BBB warns of vacation rental scam targeting AirBNB, VRBO

A new scam targets people using AirBNB or VRBO
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 8:13 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - If you plan to book a last-minute summer vacation or any trip with a rental house, consumer officials are warning you about a scam.

This scam has been around for a while, but the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau is hearing new complaints it’s targeting people using AirBNB or VRBO.

The BBB says scammers pose as the owner, often on social media, using addresses and photos of real vacation homes.

One victim was told they would get a discount if they paid through Venmo instead of using AirBNB. Once the scammer got the $2,500, they stopped replying.

The BBB says to avoid a vacation rental scam, stick with legitimate rental websites; they have policies to protect renters.

If a seller asks you to book outside of the website, think twice.

Pay with a credit card so you have a better chance of getting your money back if something goes wrong. Don’t use a debit card, which doesn’t offer the same protections, or travelers checks or money order.

Research the property, looking for any complaints or scams.