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Security alert: Airbnb scams powered by Land Lordz

Wednesday 17 April 2019 09:47 CET | News

Scammers who make a living defrauding Airbnb.com customers have a powerful new tool at their disposal called Land Lordz, according to security researcher Brian Krebs.

Land Lordz is similar to a software-as-a-service and enables bad actors to automate the creation and management of fake Airbnb Web sites and the sending of messages to advertise the fraudulent listings. The malicious service costs USD 550 per month, and the “basic plan” helps the fraudster manage more than 500 scam properties and interactions with up to 100 (soon-to-be-scammed) “guests” looking to book the fake listings. When the interested party inquires about the listing, they are sent a link to a site that looks like Airbnb.com but which is actually a phishing page.

Moreover, the Land Lordz service includes several sets of default positive comments from fake past reviewers that can be used to populate the fake listings. The non-existent home and apartment rentals offered by these scammers are all sold on monthly rates, and the seller’s page says buyers must pay a deposit of the first month before the date is locked in.

Currently, this scammer has just four dozen listings, virtually all of which are for properties in London and the surrounding United Kingdom, the researcher added.

To improve security, Brian Krebs suggests Airbnb should add some type of robust multi-factor authentication, such as Security Keys which would defeat these Airbnb phishing pages. According to twofactorauth.org, Airbnb currently does not support any type of multi-factor authentication that users can enable.


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Keywords: fraud prevention, sharing economy, Airbnb, Brian Krebs, phishing, multi factor authentication, UK
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Countries: World