The Reykjavík Metropolitan Police warn of scam housing ads online.
Among websites used for these scam listings are bland.is, mbl.is, and Airbnb. Fortunately, police point out, most ads are reliable, and as soon as the websites are aware of dubious ads, they remove them.
Police tell people the best protection against such a scam is showing some skepticism.
Following are some good advice to those who are looking for a place to rent online:
Avoid any unusual communication with the person you plan to rent from. If you possibly can, take a look at the accommodation before you rent it. If renting abroad, go through reliable parties, and don’t agree to send payments off-site or through email.
If renting an accommodation in a different country, check Google Maps to judge whether the surroundings are as described in the ad. Also, check the terms of service, as presented by, for example, Airbnb, to be informed about your rights when the payment is made through Airbnb’s website.
If you receive suspicious messages, seek advice and follow your gut feeling.
Check out examples of dubious listings on the police department’s Facebook page.