I’ve been looking to rent an apartment in Barcelona and two people have already tried to scam me using Airbnb’s name. The initial contact is by email, and the format is always the same:
“Bought the apartment but moved, it’s a great deal/very low price, can’t be bothered to show the place beforehand, will use Airbnb for safety/trust.”
*The Final Touches*
You pay directly to an “Airbnb Agent”. Then he will show you the place. If you don’t like it, you can get your money back in two days OR they send you a fake link (like this one) that looks exactly like the real deal.
*Bonus Points for the Scammers*
They also steal your personal information: when you request a booking you can, conveniently, sign in using Facebook, Google or your real Airbnb account. I used email@example.com and 1234567 and it “worked” to get into the payments area…
You lose a ton of cash and have no one to whom to go as you never dealt with the real Airbnb.
ALWAYS CHECK THE URLs and, if you plan to deal outside Airbnb for any reason, make a deal with the owner where the first week/nights of your stay are booked through the real site, and then arrange an alternative means of payment for the rest of your planned stay.