A Singaporean woman recently lost over $51k because she mistook a fake Airbnb website for the real one.
With the holiday season finally here, you'll want to avoid these scams.
Be sure to follow these tips so you can travel in peace.
1. Check on the host's credibility
Read the host's profiles and reviews from previous guests. These can help determine the authenticity of the host.
Check for verified phone numbers, connected social networks or references from the host's family or friends.
2. Always communicate on Airbnb
Airbnb has a messaging system which is the safest possible way to chat with a host.
Use the system to confirm details, clear any clarifications or ask about the neighbourhood.
Instead of emailing them, also use it to discuss check-in details.
3. Do not click on external links or send e-mails
Do not reply to fraudulent email addresses like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .
They will send emails including external links or demand a reply.
Avoid requests made by hosts who ask to send emails from your personal account.
If they threaten account deletion or booking cancellation, go to Airbnb's dashboard and check there.
Always check with Airbnb via their help page, to see if an e-mail address is legitimate.
4. Don't make payments anywhere else other than on the Airbnb payment site
Airbnb strictly conducts all of its payment on the website.
Avoid making payment outside of its page, on other platforms or through another party.
Make a pre-payment via Airbnb, if it is possible, and pay the rest after you've checked in or when you check out.
5. Ensure you're on the real Airbnb website since fake ones tend to look the same
Always check that the URL begins with "https", which means that the connection is secure.
There are also country-specific websites which have URLs like https://es.airbnb.com or https://it.airbnb.com.
If a link brings you to a website which does not have these types of URL, it is likely a fraudulent page.
This article was first published in Her World Online.