How do I spot fraudulent booking inquiries?
We take account security seriously. Instances of fraud on our website are rare, but here’s what you can do to help protect your account.
'Phishing' is the practice of sending someone a fraudulent email to trick them into replying with sensitive data (e.g. logins, passwords, bank details). This data may be used to steal money or personal information.
Even if the sender appears trustworthy, an email may be suspicious if:
It has incorrect grammar, inaccurate spelling, or overly formal language (although you may receive inquiries from real travelers whose first language isn't English)
The sender requests a last-minute rental, requires immediate payment, or wants to exchange funds off our platform (e.g. by bank transfer)
It was sent to your personal email, but doesn’t appear in your TripAdvisor account inbox
I think I've received a fraudulent inquiry – what should I do?
First, check the sender’s email address. We’ll only contact you from email addresses that end in:
Here’s an example of a valid sender address format:
I clicked a link in the email, and now it’s asking me to sign in – what should I do?
Look carefully at the website address in your browser’s URL bar. We never misspell or add words to our core website address.
We'll only ask you to sign in to your TripAdvisor account at a website address that starts with: https://rentals.tripadvisor.com
Here’s an example of a valid link format: https://rentals.tripadvisor.com/inbox
What common phishing scams should I know about?
Travelers who request proof of property ownership
A traveler expresses interest in booking your property, but wants to confirm your identity. They request proof that you’re the owner and convince you to accept payment via a bank transfer. Hoping to secure the booking, you send the information.
The fraudster now has access to your ID and bank account details.
How to avoid: Vigilant travelers might ask for confirmation that you’re the property owner. It’s okay to share general details, but think twice if someone asks you for formal proof of ownership.
The only payment methods we recommend are credit/debit cards and PayPal. Wire transfers or funds sent through services such as Western Union or Moneygram are untraceable and rarely recovered. Using our secure platform offers both owners and travelers increased protection when taking and making payments.
Travelers who write a check for more than the rental fee
A traveler submits a check—often a certified check or money order—for more than the rental fee. They claim the over-payment was an accident and ask you to write them a check for the difference between the fee and the overpaid amount.
When you deposit their check, it bounces; it’s a fraud. They deposit your check and steal the money.
How to avoid: If a traveler sends a check for more than the rental fee, rip it up and request a new one for the right amount. You can also take secure credit/debit card and PayPal payments through our payment platform.
If you have any concerns about potentially fraudulent inquiries, don’t hesitate to contact us – our Trust and Safety Team is on hand to look into any suspicious activity.