Family lost $9000 to Hawaii Vacation Rental scam on Airbnb

June 8, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ News

An IT expert has been fleeced for thousands of dollars after falling victim to a fake listing on the popular accommodation website Airbnb.


Damian Teh-White and his wife Katherine, from Melbourne, found a $900-a-night luxury resort-style Hawaiian villa with seven bedrooms and oceanfront views in Honolulu in April.


But before the couple proceeded with their booking, the advertisement informed holidaymakers to contact the property owner, known only as ‘William’, via email to inquire about its availability.

After exchanging several emails with William, who was replying from an Outlook account, the 52-year-old IT specialist paid nearly $9000 via bank transfer to an account based in Poland.

The pair booked a $900-a-night luxury resort-style Hawaii Vacation Rental villa in Honolulu in April

‘I feel foolish and stupid being caught up in this,’ Mr Teh-White told Daily Mail Australia.

‘It was our first time using Airbnb and we heard a lot of good stories about it so we wanted to give it a go. We didn’t think anything would go wrong because we trusted the website.’

I’m generally a paranoid person – we even checked everything and did some research before making the payment. It’s a real property, so we didn’t think it was suspicious.

‘I felt nervous that the bank account was located in Poland but when I realised something didn’t seem right, it was too late.’

When Mr Teh-White clicked on the confirmation link in his email, it directed him to a fraudulent duplicate webpage created by the impostor instead of the genuine Airbnb website.

The email exchange between Mr Teh-White and the person posing as the property owner has been obtained by Daily Mail Australia.

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