Be Aware Of These Common Airbnb Scams

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Photo credit © Svanhorn4245 | Dreamstime
By 98.5 KTK

One of the biggest shortcomings of Airbnb, the online marketplace for arranging or offering lodging, primarily homestays, or tourism experiences, is that it neglects to thoroughly vet at least some of the apartments and hosts that appear on its website. That means you have to be on your toes to avoid scams that involve staying at properties that are not as they are describe (or non-existent, period). Avoid the Bait And Switch which work something like this. Days or hours before your booked stay, your booked property is no longer available because of some unforeseen issue, be it plumbing problems or an apparent issue with the last guest who stayed there. To help, the host offers you another property they rent out, which is usually a giant downgrade compared to the room you originally booked. Instead refuse the alternative option and make sure the host cancels. Book elsewhere. Another Airbnb scam to avoid is the money transfer. You message a host to inquire about a property of theirs. They request payment outside of Airbnb’s platform, possibly offering a better rate if you agree. In the end, the apartment is terrible, but because you agreed to a deal outside of Airbnb’s terms, you’re not protected and cannot qualify for a refund (or it’s a completely fake property and you’ve been swindled entirely). After a multi-day stay, you leave the property in pristine condition. Days later, you receive a complaint via Airbnb’s messaging platform, either by the host or from Airbnb, which alleges that you’ve damaged something in the home and are responsible for compensating the host. Avoid fake damage claims by taking photos and video of your property before leaving and send them to your host as a polite “thank you” and as a means of protecting yourself in the event they claim damages. Or keep them for your own safekeeping and include some timestamped proof, like a current newspaper or a message from your host confirming your departure.

SOURCE: Lifehacker

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