My wife just had a close call with a scam artist claiming to be an Airbnb rental provider on Maui, Hawaii.
After giving all her credit card information, the confirmation of the rental was e-mailed and gave instructions to wire funds to an address in Croatia. Knowing that Russia and Eastern Europe is home to many scam artists, she immediately tried to obtain more information on the rental property.
No phone number was given, and the address (checked on Google Earth) was in an industrial area. Google’s street view showed no buildings that fit the description on the scammer’s website. She immediately called the credit card company and cancelled not only the transaction, but the card as well. She will be issued a new card in short order.
I want to alert everyone to this scam, because until she dug deeply into the details, it appeared totally convincing — no misspellings, a nice photo of a clean-cut young man and lovely pictures of the rental, complete with palm trees (Google Earth saw NO palm trees in the area given).
The give-away was the absence of a phone number, as my wife always depends upon a direct phone call in case a problem arises.
I hope relating our little adventure will prevent someone else from being victimized.