Accommodation Booking Scams

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Jun
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Accommodation Booking Scams

Post by Jun »

AirBNB (US)
A rather long rambling article, but to summarize:
1 Concern in US, not Thailand
2 Scammers advertise a nice respectable property
3 10 minutes before the customers arrive, they receive a phone call claiming a "plumbing problem" and offering to move them to a slum property
4 Severe difficulties obtaining refunds
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43k7 ... -on-airbnb
I must also note that this isn't exactly a recognised publication.

Of course, I expect this is a very rare occurrence, so it's just one to file away at the back of the brain just in case the phone call comes 10 minutes before arrival.

So far, I've never actually stayed in an AirBNB appartment, despite having visited some very nice premises booked by a friend and having browsed their site several times.
More recently when I looked at them, they are showing an "approximate location", which in the case of Pattaya is probably 20 minutes walk from the real location. Where I do know the real location, it's because I recognise the external photo of the building & quickly confirm on google maps.
For instance, one was near Tuk Com on their map, but the photo showed a building on the hill down to Jomtien Beach.

Approximate locations are presumably given to prevent some malpractice, such as people bypassing AirBNB for the booking. However, I want to know exactly where I'm going to stay. Partly because the average bar boy doesn't like walking an extra 20 minutes.


Agoda (Thailand)
A few years ago, I booked a hotel in Ayyuthaya, via Agoda. Upon arrival, this nice old lady told me they were full and they had a hotel around the corner. Of course this was an inferior hotel with a poorer review score. As I was only staying one night, I went along with it. Having stayed there and realising how unsatisfactory the room was, I wrote a scathing review on Agoda.

In future, I shall simply decline any offer to be relocated.

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Re: Accommodation Booking Scams

Post by firecat69 »

Well it is easy enough to get a near exact location.

!.Sometimes the reviews will give you the location by mentioning a restaurant etc a few steps away. Or sometimes I send a message asking for the name of a restaurant that is close to the property.. Owners are good at giving a restaurant etc that the Airbnb won't block Then you plug that restaurant into Google Maps and you will know your location.

And of course you can always make the reservation which is fully refundable and then you are given the exact location . If you don't like it , then cancel for a full refund.

I have used Airbnb all over the world and always knew exactly ( within 200 yards) where the property was before I could lose any of the deposit.

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Re: Accommodation Booking Scams

Post by Gaybutton »

Unfortunately there is also no shortage of scams and scammers in Thailand. Be careful.

Here's one right here in Pattaya:
___________________________

Man arrested over pool villa scam in Pattaya

By Adam Judd

October 31, 2019

Pattaya – A man has been arrested for a pool villa scam in Pattaya.

A team of officers led by Lt. Col Piyaphong Kensan of the Pattaya Tourist Police have arrested 27 year old Thai man Apisit Yongkun (also known as Phonpawit ‘Base’ Saelow) at a condominium in Pattaya yesterday.

The arrest came after more than 30 victims had reported to police that they have contacted to book pool villas with a broker in websites. The victims include foreigners and Thais.

They had transferred rental and deposit money to the broker. Some of them can’t check in and some didn’t get deposit money back when they checked out. In total, it is about 300,000 baht.

Apisit is to be charged with showing himself to be another person committed by the assertion of a falsehood to the public or by the concealment of the facts which should be revealed to the public.

He did not answer any questions when arrested.

https://thepattayanews.com/2019/10/31/m ... n-pattaya/

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Re: Accommodation Booking Scams

Post by Jun »

firecat69 wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:53 pm
Well it is easy enough to get a near exact location.
!.Sometimes the reviews will give you the location by mentioning a restaurant etc a few steps away. Or sometimes I send a message asking for the name of a restaurant that is close to the property.. Owners are good at giving a restaurant etc that the Airbnb won't block Then you plug that restaurant into Google Maps and you will know your location.
This is all very well, but how many properties do I need to investigate like this in order to find one in my preferred location ?
If the first few listed on AirBnB are over half a mile from where I want to stay, a lot of time is already wasted.

For example, the first property I just clicked on is shown on South Pattaya road, near the 5 Star restaurant.
From the pictures, it's clearly by the junction at the top of the hill going to Jomtien beach. This is about a mile away !
Even more time is wasted if I don't recognise the building.

I'm taking my own thread off course here, but it seems AirBNB make it really difficult to sort by location.
Then once you are booked, in the unlikely event there is a problem, the article referenced in the opening post suggests they are not doing much to stop scams. Not exactly Amazon levels of customer service.

So I have generally given up pretty quickly and used a hotel booking site.

Back on the original topic, if anyone else knows of any hotel booking scams, it's would be nice to hear them. I'm sure all of these are very rare, but it's probably better to have them stored at the back of the brain so we can recognise them if they crop up.

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Re: Accommodation Booking Scams

Post by firecat69 »

First I have to admit I never used Airbnb in Thailand because I generally know where I want to stay. But I just looked at my past rentals and I have rented through AirBnb in 15 different countries and multiple locations in some of those countries. I have never been disappointed ..

I fail to understand how anyone could worry about a scam. Airbnb keeps the money until you have checked out . If anything is not right, the owner will not get the money. There are no direct payments to the owners/lister .

I did book a property for a friend in Barcelona and at the last minute the owners said not available. Airbnb moved heaven and earth to find a replacement property and when they could not find anything suitable , they refunded all the money and paid for the Hotel.

Listening to stories from newspaper accounts etc are pretty worthless.

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Re: Accommodation Booking Scams

Post by Jun »

firecat69 wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:45 am
I fail to understand how anyone could worry about a scam. Airbnb keeps the money until you have checked out . If anything is not right, the owner will not get the money. There are no direct payments to the owners/lister.
I don't worry about scams. I just like to be aware of them so that in the very unlikely event that they occur, I recognise the signs.

For example, when I was walking towards the palace in Bangkok on my first ever trip, someone walked up to me and said it was closed today. I'd already heard that one, so carried onto the palace, which was of course open. Very nice it was too.

I probably missed out on his offer of a tuk tuk tour, with visits to lots of overpriced souvenir shops.

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Re: Accommodation Booking Scams

Post by firecat69 »

Jun wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:49 pm
firecat69 wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:53 pm
Well it is easy enough to get a near exact location.
I'm taking my own thread off course here, but it seems AirBNB make it really difficult to sort by location.
Then once you are booked, in the unlikely event there is a problem, the article referenced in the opening post suggests they are not doing much to stop scams. Not exactly Amazon levels of customer service
I'm just replying to what you posted! You can't be a customer with Airbnb without providing copies of your passport , photos etc. I'm sure the homeowners have even more rigorous requirements . Can someone slip through? I guess anything is possible, but they will removed rather quickly and in my experience the renter will suffer nothing.

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Re: Accommodation Booking Scams

Post by pong »

Other same thing I just saw at booking:
just out of curiosity I looked at Jomtien/PTY for a few nites, for the highly unlikely event I might go there. I always start with cheapest/non-dorm and hey: many so called apartments are presented at costing say 1200/1500 for 3 nites, pretty good, but then look on: there are service or whatever fees extra to more as double that! 500/N typically buys you a fan room without windows, but the general opinion here it must thus be filthy etc is plain nonsense.

Now in BKK here where in this area 6/700 buys you a budget but reasonably good AC-room with some extra service too.

Ive never done via AirB&B due to all that extra effort to contact etc on arrival, generally prefer cookie-block HTL-chains for short visits. Plus that you apparently need to present yourself as trustworthy guest via social media, in which I do not participate anyway. But often in my cheaper days Ive had accommodation in East-EUR that could or may also very well have been like AirB&B-before that came big. Renting rooms in private houses was very normal in communist days anyway.

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