Airbnb – How to prevent being scammed

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When it comes to booking accommodation abroad, Airbnb is renowned for its simplicity and personal service. When you have found the perfect room you will be directed to ‘contact the host’ in order to pursue the booking. This is the crucial moment in which users must check the host is following the correct Airbnb payment procedure.  Unfortunately, there have been a few reported cases of hosts scamming customers.

Types of Scams

Phishing Scam: A scam in which a host will send you an email or link which is made to look like the genuine Airbnb website. These messages are designed to trick you into providing your bank details and passwords. These may contain malware, which is a software that gains access to your computer to retrieve your personal information.

Advance Fee Scam: When a host offers a reward in exchange for making payment outside of Airbnb.

Over Payment Scam: When a host offers more than what your listing is worth with the request you pay the difference in cash.

Travel Scam: A scam in which you will be encouraged to secure your accommodation by sending payment via wire transfer or with an advanced deposit. Therefore they collect the money, but do not provide the listed accommodation.

Airbnb will never ask you to pay for your accommodation via email or off-site. If a hosts asks you to pay in an alternative way, report this by flagging the message in your thread with the host. If you receive an email asking for payment it is strongly advised that you do not reply and you contact Airbnb immediately to avoid being scammed.

By following the official payment procedure, both the host and the customer are guaranteed payment protection. The customer must pay when they book the listing – the host does not receive this payment until at least 24 hours after check-in.


Posted by Holly Burgess

Holly Burgess

Holly is a freelance blogger and actor based in West London. She enjoys writing about travel and theatre culture, and reviews productions for Theatrical Insight.

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