicious. For example, new listings that have a surprisingly large number of good reviews or if the reviews are too similar - all of these can be signs that there is fraud.

The best thing to do is look for hosts that have gone through the Airbnb verification process. Scammers are probably not going to use genuine documents to verify their identities if they are planning to defraud people to get money from them. Another item you may be looking for are hosts that have been rated as Superhost, as they have an excellent service history and a low cancellation rate.