Police on Tuesday warned holiday makers to be extra cautious when booking accommodation in houses and apartments online after receiving several complaints from people who were scammed when believing they had booked their stay and paid money to secure it.
The police cybercrime unit has received a number of complaints from people claiming to have lost money in an attempt to rent homes, apartments or other tourist accommodation online.
The complainants said they had made bookings for accommodation and paid for them online only to find out their booking was a fraud when they got there.
Fraudsters seem to post fake ads on websites for rented accommodation in Cyprus and abroad, pretending to be the owners of these establishments. When the prospective victims make bookings, they are asked to pay the required amount to bank accounts abroad.
“As a result, the money is deposited into the bank account of the scammers, while the reservations made by the victims are not valid,” police said.
Police and the cybercrime unit called on members of the public to confirm that the online ad is genuine and be cautious before making any payment online. They are also urged to make bookings through the websites offering such accommodation and not through personal arrangement with the owner of the property.