We have previously written about avoiding vacation rental scams, and it looks like it is time to bring up the topic once again. Airbnb is currently the hottest thing since sliced bread and their seemingly meteoric rise to the top of the game has included a fair share of hiccups. While the large majority of guests enjoy their stays, there are still a few horror stories out there. Scams can hit hosts as well as guests, and the sophisticated criminals are looking to do a lot worse than just trash your apartment.
Phishing scams are one of the oldest in the book. The premise is simple: you receive an email urgently prompting you to log into your account or provide some other sensitive information. On the surface the message appears to be from a legitimate organization, but if you click on the links you are sent to a website that will actually steal your login information. Once your login has been stolen, the scammers have access to a whole treasure trove of profitable material. They can lock you out of your account, divert payments to their own accounts, and even sent up fraudulent listings to ensnare unsuspecting guests. This is a nightmare situation for any vacation rental owner.
The unfortunate truth is that scams like these are becoming increasingly common as our society moves more and more of its interactions online. The good news is that scammers are, by their very nature, lazy. They don’t put a lot of effort into creating the perfect rouse. To them it’s a numbers game. If they target as many people as possible, they’re hoping that an unlucky few will not be paying attention enough to spot the obvious. As long as your exercise an appropriate amount of caution and diligence, you can avoid being that person.
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