Booking accommodation on Airbnb is arguably one of the easiest parts of planning a holiday—providing it all goes to plan.
But sometimes that isn't the case, after CBS News reported on a widespread scam that is conning holidaymakers out of their money and leaving them with nowhere to stay.
How are they doing it? So if people looking to book a certain Airbnb contact the host before paying for it—to ask about check out details or amenities, for example—the scammer "host" will answer the questions, and then send a link to a different to pay.
It will look exactly the same and list exactly the same property that you were interested in originally, but actually have no affiliation with the real website (and the person probably won't even own the property you're interested in), meaning you're adding your card details and paying a rogue site.
So not only are people being left out of pocket, but without the holiday they planned, either. That SUCKS.
Airbnb advise on their official website that "Airbnb will never ask you to pay the cost of a reservation off-site or through email," and to be aware of this Phishing Scam. They outline that it's a "type of scam in which someone will send an email or link that is made to look like it's from Airbnb or another trusted site."
"These messages are designed to trick you into providing confidential information such as passwords or other email addresses and may contain malware, which is malicious software that gains access to your computer to gather your personal information, including passwords."
Be careful, basically.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.