How to avoid vacation rental scams on Airbnb

Also this year with the arrival of the summer season millions of Italians will look out to holiday home market to find a comfortable and economical accommodation for your holidays. The vaccination campaign and the consequent lull in the coronavirus pandemic will convince many people to rely on these holiday solutions, but those who organize themselves at the last minute risk representing a perfect victim for any scams.

On the one hand, in fact, haste and the fear of losing days of rest for not having found an accommodation can cloud anyone’s ability to judge; on the other hand, unscrupulous people are looking for subjects to lure with the promise of accommodation at promising prices, to pocket their deposits and then disappear forever. For this reason the Postal Police has drawn up a vademecum on how to sniff out potential scams in advance that use the channel of the Airbnb short term rental platform.

Avoid leaving the app

The German portal has now become one of the main destinations for those looking for a holiday home to rent for short periods of time, but for this very reason it is also targeted by scammers who use it to lure potential victims to scam. The mechanism is always the same: collect the deposit for an accommodation that does not actually exist, and then disappear without a trace. Airbnb actually incorporates anti-fraud mechanisms that serve to avoid this kind of inconvenience, which is why scammers try to take deals outside of the app.

Warning signs

This is the first piece of advice given by the Postal Police: be wary of anyone who tries to be contacted outside the app or to be paid with untraceable methods, in particular wire transfers. Scammers are ready to pretend to be students abroad to request international wire transfers, or to offer substantial discounts while paying outside the perimeter of the platform, and paying an advance on the final sum. In general, request a deposit on the price of the accommodation is contrary to the terms of service of Airbnb, precisely because it opens the door to potential scams.

How to recognize a fake ad

Another potential scam sees scammers exploit the Airbnb name on other generic ad sites to point to pages that have nothing to do with the portal. To recognize the authentic ads, the verification of the address should be enough, which is made up of the main domain, or www.airbnb.it, followed by the / rooms portion and then by the ad number, for example / 30728582. Inside Airbnb, among the signs of a fraudulent ad there are instead too competitive prices compared to those of accommodations of equal size and position, too general descriptions, the absence of reviews and the fact that the user’s profile was recently created.


Source: Fanpage by tech.fanpage.it.

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