How to avoid getting scammed on fake Airbnb websites

How to avoid getting scammed on fake Airbnb websites

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.

Photo: Pixabay

3. Do not click on external links or send e-mails

Do not reply to fraudulent email addresses like or .

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 or

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.

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.