Table of Contents (Find Your Tip!)
- What Is Airbnb?
- 4 Types of Airbnb Scams
- – False Charges After Their Stay
- – Doesn’t Appear As Advertised
- – Charged For An Unauthorized Stay
- – Pay Via Email
- How To Stay Protected From These Scams
- – Do A Reverse Image Search
- – Look At Reviews
- – Pay Directly Through The App
- – Beware of Links
- – Always Book Your Stay Using A Credit Card
A recent discovery has people wondering about how safe Airbnb is, and if officials are enforcing the verification process on Airbnb? What Allie Conti, a former senior writer for Vice, thought was going to be a relaxing vacation in Chicago, turned into a scam that affected her and many other app users.
Conti discovery revealed a significant problem with the app. Some people are using the app to make a profit on a number of unjust wrongdoings. The finding revealed thousands of stories from Airbnb users who had terrible experiences while using the service. The stories stretched from unclean homes to last-minute property changes to many other disastrous home-sharing Airbnb stories.
What Is Airbnb?
Airbnb is the space rental service where people who have an extra place to stay can rent a spare room, house, mobile home, apartment, or basically anything these Airbnb hosts can think of. Airbnb is more than just your typical vacation rental app with millions of listings. It allows an user to filter their search results based on the number of guests, length of stay, amenities, and more. However, the only way to contact Airbnb hosts is directly through the app or if you are lucky to find their phone number. With millions of people using the app, hosts and guests are able to search for a place to stay simpler and easier than most typical rental sites. However, not all Airbnb hosts are perfect. Trying to scam their guests, raising many red flags in advance.
4 Types of Airbnb Scams
– False Charges After Their Stay
Some guests have been charged with false theft or damages claims after the Airbnb stay was complete. Often, the damages were already done prior to the guest arriving for their stay. To make sure you don’t fall for this scam, always check your billed receipt after your stay.
– Doesn’t Appear As Advertised
To get people to stay at their property, hosts will often post deceiving images of their location. Making it appear as a destination that is too good to be true. More often than not, the location is of lower quality, not as spacious, and doesn’t provide the correct amenities mentioned.
In a few cases, we have seen users charged for a location that they have never requested. If this occurs to you, your Airbnb account is compromised. Likely, someone was able to access your account by hacking it through methods such as public Wi-Fi and phishing scams.
– Pay Via Email
Airbnb scammers will ask you to pay for the stay in cash or via email in a different payment processor. Do not EVER pay for an Airbnb stay this way. Only pay directly through the app, no matter how tempting the offer is.
How To Stay Protected From These Scams
– Do A Reverse Image Search
All you need to do is drag and drop the image of the home into Google to do this. If you are seeing that the location isn’t what’s advertised, it’s clear that you’re being scammed.
– Look At Reviews
You want to look at the reviews the Airbnb hosts have, whether they are good and bad. This will help tell if anyone has ever canceled their stay, and you’ll be able to notice the quantity of reviews. If someone has a lot of reviews, it may not be a bad thing. Look at the context of the reviews to determine if it may be a scam or not.
– Pay Directly Through The App
In some cases, we have seen Airbnb hosts try to cancel and via email address or phone number, reach out to users offering them a different location to stay. If the location is not listed on Airbnb, and you cannot pay through the app. This is an automatic red flag they are trying to scam you.
– Beware of Links
Many scammers will prey on users by sending them a new listing text message that looks similar to the Airbnb site but is really just a phishing scam. Try to notice any misspellings or misused URL links to detect any scam attempts.
– Always Book Your Stay Using A Credit Card
By always using a credit card, you might be enrolled in travel insurance. This way, in any type of event of scamming or fraudulent charges, you will be protected by the credit card company.
Airbnb is exceptionally beneficial when dealing with official hosts. Through the latest stories, however, it reveals that the app has a few flaws that leave many users wondering how protected they are while using the app. If you follow these tips to stay protected from the latest Airbnb scams, you will be able to use the app safely and effectively.