You can verify the existence of your holiday accommodation with the assistance of our knowledgeable advice.
According to the statistics collected by the police in 2017, vacationers were duped out of a total of £6.7 million due to fraudulent holiday bookings. Many victims were duped out of thousands of pounds when they booked vacation rentals for apartments or villas that did not actually exist. Take a look at our best advice on how to identify fake listings on vacation rental websites like Airbnb, Holiday Lettings, and Homeaway before you make any reservations.
listings that include either an email address or a phone number for the host
This should have been a huge giveaway. Airbnb and Holiday Lettings both prohibit direct contact with guests outside of their respective mail systems in an effort to deter dishonest users (and protect their commission). They are able to detect and automatically remove obvious attempts to include email addresses, but fraudsters have found ways to beat these checks. For instance, they might add an email address to the property photo or description and suggest that you contact them directly, frequently in the hopes of getting a better deal.
Hosts who advise their guests to avoid making payments via the website
You should steer clear of any listing that requires you to pay outside of the company’s internal systems. Asking individuals to send payment through a wire transfer is the most common type of con.
emailed versions of URLs
Scammers have created a number of websites that appear to be exact replicas of Airbnb. These websites are very convincing. If you receive an email asking you to log into your account, you can do so by visiting airbnb.co.uk or holidaylettings.co.uk and following the instructions there. Do not visit 5airbnb.com or any other website with a URL that looks very similar to it. Do you want to know which businesses you can put your faith in? Read on to find out which hotel booking sites we ranked as the best and the worst.
Real estate that appears to be either too good or too cheap to be true.
They almost certainly are. You can try doing a reverse image search on the photos of the property (on Chrome browsers, you can do this by right-clicking on the image and selecting’search Google for image’ from the menu).
A large number of con artists will use the same picture for multiple listings. If you find the same picture being used for multiple different properties, you should be suspicious of the transaction.
Listings of accommodations that lack feedback from previous guests
It’s possible that these are just recently added listings, but if you’re not sure, there’s no reason to take the chance. Genuine hosts will usually have many reviews of stays at their property.
For additional pointers, please refer to our article on identifying fake reviews.
Multiple listings contained within a single profile.
We came across one Airbnb account that had 63 listings on it; out of those 63 listings, 62 were fakes that contained embedded email addresses. The account of the actual owner had been broken into. There are legitimate agencies out there that use holiday-let websites and have multiple listings, but if you are unsure, look for hosts that only have one listing. Check out our guidance on how to get your money back after falling for a scam if you find that you have been duped by a fake listing.