Reggio Emilia Everyone is on vacation, with the Green Pass of course. It’s hard to find a place in holiday resorts in a sold-out summer. An ideal situation for those who want to register scams against carefree vacationers. This also happened to a young woman from Reggio, who turned to the police on June 7 after realizing that she had been cheated. After finding an advertisement on Airbnb, a popular niche site, he paid 1989 euros by bank transfer to book an apartment in Saint-Tropez for August. It is a pity that she can no longer contact her interlocutor. And when she returned to the Airbnb website, she realized that the official look was a little different from the look she used to find at home in France. In short, a fake site.
Police and Airbnb have come up with a number of travel tips, which are good to keep in mind.
Profiles of scammers
- The brain is runaway. This fake owner has just moved abroad, and he can’t show the house or welcome you in person, even though he really cares about renting it out to you. To dispel any doubt, he will make it clear that it is work. Remote negotiation is a precursor to an international bank transfer request. He would immediately start asking for documents (helpful for building his next fake identity), and sharing at least 2-3 selective contract drafts, in a suspicious escalation of enthusiasm that would culminate in the need to close the deal within 24 hours. All followed by a fake Airbnb booking page, a fake Airbnb invoice, and a real disappearance after receiving a deposit.2. Computer technician. The host has already created an ad on Airbnb, but once you request information through the app, they offer you the convenience to continue the conversation via email. Time to ask a couple of things about your access and they’ll send you another email letting you know that due to a calendar update issue the ad is currently not visible in search (already removed), and gives you convenience Direct link, obviously a clone site, very similar Airbnb to the inexperienced eye.3. Appears. Also in this case, the host created (recently, very few) an ad on Airbnb, with no reviews. The page convinces you and you are the book. The scammer is friendly, kind, happy that you chose his house and will even give you a nice discount. How can he bear it? Wink in your face, he suggests canceling your reservation with Airbnb and negotiating privately, in order to save you portal commission. Once the bank transfer is collected, friendly complicity will give way to a deafening silence: the friend has gone and is already looking for another victim.
Safe Vacations: Tips from the Police and Airbnb to Avoid Scams
1. Do not pay directly by bank transfer. If you’re asked to submit a deposit, don’t trust it: it’s against Airbnb’s Terms of Service. Pay exclusively through the site, which in no way provides for bank transfer as a method of payment. Airbnb generally takes the full amount from your credit card and forwards it to the host just 24 hours after you check in, giving you time to walk home and check that everything is as advertised.
2. Do not communicate outside the site. Be wary of those who suggest leaving Airbnb to privately agree to the promise of a discount: it’s a prelude to a bank transfer request. Furthermore, you will no longer be protected by the platform’s warranties. By staying in the app’s chat, you can report suspicious behavior to customer service at any time.
3. Watch out for links shared via email or from other websites. Be wary of anyone who contacts you through a user list site or public real estate portal saying they rely on Airbnb. There is a risk that they will share a link to a fake site.
4. How to identify Airbnb from clones. All Airbnb pages have an address starting with www.airbnb.it or .com, and a number after the word “Rooms”, as in the example: www.airbnb.it/rooms/30728582. Titles or more complex titles with different syntax should make you feel suspicious. If you are not sure, you can search a search engine for the name of the ad (eg “Luminoso terrazzo Milano”) and “Airbnb” as keywords; Only legitimate pages should appear.
5. Read the advertisement carefully. A well-formatted list is usually indicative of an equally tidy host and home. Instead, they should alert you: very competitive pricing for the week of August 15th, especially vague descriptions, complete lack of reviews or a user profile created a few days ago.
6. Airbnb is not a real estate agency. Be wary of those who tell you that they have “ordered Airbnb” to show you the house. In fact, the site is nothing but a mediation portal, at an equal distance from the host and the guest. There are no “Airbnb employees with keys”, as if they were real estate agents.
7. Beware of “bait” accommodation. Self Once you arrive at your destination, you are asked to change the accommodation, obviously not up to the reserved place, as an excuse for a sudden problem that arose in the original apartment and made it temporarily unusable, the best thing is to document everything and contact the platform for a full refund.