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The Police warn of the summer scam in Spain and Marbella: scams in vacation rentals

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The Police warn of the summer scam in Spain and Marbella: scams in vacation rentals

The summer scam has skyrocketed this year and already exceeds the figures for 2019. Faced with such a trend, the National Police, together with companies for the sale and rental of villas, luxury homes in Fotocasa, Airbnb, Confianza Online, have launched the alert for users to be more careful about possible scams in vacation rentals.

Remember that only during this 2022, more than 6,000 Spaniards will fall into the trap of scammers like those who have starred in the program. So before you put up a down payment for what looks like a bargain, make sure the apartment exists.

Faced with this situation, the General Directorate of the Police has launched this Thursday a series of recommendations to avoid being a victim of fraud. In this way, they warn that citizens not used to reserving an apartment or house online or those who do not know how platforms such as Airbnb work can be an easy target for organizations dedicated to this type of fraud.

In order for users to book with peace of mind and find a trustworthy host this summer, the National Police, Airbnb and Confianza Online have worked together so that guests can be alert to detect and avoid fraud.

Some of the signs and tips to avoid scams when booking summer vacations are:

  1. Beware of messages with suspicious links. Don’t click on links in emails you don’t trust. They may contain links to fake web pages that mimic Airbnb’s design in an attempt to steal personal information or infect devices. In this situation, return to the home page
  2. typing in your browser and continue browsing from there. Find out here how to detect if an email or website really belongs to Airbnb.
    Be wary of offers that are too good to be true. Beware of offers that combine excessively low prices with very attractive images or accommodations. If an owner wants to make too many changes during the booking process (offers you to pay differently, sends you contact addresses that don’t match the listing, offers you a different listing that wasn’t on the page, etc.) there could be something behind a criminal who wants to avoid his location. To avoid this, look for ads that have a lot of positive reviews and read them carefully. This will allow you to detect if there are any negative aspects that several guests point out and that could tarnish your vacation. You can also check that the host’s identity and other account details have been verified or confirmed.
  3. Communication and payment, always on the platform. If they ask you to make a deposit or a bank transfer, if they give you a PDF or paper invoice or offer you a discount for paying outside the platform, be wary. Pay special attention if that person proposes to use for payment companies that are normally dedicated to sending money, bank checks, money orders. If they suggest payment methods outside the platform, it is most likely that they intend to carry out some type of fraud. Therefore, you must always make payments and communicate through the Airbnb website or app. As long as you communicate, book and pay through Airbnb you will have the security guaranteed by the multiple protection system. If the host never asks you to speak through other means or sends you emails, that’s a good sign. You can also help other travelers by reporting suspicious messages.
  4. You are suspicious of an urgent tone or inconsistencies on the part of the host. Scammers often try to rush or pressure guests to book, show inconsistencies in the language in which they express themselves and in their nationalities, areas of residence or telephone prefixes, as well as in the text of the accommodation advertisement. Do not feel pressured, before deciding on an accommodation, carefully read the profile of the host, the comments of previous guests and, for example, use the image comparator available in the main search engines on the Internet, and check if the images correspond to different rentals located in different geographical areas.