Users using Rental Websites like Airbnb are vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

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Briton’s holidaymakers are being warned by law enforcement agencies about scammers posing as homeowners renting their flats & villas and duping innocent people for thousands of pounds. And as per an estimate prepared by Daily Mail more than 100 people a week are being cheated out of thousands of pounds by fraudsters, leaving them with no holiday to show for it.

As per sources, Scammers are targeting genuine profiles of owners who let their properties on rent on popular websites every year. They then intercept email communication, impersonate as owners and start a correspondence with the probable clients. After they succeed in posing as an owner, they then ask the person who wants a property for lease to transfer money to them on a direct note and then vanish with their cash without a trace.

Victims are generally lured by fake websites constructed with photos and descriptions stolen from genuine holiday websites.

The ease with which scammers are circumventing cyber security is not only surprising the victims, but also the security experts.

Perhaps it’s time for booking firms to tighten up their digital defenses as a matter of urgency.

UK’s popular website Daily Mail claims that most of the victims of this fraud were duped by fraudsters who sent them a booking confirmation email from an Airbnb email domain. When the holidaymakers reached their booked destinations, they were shocked to know that they were in fact victims of a cyber fraud where they not only lost money but also their precious holiday season.

Airbnb admitted that some fraudsters were using their company’s logo and image to dupe public. And the San Francisco-based company which offers hospitality services added that it is taking all necessary steps to prevent such cyber frauds in near future, by weeding away fake accounts.

Some users of Homeaway, Holiday Lettings, TripAdvisor were also victimized in this online rental fraud.

More details will be updated shortly.

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Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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