How do I spot fraudulent booking inquiries?
Occurrences of fraud on our website are extremely rare, but it’s important to be aware of the risks.
'Phishing' is the practice of sending emails that appear to be from a trustworthy source to obtain sensitive information (e.g. logins/passwords, bank details) for fraudulent purposes. An email may be suspicious if
- it has incorrect grammar, inaccurate spelling or poor and overly formal use of English (although please note, you may receive inquiries from guests whose first language isn't English)
- the sender requests a last minute rental, immediate payment or wants to use a method such as a bank transfer
- the email was sent to your private email account and does not appear in your vacation rental account inbox
I think I've received a fraudulent inquiry - what should I do?
First of all, check the email address on the inquiry. We’ll only ever contact you from email addresses that end in:
Here’s an example of a valid inquiry address format:
I clicked on a link in the email and it's asking me to log in - what should I do?
Look carefully at the website address; we never misspell or add words to our core website address. We'll only ask you to log in to your TripAdvisor account with a website address starting with:
What common phishing scams should I be aware of?
1. A renter writes a cheque for more than the rental fee:
The renter submits a cheque for more than the rental fee, often administered by a third party. They claim the over-payment was an accident and request a cheque to refund the difference. As requested, you write a cheque for the difference between the rental fee and the overpaid amount. The renter deposits your cheque but their cheque bounces.
The renter has stolen money by sending a fraudulent cheque and depositing a legitimate one.
What to do: If a renter sends a cheque for more than the rental amount, rip up the cheque and request that the renter sends a new one for the correct amount.
2. A renter requests proof of property ownership:
A renter pretends to be interested in booking your property but is concerned about renting from a private owner. The renter requests information that confirms your identity and proves that you own the property. You assume that this is a genuine concern and send appropriate documentation, hoping to secure a booking. You also agree to payment via a bank transfer.
The fraudulent renter now has access to your ID and bank account details.
What to do: Requests to confirm you're the property owner are not uncommon, so it's okay to share some general information to put the traveller at ease. But be wary of anyone asking for formal proof of ownership.