Airbnb is the biggest platform which connects travelers with host who are willing to rent their property.
As with any site on the Internet (especially so huge), there are some cases in which guests have been scammed. So the question is how to avoid Airbnb scam.
The internet contains lots of stories about guests being deceived by scammers on Airbnb:
In most cases scammers try to make you get out of Airbnb’s platform by asking you to send your enquiry to their personal email.
Before we will talk about how to avoid Airbnb scams let’s look at the most common scams identified by Airbnb:
1.Advance fee scam
A type of Airbnb scam which in which an individual offers money or discount in exchange for your transferring money through various payment services outside Airbnb
In this case a scammer will usually send an e-mail or link that is made to look like it’s from Airbnb or another trusted site. These messages are designed to trick you into providing confidential information – such as password or other email addresses – and may contain malware which is malicious software that gain access to your computer to gather your personal data.
Another type of Airbnb scam in which a host may encourage you to secure your “too good to be true” listing by sending payment via wire transfer or with an advanced deposit in order to collect the money without providing the advertiser accommodation.
A type of Airbnb scam in which someone will offer more than what your listing may be worth and ask you to repay them in cash
How To Avoid Airbnb Scam
1.Do not wire money to a potential host
If a host asks you to wire them money outside the Airbnb platform or to use a money transfer service such as Western Union you can be sure that this is a scam. Keep in mind that Airbnb policy prohibits hosts from asking you to pay them using something other than the site’s built-in payment page.
2.Do not contact with a potential host outside Airbnb platform
It happens that some people create fake e-mail accounts or websites that look a little like Airbnb. Such websites may be used to scam your personal information, including your password or bank account information. This type of attack is called “phishing” or “spoofing”.
Leaving Airbnb’s site leaves you vulnerable to phishing schemes. The easiest way to check whether you’re being scammed is to check the email address of the emails you receive from the host. The complete list of addresses used by Airbnb is presented on the official Airbnb website.
If in your opinion the e-mail received is false, please send it to email@example.com
3.Ensure you are on the real Airbnb website
According to point 2 you have to watch out for fake websites that pretend to be a real Airbnb service that aims to get your personal details and money.
To avoid such scams, always double check the URL when you’re using Airbnb’s platform. Airbnb’s real URL will always begin with “https.”
4.Be familiar with Airbnb refungd policy
Before you book any listing on Airbnb, you should be familiar with the company’s guest refund policy. According to them, Guests are only eligible for refunds under the following conditions:
- the host does not provide access to the booked property
- accommodation conditions are inconsistent with the offer
- the host does not provide adequate security, the rooms are dirty or there is an animal in the apartment that was not disclosed in the offer before booking
5.Search for the Superhost Badge
To receive a Superhost status host need to meet the following criteria:
- Host at least 10 times within the past year
- Have a 90% response rate within 24 hours
- Never cancel on a guest
- Earn 80% (or more) 5-star reviews from guests
In other words, looking for Superhost gives you addition assurance of quality and prevent you from potential scams.
You can search for Superhost listings by filtering for the option in the search settings — when you do, it’ll automatically populate the search results with Superhosts and their listings
6.Analyze Host’s profile and reviews
Reviews can gives a lot of information about the quality of the host’s services. What is important, the reviews can only be left on a listing if the person has stayed at that specific property and room using the Airbnb platform which reduces the risk of fake comments.
The host’s profile can also be one of the best sources of information about the person whose home you’re staying in. If the potential host does not have any reviews or a written biography it is better to look for someone else or at least to communicated directly with the person via the website’s messaging system for more information.
Airbnb gives you the tool to report potential scams; if a host asks you to pay off-site or asks you to finish the booking by private messaging via personal email, report it by flagging the message. For more information go to official Airbnb website.
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