Airbnb warns of scams in Minnesota

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Texas Tech celebrates after a win against Gonzaga in the West Regional final in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. Texas Tech won 75-69. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Texas Tech Red Raiders are headed to their first ever Final Four appearance in Minneapolis, Minn.

As the team makes the trip north, fans are sure to follow. However, as hotels sell out, many may turn to Airbnb type accommodations.

But Airbnb is warning fans to be cautious of third party scams are March Madness comes to an end.

Company officials say they have seen a rise in people enticing travelers to book on third-party websites that are not part of Airbnb and ask guests to wire money. Travelers later find out the site is fake, but the company says by the time they realize it, their money is gone.

As such, Airbnb has offered of these safety tips to Red Raider fans and anyone else planning a trip.

Read the Ratings: Guests can look through feedback from past guests to help find the right fit for them. They’ll see ratings on several quality dimensions, like cleanliness and accuracy, and detailed reviews with authentic feedback about the experience. Guests can only leave a review after they’ve stayed with that specific host, so they know the feedback they’re seeing is based on actual experiences. Minneapolis also hosted “The Big Game” in February 2018, so Texas Tech fans and alumni may want to hone in on reviews from that month for a sense of how the potential listing suits guests during similarly large events.

Get questions answered: Our secure messaging tool is a safe and easy way to ask a potential host any questions about their home or experience before booking. After booking, guests can also message their hosts to coordinate check-in and stay in touch throughout your trip — something that will be particularly important in the Twin Cities as fans and alumni descend on the city for the tournament. For example, the host can provide guidance on the right public transportation to get from their listing to the downtown Minneapolis stadium. Additionally, with the games taking place in the evening, guests should be sure to let hosts know if they’re going to be arriving back at the listing on the later side.

Do a safety check: Once guests arrive at the home, they should make sure to know where all relevant emergency equipment and safety information is located. If it’s not clear where something like the first aid kit or fire extinguisher is, guests should not hesitate to ask their host. It’s always better to be prepared.

If anything isn’t right, reach out: If you arrive at a home and something’s not quite right, reach out to us. We’re standing by 24/7 in 11 languages to help with things like rebooking assistance and refunds or reimbursements. Our team is aware of the big stretch the Twin Cities has coming and is prepared to support.

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