long story short - I am trying to rent a flat in Maastricht, Netherlands for a longer period (one year, possibly more) to continue my studies there. Found a perfect flat on some dutch rental website and contacted the owner. After few messages I try to set up a meeting to see the flat in person (I live 10 hour drive away) and this is what I got in return:
Hi, you seem to be a very nice person and I can assure you that we will not have any problems.
I will try explaining the process step by step how this will work.
As I mentioned we will do this transaction via Airbnb. First you must reserve the apartment via Airbnb for two months and after you've made the booking, Airbnb will send you via email the invoice and all details about your booking.
As soon as you will receive the invoice you have 24 hours to complete the payment to confirm your booking.
As soon as Airbnb will receive your payment, they will contact you to fix the date of inspection. Their agent will come in 2-3 days after your payment is confirmed to present the apartment and give you the contract. The contract is signed by me and you can choose to rent my apartment for long- or short-term period. The monthly rent will be the same for whole period.
Once you've inspected the apartment you have two options:
Option 1: You will take the apartment and sign the contract. After you've signed the contract Airbnb will release me your money.
Option 2: But I don't think you will use this option; you'll tell the agent that you don't want to rent my apartment and Airbnb will refund you the money in 48 hours.
End of the deal!
I've chosen Airbnb because they offer guarantees for both of us.
Let me know if you understand and also if agree so I can send you the link and solve everything. Thank you!
Looks shady, doesn't it?
I am an Airbnb superhost myself and in all the years I never heard of anything like this, especially this "agent", who supposedly shows you the flat. Tried to look for the flat on the website myself and could not find it.
Anybody had a similar experience? It's feeling like a scam, but I wanted to check with you nice people first :)
@Pia113 SCAM. Do not send this person any of your personal information and stop communicating with them. You may not have heard of these scams before, but there are pages of them on this forum that read exactly like this one-from all over the world, search the topic on this forum.