Airbnb warns Auburn fans of Minneapolis rental scams

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl celebrates with his team after the Midwest Regional final game against Kentucky in the NCAA men's College basketball tournament Sunday, March 31, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. Auburn won 77-71 in overtime. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - As Auburn fans prepare for travels to Minneapolis for the college basketball tournament, Airbnb is warning fans to watch out for third party scams.

Airbnb released safety tips informing fans and alumni of scammers who often attempt to take advantage of visitors searching for deals, according to Ben Breit of Airbnb Public Affairs.

Breit says the scammers draw guests to a third-party website that advertises Airbnb spaces available for rental.

“These bad actors may offer deals that seem too good to be true and then ask unsuspecting guests to wire money to book the reservation,” said Breit. “In reality, the page is fake, the home does not exist, but by the time the guest realizes this, the money is gone.”

The best way customers can protect themselves from this scam is to always make payments and communicate on the official Airbnb website.

Below are some safety tips from Airbnb:

► Search and book with confidence: the use of filters like price, home type, and amenities can help renters find exactly what they are looking for. Airbnb also advises that renters read the host’s profile and listing and to pay close attention to cancellation policies, trip requirements and house rules.
► Read the ratings and reviews: reviews are specific to each host so future renters are sure to get the most accurate information. The tournament was held in Minneapolis last year, February 2018 as well so fans may want to look for reviews during that time.
► Get questions answered: the Airbnb messaging tool is a safe way to communicate with potential hosts about the space you are interested in
► Do a safety check: be sure to locate where all emergency equipment is located once you have arrived to your Airbnb. Guests should be on the lookout for things such as first aid kits or fire extinguishers. If these items cannot be located feel free to contact your host.
► If anything isn’t right, reach out to your host or an Airbnb employee.

Airbnb is a global travel community founded in 2008 that offers deals for customers looking to get away.

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