Booking your holiday stay through Airbnb is perhaps one of the easiest parts of planning a holiday. But unfortunately thanks to a new phishing scam, sometimes this isn’t the case. CBS News has reported on a widespread scam that tries to con potential holidaymakers out of their money.
So how does this phishing scam work? If people looking to book a certain Airbnb contact the host before paying for it – to ask about check out details or amenities, for example – the scammer ‘host’ will answer the questions, and then send a link to a differentto pay. It will look exactly the same and list exactly the same property that you were interested in originally, but actually have no affiliation with the real website (and the person probably won’t even own the property you’re interested in), meaning you’re adding your card details and paying a con artist site.
Airbnb advise on their website that “Airbnb will never ask you to pay the cost of a reservation off-site or through email”, and to be aware of this Phishing Scam. They say that it’s a “type of scam in which someone will send an email or link that is made to look like it’s from Airbnb or another trusted site. “These messages are designed to trick you into providing confidential information such as passwords or other email addresses and may contain malware, which is malicious software that gains access to your computer to gather your personal information, including passwords.”
So in short, be careful and never pay off-site or through email.