Airbnb warns Brits of travel scams with four tips to help them
The global home rental company has commissioned new research to analyze the impact of Cost of life crisis on our holidays and scams by fraudsters.
Given that January is the most popular month to book our holidays, Brits across the country are probably looking for a bargain.
Despite the current strain on our finances, data from Airbnb reveals that 35% of us would still consider going on vacation a priority when it comes to our extra spending.
In fact, one in six of us would consider booking trips using dangerous methods to save money.
6% of adults are willing to book on impulse as soon as they see the price if it means paying less and 15% would pay the break by bank transfer – where their money is not protected – to save a penny or two.
Getting caught by travel scammers isn’t uncommon either, as Airbnb has discovered.
71% of people have admitted that they or someone they know have been the victim of a fraud or scam, with research suggesting holiday scam victims lose an average of £1,397 each.
People aged 55 and over lost the most to scams on average (£3,176), with 18-34 year olds losing an average of £1,330.
78% of Airbnb survey respondents agree that there are more scams than ever.
Meanwhile, 70% of people agreed that scams are getting more and more compelling.
Airbnb has shared four security tips to avoid scammers on the platform
If you are booking a stay on Airbnb soon, arm yourself with these four practical tips to avoid being scammed:
- Stay on Airbnb to book, pay and communicate – Stays should always be booked and paid for on the platform only to take advantage of Airbnb’s secure processes, refunds, and support policies. If someone asks you to leave the platform, you must report it to Airbnb.
- Check out reviews from other customers – You can see what other guests have said, read Host profiles and listings, and contact the Host through Airbnb’s messaging tool to ask questions before you book.
- Check the site link – Before paying online or providing confidential information, use the Airbnb app or go directly to the website (www.airbnb.co.uk).
- Report problems immediately – Airbnb’s community support team is available 24/7 to help you and if you think you’ve been scammed, contact your bank as they may be able to recover your money.
Amanda Cupples, Managing Director for UK and Northern Europe, Airbnb: “This year many of us may be keen to save a few pennies when booking vacations, which makes it the perfect time for scammers to take advantage of those looking to strike a good deal.
“Booking, communicating and paying on Airbnb helps protect you from scams, and our longstanding partnership with Get Safe Online will help travelers stay on their toes when planning a well-deserved trip.”
If you’re booking on another site, Airbnb partner Get Safe Online has also shared some tips to consider when booking your vacation.
Get Safe Online’s tips for booking your holiday
Here are three tips you should know when booking your vacation this year to help you avoid getting caught:
- Never click on links you don’t expect – Learn how to spot fake emails, websites, texts and social media posts, as fake links can direct you to a fake website designed to look like websites you know.
- Beware of exceptionally cheap offers or high deposits – If an offer or offer seems too good to be true, it could be a scammer and it is best to end all communication immediately.
- If you can, pay by credit card and avoid bank transfers – Paying by credit card often offers better protection and a higher chance of getting your money back.
Tony Neate, CEO, Get Safe Online: “As the cost of living rises, we want to help protect everyone’s hard-earned money and urge people to remain vigilant when it comes to booking holidays.
“Trust your instincts and remember that if an offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”