Do not pay through 'off site' locations
A Nanaimo man is out several thousand dollars after being duped into believing he was paying for a legitimate Airbnb rental unit.
The victim told police he responded to an ad from an individual claiming to reside in the United Kingdom, who was advertising an Airbnb in a high end condo in Nanaimo. After several weeks of exchanging e-mails the two agreed upon an amount, and he was directed to send the money via a Moneygram to a third party in the UK. Shortly after wiring the money he was contacted by the same person and told more money was required to secure the rental unit. Only then did he realize he had been scammed.
"The official Airbnb website warns users to not pay for rental units through off site locations as it could lead to personal information being compromised and subject the payer to potential fraud and other security issues. This is exactly what transpired here, said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.