Traveling is very nice, if you get good accommodation, especially cheap and good. AirBnB started offering solutions to people of different income. You can be rich or a traveling student with little to no income and still sleep comfortably. But what if everything goes wrong and you get scammed and lose money, not to mention have a very hard time finding a new place to stay. Let us remind ourselves of what Airbnb actually is before diving into a scam that got people upset.
Airbnb – An Online Marketplace
Airbnb offers you a list of places where you can stay, the hosts giving you a place to stay and possibly eat. They are registered with Airbnb but Airbnb doesn’t own any of the properties. The name stems from AirBedAndBreakfast and that came from the owners putting air mattresses in their own apartments, thus making them into rooms for rent, at a significantly lower cost, given how much rooms and apartments cost in San Francisco (or any other major city, for that matter). Given that Airbnb doesn’t own the listed properties gave enough room for some scams, including the one we are going to discuss.
Airbnb Scams – Phony Listings
The scams works as follows, you are almost at your destination and you receive a phone call or text message from the person who listed the property. They tell you that there is a sudden emergency at the property and that you need to go elsewhere. They have a property prepared for you, but it is often significantly worse than the one listed. The people behind the scam profit when you change your reservation. Another problem with this is that you most likely end up in a worse property than you wanted to be accommodated in. In order to avoid this type of scam, you should do the following.
How to Avoid Scams – Stay Official
You should only correspond with your host by using Airbnb’s application. They can build a case for you using only messages from the official applications. If someone offers you a last minute change because of some vague reason, cancel your reservation and you can get a full refund on Airbnb. That might leave you without a place to stay for a while, but that is better than getting scammed. Make sure that the host also wants to cancel, otherwise you might get a cancellation fee. If they don’t want to cancel, contact Airbnb and report the host.
Scams are everywhere, including Airbnb. If you want to avoid them, use their app to communicate and report any suspicious activity such as last minute location changes and the hosts not wanting to cancel your reservation. Safe travels!