It is all too easy for fraudsters to list properties they don’t own on villa rental sites, take a booking, and disappear with the money.
This is what the island’s Unit for Combating Cyber-crime warned on Tuesday following an alarming rise in fraud cases of this kind over the recent past months.
The Unit also said in a statement that fraudsters post advertisements on rental sites, such as Airbnb, for villas or other accommodation in Cyprus and overseas pretending to be their owners.
And when prospective tenants go ahead and book a specific accommodation, the fraudsters ask them to pay the required amount to bank accounts abroad.
The bookings, of course, are not valid and the money is gone, the Unit also said before giving out tips so as to make a booking more secure.
To start with, they advise prospective tenants to ensure that listed property advertisement is genuine.
And to also avoid personal payment arrangements with the owner even if it is cheaper because it will be harder to get redress if things go wrong.