Beware - airbnb long-term rental scam doing the rounds in Vienna

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morgenhund
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Beware - airbnb long-term rental scam doing the rounds in Vienna

Post by morgenhund » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:23 pm

A friend looking for a flat came across a suspiciously good deal for long-term rental, and sent it to me to take a look. The flat was available for a 5 year period, located centrally (4th district) and very attractive (nearly 200 m2 attic/penthouse - or rather "mansard" as they put it) for about 1,100 Euro a month. And even better the option to renew after five years.

As soon as I read the mail from the person apparently letting it, it became even more clear that is was a scam. There was a deposit to be paid to get the keys to view it, and that in addition to the month's rent. This had to be paid up front and then the keys would be sent along with an inspection permit via airbnb. The owner claimed that she couldn't get over from the UK to do the viewing, and allegedly airbnb was the simplest way of getting the keys to the interested person for the viewing.

It is of course too good to be true- a Viennese equivalent of the scam reported in the Guardian back in 2014 here: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/o ... nb-tenants

The mail, apparently from a British lady, was suspicious given some of the turns of phrase upon closer inspection. Ads are doing the rounds on sites like immowelt.at


Vienna is like an Ikea sofa - you know you should upgrade, but why bother when it is this comfortable.

txesba
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Re: Beware - airbnb long-term rental scam doing the rounds in Vienna

Post by txesba » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:02 pm

Not exactly like the airbnb scan but along the same lines:

There are quite a few bogus flat ads on bazar.at. It is impossible/useless to report them because the scammers just make new accounts. The tip off is usually the very low price for the m2. Then it is clear from the photos, which usually look very generic and do not match the m2 listed.

If you have a doubt, do a reverse image search on google of the pictures. You will usually come up the same picture for listings all over Europe.

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morgenhund
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Re: Beware - airbnb long-term rental scam doing the rounds in Vienna

Post by morgenhund » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:45 pm

The one I received turned out to have the street address of the rectory of the Karlskirche! Would agree that the scam is not a Vienna-only phenomenon - but the new constellation of using an airbnb letting to lend credibility is a development on the existing scams.
Vienna is like an Ikea sofa - you know you should upgrade, but why bother when it is this comfortable.

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