As you know, online scammers look for our money all year round, but the holiday season is a time when such hunting can be particularly profitable. Despite the drastic price increases by airlines and hotels, offers disappear in the blink of an eye, and future travelers sift through websites desperately in hopes of finding affordable accommodation and airline tickets.
We are not saying that travelers targeting travelers have it easy. For their activities to be successful, they have to deceive a lot of people, and this involves publishing a lot of deceptive ads and auctions and handling them efficiently. This season, they have a powerful new tool at their disposal: the Land Lordz.
What is Land Lordz?
Land Lordz is a subscription service intended for fraudsters. It helps automate the creation and management of fake real estate listings and pages that look like Airbnb pages. At the moment the only brand using deceit to Airbnb, which it is known for , although we suspect that in the future there will be similar, which will refer to popular sites related to travel.
The basic package costs $ 550 per month. For this price, a scammer can manage more than 500 bogus offers simultaneously and communicate with hundreds of people who would like to take advantage of their hospitality.
How is the scam going?
Scammers use Land Lordz to prepare and post attractive real estate listings on Airbnb; for this purpose, they usually use their names and photos available in legal offers. In addition, potential victims may read some false positives under the offers. Each listing states that payment is made via Airbnb to protect the customer and refund them in the event of dissatisfaction with their stay.
Since the offer looks too good to be true, it seems natural to write to the host for details. The reply comes almost immediately and includes a link that takes you to a page that is not (!) Owned by Airbnb. The website has a very professional appearance, referring to the aforementioned portal and prompts the user to register.
After logging in, the authorization data goes directly to the fraudsters. However, this is not the end of the story – since Land Lordz allows scammers to track all messages with potential victims, you are prompted to pay a deposit. Otherwise the reservation cannot be made. Of course, as soon as the money is sent, the fraudsters break off the correspondence.
How to avoid this type of fraud on travel related websites
- Be skeptical about any tempting offers. If an opportunity seems too good to be true, it is probably a scam. For more tips on how to avoid disappointment, check out our post on the risks of vacation planning .
- If your future host prompts you to click any links, be vigilant. This is especially true when it asks you for direct payment in advance.
- Always check your browser’s address bar to be sure you are on the page you wanted to be on. Use a reliable password manager : if the program does not automatically fill in the login and password on a given page, it is probably a fake.
- Always use a reliable antivirus solution that will notify you when a clicked link leads to a malicious website, such as a phishing site.