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Increase in Vacation Rental Scams: Airbnb Investigation Raises the Alarm

We are finally on the cusp of summer, and many Italians, among others, are beginning to book their vacations, almost exclusively online.

In recent years, the travel world has changed significantly: flights have become much more affordable, whereas in the past, air travel was a luxury reserved for very wealthy families. Today, online offers dominate the market, replacing traditional travel agencies.

DIY bookings are now widespread, and few people still turn to travel agencies, except for group trips or specific, potentially dangerous destinations where having a point of reference or a guide is useful. Booking online is undoubtedly very convenient, but every year, more and more people fall victim to scams, with fake offers or photos of accommodations that do not match reality. This has prompted Airbnb, one of the safest accommodation booking platforms, to issue a warning.

Before doing so, Airbnb conducted a comprehensive study on the phenomenon of summer accommodation scams: the platform organized interviews asking various people to distinguish between a real and a fake listing.

The results were surprising: nearly half of the respondents could not recognize a fake vacation, travel, or accommodation site, bringing the issue into the spotlight. The Spanish National Police have compiled a list of best practices for booking accommodations safely, which is also useful for Italians, to avoid finding themselves in a foreign country without lodging.

The rules include: never clicking on unexpected links or attachments in emails from unknown senders; being wary of extremely low offers or requests for excessively high deposits; making reservations through secure and verified platforms and only communicating and paying through them; using a different password for each account. By following these precautions, it will be more difficult to fall victim to scams.

di Il Quotidiano Online

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