The following chapters offer a small introduction to popular rental scams and how these work. Please read through this section carefully and see if anything applies to your situation.

Airbnb Bitcoin scams

The popular vacation rental marketplace Airbnb is well known for its fake listings. The supposed owners of the rental home request Bitcoin payments prior to your arrival only to later disappear without a trace. Their listings are usually lower priced compared to similar listings of a particular area and will request a full payment (without refund) before you visit the location. In most cases, the actual listing will not exist in the first place. It is best to avoid these types of listings as a whole, or request the personal information of the owner and the home’s address (which you can later check on Google Maps).

Craigslist Bitcoin scams

Similar to Airbnb, Craigslist also has a dedicated section for short and long-term rentals. Due to the unregulated nature of the platform, any user can claim to own a rental property and post an ad about it. When a user shows interest in the property, the supposed owner may request a deposit in the form of Bitcoin. Once the amount is paid, the ad disappears and the Bitcoin is never refunded. To avoid this type of scam always request a viewing of the rental property before paying any deposits.

Other types of room rental scams

Websites like Spareroom or Gumtree are also notoriously popular when it comes to scamming attempts. Users do not need to pass through complex verifications, which makes it easy to create a new listing. These individuals will post photos of a house that is not actually theirs and request a deposit before a viewing is possible. If this deposit is paid using Bitcoin, it is impossible to get it back, and the scammers can easily get away with it. Similar to Craigslist, always request a viewing before you commit to anything and make sure you crosscheck the personal details of the landlord.

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