Summer is around the corner and it is time to book somewhere to stay during your vacation. Casual tourists, business travelers, and adventurers alike enjoy using Airbnb, an online marketplace for short term leasing and lodging, to find places to stay all over the world. Unfortunately, Airbnb's popularity also can make its guests the targets of booking scams.
These scams often begin when a host asks you to contact them outside of the Airbnb site. They will then encourage you to pay in advance, outside of Airbnb, with a money transfer or something similar while offering a special deal. Be wary of this as Airbnb handles all their communication and bookings within their own site. You should never have to pay or contact someone outside of the site.
Some clever tricksters may link you to fake phishing sites that look almost identical to normal Airbnb booking pages. These sites have very convincing URLs that can even fool experienced travelers! Look out for red flags that spell out a fake booking page. Airbnb sites start with "https" and do not have a live chat function. Also, Airbnb will not list the exact address until after you have booked.