There are all types of scams existing on the web these days that can trick you to pay for something. The Airbnb scams were getting very popular in the past years in Europe, but also in the United States and other parts of the world. Among many different types of scams using Airbnb, now we’re going to speak about a specific one! House renting scams with Airbnb contract offer!
How do the scams on Airbnb work for house renting?
Let’s say you’re searching for a new apartment or house to rent. By skipping the renting agencies, you remain with the option of looking online. This is usually fine, as in this case you don’t have to pay so much agency fee. Though, in Italy, if an apartment was listed on Immobiliare. it or Idealista. it by an agency, you’ll still have to pay the agency fee!
So, while surfing on a page full of homes to rent you spot one that’s published by the owner. You’ll find the most beautiful apartment that is lower on price and deposit as well, and you decide that you want it. The next step is to contact the owner, right? With the Airbnb scams on apartment renting you’ll get a long answer quickly!
This answer usually contains a story such as “Hi there. The apartment is still available, and we’re happy to show it to you. However, we don’t live anymore in X city, as we moved abroad for work. We’re trying to rent the house but we must travel back to X country to show it to you and give you the keys. Also, we’d like to propose to leave off the bureaucracy, and make a renting contract using Airbnb.”
If you ever receive a message like this, know that it is a scam! It’s no question that they’re trying to use the Airbnb scams on you! But if someone doesn’t know about this scam, how is this conversation continuing?
I’ve been close to getting tricked with the scams on home rentals!
I’ve been trying to find an apartment in a small town in Emilia Romagna, Italy. There was this perfect place that was perfect for one person. The location was perfect, the house was perfect, the price was also perfect! Oh, and besides that, it was listed by the “owner” they also asked for just one month’s caution.
If you’re looking to rent a house in Italy, there are 3 things you must remember!
- No home-owner will rent you a house if you can’t show a proof of income
- Deposits are starting at 2 months pay of the rent + the rent of the first month
- Real Estate agencies deal with rents, and they list the houses on websites, not the owners!
As I wasn’t aware of all this, I replied to this person that I’m fine with this type of contract and let me know the next steps. I didn’t get suspicious for another 3 emails that we exchanged. He sent me a passport photo, gave me his name, his phone number, and a guide to filling the Airbnb contract with a list of documents needed.
Once I did all that, I realized that something isn’t right. In the next email, he said, that I must pay in advance the deposit, so I can assure him that he’s not traveling back to Italy from Denmark for nothing. At this point, I started digging the forums on the web for Airbnb scams.
Guess what! There were so many scams on Airbnb in the United States, Spain, France, Italy, and also the United Kingdom such as this! All of them with the same email template (just a few details being changed). I’ve been reading for so many people, that they have realized that they were scammed just after they already paid the deposit and one months’ rent… Then, when they arrived to see the house, not just the owner disappeared, but the specific apartment or house wasn’t for rent (or not existing).
Pay attention to not get scammed when you try to rent a house! Scams are also on Airbnb.
Yes, you might need to pay an agency fee, and you might have to go through more paperwork, but better to hit the safe road than the one where your money will simply disappear!
If anyone is offering you an Airbnb contract and asking in advance to pay… Saying, that they otherwise won’t travel to show you the house, that’s a scam!