Booking through Airbnb over a traditional hotel is so popular the company reached more than $1 billion in revenue in 2017. Unfortunately, that also makes it a target for scammers. In this con, scam artists spoof the Airbnb website and fool victims out of thousands of dollars with no hope of reimbursement.The scam starts when a consumer visits the Airbnb website and finds an apartment or house to rent. The host requests that questions be directed to an email address instead of through the site. When the consumer emails, the scammer replies that the property is not available for the stated dates. Instead, they offer a link to a similar property. The link points to a spoofed Airbnb site that looks almost identical to the real one. The “About” page even links to the real site’s “About us” page. There also a live chat option, which is not offered on the official site. If the consumer decides to rent the property, they are prompted to wire money and are never contacted again.Consider the following tips before booking an Airbnb:Never wire money outside of the Airbnb platform. The host might offer a special discount if you bypass making payment via the website. Airbnb an online payment system to protect both the renter and host. As soon as a renter wires money outside of Airbnb, the company is no longer liable.Watch out for lookalike URLs. A company’s website can easily be spoofed. Be sure to carefully check the web address before filling out your payment method. A secure URL should always begin with “https://”.Look for a superhost. Being a superhost means that you have consistently received high reviews from previous renters. Airbnb defines a superhost as having the following: 10 completed trips in a year, 90% response rate or higher, 80% of reviews are 5 stars, and rarely cancels confirmed reservations.As with all reputable online marketplaces, stay on the website to complete the transaction. Don’t be tempted by discounted prices to pay outside the site. Source: Huffington Post, The Online Citizen, and AirbnbFor more tips on how to avoid Airbnb scams, visit the original article Six Tips to Protect Yourself from Airbnb ScamsTo report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to https://www.bbb.org. Stay up on the latest scams by subscribing to BBB Scam Alerts emails.