EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — As fans prepare for the Super Bowl, Airbnb is warning consumers of possible scams to look out for while booking property rentals.
According to Airbnb, rentals in the Phoenix area have been sold out for months even before last night’s game. But during big events like the Super Bowl, Airbnb reports a spike in scam listings claiming to offer the best price.
Airbnb says many third-party sites, unrelated to their own, are offering rentals claiming to be managed by Airbnb and in some cases even ‘mock-up’ a fake website to have a more legitimate look.
Many of the scammers will pressure renters to book fast, offering deals that seem too good to be true, and will even ask renters to send money by wire transfer. Airbnb says by the time renters realize it’s a scam, their money is gone and it’s too late.
For consumers, Airbnb has tips on what to look for to ensure a reputable booking and that begins with never being asked to leave the booking platform. The company also withholds payments until after the check-in is complete. So, if you’re asked for immediate payment ,it’s likely a scam.
Also, reading the ratings and reviews, listings with detailed reviews, and genuine feedback are a great way to be sure you’re viewing a legitimate posting. If you have questions about the listing, Airbnb recommends reaching out to the host directly with the secure messaging tool.
If you feel you’ve come across a website claiming to be Airbnb, or a fake booking, you’re asked to report them on Airbnb’s designated site.