Online scams are getting more and more prevalent. While the devil is working hard, we must be working harder to combat it.
I am sure many of you would have used Airbnb when you’re on a holiday.
I mean, it is convenient, reasonably priced and you get to live like a local.
Speaking from personal experience, Airbnb can sometimes be a hit or a miss, just like many things in life.
For one woman, her experience with Airbnb was a miss and she didn’t even get to stay at the place!
Homemaker, April Cho who is 41-years old wanted to experience something new in life—I am guessing she watched Eat Pray Love—so she enrolled herself at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu (it is the Harvard of culinary schools) in Paris.
She decided to hit up Airbnb to find the perfect home during her seven-month long stay but everything went south unknowingly.
She found a perfect home for herself and she paid 32,154 euros ($51,600) for it, The Straits Times reported.
She emailed the host and she was directed to a link where the payment would occur.
After making the payment, the site showed that the apartment has been successfully booked.
However, something was amiss as she couldn’t view her booking on the Airbnb site.
She tried contacting the owner but there were no replies.
She soon realised that the link provided by the host was a fake payment site and she was scammed.
Apparently the fake site looked exactly like the original; it even had the live-chat feature
The Straits Times believes that her husband sent the money through DBS bank to an account called “Airbnb Euro Trans” in Poland.
What did Airbnb say
A spokesperson from Airbnb told The Straits Times that the fake listing and the user have been removed from their site.
“We recently introduced new security tools to help tackle fake listings and educate our community about staying safe online, including more education to users on how to book safely,” the spokesperson added.
We also have to be more vigilant
In a world of scammers, we have to be our own vigilante.
Mr Loy York Jiun, executive director of the Consumers Association of Singapore said, ”Consumers also have the responsibility to remain vigilant when engaging in online transactions. They should consider using payment methods with prepayment protection. For example, PayPal offers a Buyer Protection programme that safeguards consumers in the event that an order does not arrive.”
What happened to Mrs Cho
She and her husband lodged a police report, but they were not able to retrieve the money.
The rent is about 3,255 euros ($5217) with an agent fee of 1,500 euros ($2404).
While the whole situation seems daunting, she remains positive as she is focusing on her course which actually started yesterday!
While she is busy mastering the art of baking, we all can learn a valuable lesson here.
Always be careful and try not to be like Andy Lau!
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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