The National Police in collaboration with Confianza Online and Airbnb have alerted tourists ahead of the summer season to be careful of scams in vacation rentals, as a recent survey by Airbnb has revealed that six out of ten customers acknowledge they have become more cautious regarding the price of vacation rentals.
According to a press release, some of the very common ways for frauds to benefit from tourists are by asking them to make payments through bank transfers, using fake ads, phone calls or cloned web pages, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The survey also points out that travelling is one of the most preferred leisure activities and almost three-quarters of users (around 70 per cent) save up months prior in order to make trips to their summer getaways, so when the time comes, tourists do admit that they are willing to book impulsively.
“Now, more than ever, we must be cautious when booking our vacations. Avoiding unpleasant surprises is of the utmost importance and, therefore, we want to emphasize following the recommendations and instructions provided by platforms such as Airbnb, as well as the security advice that we are providing together with the National Police,” Tiziana Tallaro, General Director of Confianza Online, noted.
Tips to Avoid Being Scammed
Some of the tips that the authorities issue in order to avoid being subject to vacation rental fraud include the following:
Don’t click on links you don’t expect, meaning that links that redirect to websites that look familiar to those users are familiar with, should be avoided.
Be cautious about very cheap offers or high deposit requirements, as very affordable prices could be a scam. In those cases, checking comments, and verifying the host’s identity and other account information, must be carefully investigated before booking such offers.
Pay by card and through the platform is one of the requirements that some scam websites have and those usually ask for payments to be made to companies dedicated to sending money, money orders or bank checks.
Recommendations for Users
Finalise bookings, payments and communications on the designated platforms only, such as Airbnb, and those that ask to leave the platform to complete booking or payments, should be notified to authorities.
In addition, it is recommended the check the web link before making any booking or payments and to report casualties immediately.
Common Indications to Detect Possible Scammers
Usually, scammers say they are abroad and don’t live nearby, thus an international transfer has to be made. Sometimes they are too professional, asking for a copy of the user’s ID before even making the reservation. Another indication that the host can be a scammer is always being in a hurry to finish payment and asking for a deposit in advance.