Real link?

Answered!
Sophie0
Level 2
London, England, United Kingdom

Real link?

I received this message today, I wondered what people thought?

 

Should I open the link? 

 

Thanks

 

Hello,
My name is Amelutza , I need your room is possible ?
I have see on airbnb same apartment but is other host , How is it possible ?
Here is other host

[link removed]

I will wait your Reply
Thank You!

1 Best Answer
Deborah0
Level 10
California, United States

If you know anything about hacking, you will realize that this is a hacker website....any website address that has "Airbnb" in it but it is not the real Airbnb website, it  is a hacker website, set up to engage in phishing!  Airbnb website always starts with "https"  --not http -- indicating it is a SECURE website, and starts with www.airbnb.com or www.airbnb.co.uk, www.airbnb.co.fr, etc for different nations .

 

 THis is doubtless a phishing site, set up for the sole purpose of perpetrating crimes -- getting hosts to go to a fake Airbnb page and be prompted to log in, thinking they are on the AIrbnb page, and then enter their account info, which is copied by the phishing site, so they steal your log in info, and then they hack your account and can either use it to steal your money or create additional phishing posts to try to lure other hosts in so they can steal yet more info.  Phishing and hacked accounts are a real problem for Airbnb, so hosts must take care and use common sense.  

 

Report this immediately to AIrbnb. HEre's what I got when I typed in that address and tried to go to that site -- this notification about the danger of this site comes from Google, I believe.    Which indicates that Airbnb may actually already know about this phishing site and have reported it -- but you should report it anyway.  Just click on the flag icon in the upper right corner of the message you got from the guest., to flag it to Airbnb to evaluate.  WHat I don't understand is how these links are coming through the system, because the Airbnb message system is supposed to block links from guests who haven't booked yet, except for those which are really on the Airbnb website.  Screenshot (248).png

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22 Replies 22

Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out, Amelutza! It's always important to exercise caution when receiving unsolicited messages with links. In this case, it's advisable not to open the provided link. If you have any concerns or questions about your Airbnb reservation or potential guests, it's best to contact Airbnb directly through their official channels to ensure the security of your information.

Take care,
Mushtaq

Deborah0
Level 10
California, United States

If you know anything about hacking, you will realize that this is a hacker website....any website address that has "Airbnb" in it but it is not the real Airbnb website, it  is a hacker website, set up to engage in phishing!  Airbnb website always starts with "https"  --not http -- indicating it is a SECURE website, and starts with www.airbnb.com or www.airbnb.co.uk, www.airbnb.co.fr, etc for different nations .

 

 THis is doubtless a phishing site, set up for the sole purpose of perpetrating crimes -- getting hosts to go to a fake Airbnb page and be prompted to log in, thinking they are on the AIrbnb page, and then enter their account info, which is copied by the phishing site, so they steal your log in info, and then they hack your account and can either use it to steal your money or create additional phishing posts to try to lure other hosts in so they can steal yet more info.  Phishing and hacked accounts are a real problem for Airbnb, so hosts must take care and use common sense.  

 

Report this immediately to AIrbnb. HEre's what I got when I typed in that address and tried to go to that site -- this notification about the danger of this site comes from Google, I believe.    Which indicates that Airbnb may actually already know about this phishing site and have reported it -- but you should report it anyway.  Just click on the flag icon in the upper right corner of the message you got from the guest., to flag it to Airbnb to evaluate.  WHat I don't understand is how these links are coming through the system, because the Airbnb message system is supposed to block links from guests who haven't booked yet, except for those which are really on the Airbnb website.  Screenshot (248).png

Clare0
Level 10
Templeton, CA

Deborah, you are more intrepid than I...I wasn't about to click on that link.  One question remains, though.  Should the real host do anything like change passwords, etc. ? If her listing got hacked, somehow the hacker got her info to do it.  I'd be interested in Airbnb's instructions. 

Deborah0
Level 10
California, United States

Clare -- the hackers send you this link only because they WANT to hack into your account, not because they have already done so.    If they had already hacked your account they would not be sending you messages.  Once they hack your account, they don;'t want you to know about that -- if you know about it, you will take steps to repossess your account and lock them out.  

 

THere is no point  in hackers contacting you after they have hacked your account, unless, (as we see in some sad cases) the hacker is actually holding your account or whole computer ransom, and is asking you to pay them a fee to restore the functioning of your computer to you!  That does happen sometimes when people are tricked into downloading something onto their computer that they shouldn't -- eg they receive a message, ostensibly from an antivirus program company, saying their computer is at risk and they need to fix that by intsalling a program.  Their computer is not at risk if they ignore this hacker message, but once they download the hacker software, their computer can be held hostage.  

 

Sometimes clicking on a link does introduce a virus into your computer, but one has to think about what the hacker's goal is.  WIth Airbnb hosts, the hacker's goal is not to just play pranks and put a virus on their computer.  The goal is to steal their account info -- which they do by prompting hosts to log in on fake Airbnb pages.  So by and large, the main things we have to beware of as hosts, is being prompted to log in on fake Airbnb pages.  

 

 

Clare0
Level 10
Templeton, CA

What alarmed me is that there was a duplicate apartment listing but with a different host name.  If Sophie's actual account wasn't hacked, how did the hacker get her listing info and, get it on Airbnb to boot. 

Deborah0
Level 10
California, United States

Clare, the business about the duplicate listing and different host name is all phony.!!!  THERE IS  NO DUPLICATE LISTING!!!  (There is no other host copying their listing!! )THis is all a fiction by the hacker to create a sense of alarm in the host so they fall prey to the hacker.

 

The whole point of the hacker is to come up with some ploy (in this case, the fiction that someone else copied their listing -- in other cases, it has been a ploy to ask host to go to a link that will supposedly help them be a superhost in 4 days) to get the host to do what they want, which is to visit their link and log in.  SO with this fiction, they create a sense of urgency and alarm in a host, so that they don't think about what they are doing, but end up logging into a fake Airbnb page because they think someone else copied their listing.

 

 

Point being, the story that is presented is beside the point, it is all fake.  The whole point is that you are being sent a link that the hacker wants you to think is the AIrbnb site so you log in. THey will come up with a thousand different ways to get you to do that.  You need to see through all this  and realize what they are trying to do.  Eg you need to not miss the forest (the hacker luring you into the phishing site) for the trees (the particular one of any of a thousand fictional stories the hacker may present in order to get you to do that).  

 

To make the host believe the "guest" more readily, hackers will often use AIrbnb  accounts that they have already hacked into, to contact other hosts.  That way, the host thinks the person contacting them "must be real" because they see the person has 23 reviews, or whatever, and a real  listing with real reviews.  That guest is real, but the person contacting you is not that guest, it's the hacker who hacked their account and is using their account now to lure others into their phishing site so that they can expand their arsenal of hacked accounts.  

 

I'm not clear how Sophie got the message, whether through Airbnb messaging (eg as we do from any guest, when they inquire with us) or whether she got this to her private email only.  @Sophie0  can you let us know how you got this message?  In your Airbnb account or on your private email only?  

 

 

Clare0
Level 10
Templeton, CA

So Amelutza is the scammer, right?  Now I get it.  Sorry I'm so dense!  

Deborah0
Level 10
California, United States

Yes, @Clare0  the "guest" in this case, the person contacting Sophie, is the hacker/scammer/criminal.  Something that I think would be very helpful for all hosts to keep in mind, is that anyone contacting you with a message that has a phishing site link in it , or a "fake" Airbnb link, and telling a story to get you to go to that link, is a criminal.  No real guest will be sending you a link to a criminals' website.  Similarly, we have seen cases of messages posted on the old Airbnb host community groups (and it's possible some may get posted on these groups too) which are posted by criminals, and these messages contain links to these "fake" Airbnb sites.  These messages may say things like "Tricks to become  a Superhost in 4 days!"  Or "Secrets on how to make a huge amount of money as a host!", or the like.  Something that basically sounds unlikely and scammy, but naive hosts may fall for it.  

 

In general, a good guideline for hosts, is to be aware that if someone is telling some sort of story and asking you to visit a link that seems to be a fake Airbnb site because the link has the word "Airbnb" in it, but it isnt' the real Airbnb address (which as a host it pays for you to know), then you should be cautious.  

As I mentioned, these criminals are largely not out to spread viruses -- if that were their only goal, they would not be seeking Airbnb hosts specifically, they could email anyone at all with links that cause problems if you click on them.  Rather, they are seeking to send hosts to fake Airbnb websites, designed to look just like the Airbnb log-in page, to lure hosts to log in with their account info there, so they can steal your email and account password, and then gain access to your account.  THere are numerous types of crimes they can commit once they do that, from using a real Airbnb users' account to contact someone like Sophie to try to lure more hosts in, to stealing money from the host's account, to setting up fake listings and trying to get lure guests to pay them offsite and steal money that way.  

 

I posted a lot of information about how hackers work, and showed images of phishing sites, here:

How hackers try to scam Airbnb hosts

Clare0
Level 10
Templeton, CA

Yes, I see it now.  Ive been totally absorbed by guests being scammed that I missed totally the fact that hosts are being scammed too. Would like to share with you some scams I've found with you in a private email but don't know how to do it this forum.  😞

Deborah0
Level 10
California, United States

I'd be interested to hear what you have found -- I'll email you -- I have your email address already from previous conversations we had --  this forum doesn't have direct messaging set up yet.  

 

Maxine0
Level 10
Brighton, United Kingdom

@Deborah0 - you are really good and great that you are looking out for people. I do wonder though how the scammer managed to get a link through the airbnb enquiry system when normally things like emails, numbers and links get deleted and pre-booking come through as (number deleted) etc before reaching the host/guest.

Unless Sophie is the scammer in disguise 🙂   of course not but just a thought raised by your comments about scammer infiltrating the forums already.

 

Its a nightmare for any large company where transactions are going through the system between hosts and airbnb - if the scammer had got sophie's login details they could have accessed her payment methods and changed the account payment details to a different account. Worrying stuff.

 

 

Clare0
Level 10
Templeton, CA

One way scammers get emails is by following @airbnbhelp on twitter.  People corresponding are either hosts or guests.  Although Airbnb stresses to all to DM (Direct Message) which is a private conversation, both hosts and guests unwittingly post their email addresses in a public twitter forum and the scammers go to town.  Airbnb tells them to delete tweets with private information, but they just don't get how dangerous it is to have the world have access to their email address. 

Deborah0
Level 10
California, United States

Very good information, @Clare0, thank you for letting us all know about that! I don't use Twitter myself so I would not have known about that.  

Maryam-Al-Fakheer0
Level 10
Ma'an Governorate, Jordan

Or "Secrets on how to make a huge amount of money as a host!", or the like.  Something that basically sounds unlikely and scammy, but naive hosts may fall for it.  

 

Well, I am one of the naive hosts. This happened to me just yesterday through a LINK posted in the Community.

I got a notification from ABB about a login from a different com[puter in the USA while I am based in Jordan (Middle East).

 

I changed my password immidiately, but after that the hacker signed in again !

 

I checked my account and listings and found:

- in each of my 3 listings a message that if someone wants to book to use another email address;

- the "notify my when a listing has been changed"  or something like that, that box was not ticked anymore, so I would not get any notifications anymore;

- the hacker was creating another (4th) listing in my account for an appartment in New York;

- my account was connected to an apps with name: Lithium Community.  I have no idea what that is.

 

I deleted ALL changes and changed my password again.

I have reported everything to ABB.  They were working on my case and would contact me very soon.

All I have noticed is that my listings can not be found anymore. But NOT ONE WORD I heared so far from ABB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maryam-Al-Fakheer0
Level 10
Ma'an Governorate, Jordan

At same moment I posted my story above ABB fixed all my problems and everything is fine now.  
And..... I HAVE LEARNED A GOOD LESSON ! 

Clare0
Level 10
Templeton, CA

Hi @Maryam-Al-Fakheer0! So sorry to hear you've had this experience.  Unfortunately you are not the only one victimized in this manner.  Not only do hosts get their profile hacked, the scammers then go on to post listings scamming guests out of $1,000's by telling them to contact them directly and pay outside Airbnb.  

It's a real problem.  Glad that Airbnb was able to put it all right.  

Clare0
Level 10
Templeton, CA

This is what happens when your profile gets hacked.  The host in this situation has a real listing, but the hackers took over her profile and created 4 new fake listings (only 3 shown here) and probably more around the world. These were duly reported to Airbnb and removed by them, but I doubt the host in this situation even realized what was going on.  

 

 

Athens Scam Listings.JPG

Maryam-Al-Fakheer0
Level 10
Ma'an Governorate, Jordan

Thanks @Clare, 

 

This is exacty what happened to me. The hacker was in the process of creating another FAKE listing.  

They also UNcheck the box for notifications, so you would not know if any changes was made.

I changed my password directly 2 times !, but later I found that the password was NOT changed at all.

 

And yes, Airbnb helped me out on this in a great way and everything is fine now.

 

 

Deborah0
Level 10
California, United States

I too wondered how that link got through the AIrbnb system, since normally the Airbnb software removes all emails, phone numbers and website links unless they are pages on the Airbnb website.  

 

Yes, @Maxine0, it does seem that wherever there are financial transactions, there are scammers and criminals somewhere in the picture, trying to break in and steal.    It's ironic, because at the same time we are being liberated by the internet and all that the internet is capable of in terms of connecting people, creating community, offering services and answers, providing information to people, and making it possible for you to do business from home  -- at the same time, I think it's much easier for criminals to commit certain kinds of crimes on internet businesses, than it would have been if those were brick and mortar businesses with no internet presence.   So there are pros and cons of the internet, and it just behooves everyone to keep their wits about them.      

 

 

Sophie0
Level 2
London, England, United Kingdom

Hi both,

 

Thanks so much,

 

Yes this was sent to me through Airbnb with a requested date. I will report it now! Although I find it really difficult to ever get in touch with Airbnb!! 

 

I assumed they wanted me to login so I havent done anything yet.


Thanks guys x