Lauren Saccone
July 05, 2017 3:42 pm
Jordan Siemens / iStock / Getty

There are obvious dangers of doing business online, but it’s become so common that we can sometimes forget. However, a new Airbnb scam is waking people up to the risks — often at a great cost.

Here’s how the scam works: while looking on Airbnb for your next vacation, you find the perfect place.

Naturally, you contact the owner. Everything seems real as you work out a deal — then the owner sends you a link to a site that’s almost (but not quite) Airbnb.com. The fake site will probably be something similar to Airbnb.info.

Once that happens, the scam is as good as completed. You’ll pay for your place through this other site and arrive ready for fun, only to be informed that the real owners never listed the location on Airbnb. This fake-out Airbnb scam is gaining serious traction, with people innocently clicking these links only to be duped later on.

Luckily, there’s a way to stay relatively safe during your online rental-hunting process. Just make sure you are always on the official, real Airbnb site (that’s Airbnb.com). If you’re not sure or if someone tries to get you to click a link leading elsewhere, back off immediately. If something seems off or fishy, report it to warn others of a potential threat. Also, only ever communicate with home owners via the Airbnb app or site. And remember, when using Airbnb to hunt for a place to stay, accept no substitutes.

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