Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.
Tech News 8th May 2017 921

Fraud Warning On Holiday Bookings

As holiday season gets into full swing, late bookers may still be considering where to find their dose of summer R&R.

Those planning to book privately-owned villas, cottages, flats or apartments should keep the risk of fraud at the front of their minds.

Bigger agents now have huge online portfolios of properties for rent. For example Airbnb boasts over three million in 191 countries. Homeaway, which also operates Owners Direct, claims more than a million in 190 countries.

However, for these large operators there is a constant battle with fraudsters to be fought. Considerable money can be made from unguarded, would be renters and swindlers are ready to pounce.

Fake listings are the obvious challenge.

Personally, I have found, on several occasions, the same phot purporting to be different properties because a trickster has borrowed photos from a real villa to concoct a non-existent one. Google’s easy to use ‘reverse image search’ makes it easy to check for this.

But the con men are also stealing property owner’s identifies and diverting enquiries to themselves to pocket the dosh. They are also putting up fake web pages that look just like Airbnb or Homeaway pages as the scams grow inn sophistication.

Both leading agencies have web pages to guide renters on avoiding a sting.

Anyone planning to rent a property should read www.ownersdirect.co.uk/info/trust-and-security/fraud-recognition and www.airbnb.co.uk/trust.

Beyond that, of course, there is the risk that although the property exists when you turn up, it is not of the expected standard of maintenance, furnishing or cleanliness.

For anyone unconvinced by the scale of the risks involved, pop along to www.airbnbhell.com. A fascinating but very sobering read awaits.

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.

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