RENTALS.SG COMMENTS: The following article appeared in 9News Australia. Guests should always adhere to using drect online system payments and verification tools provided by the established rentals platforms. Systems in place are quite secure.
Police are warning Australians about renting private holiday accommodation this summer as the number of people scammed has more than doubled.
Imagine booking accommodation for your holiday and turning up to find the owners have no record of your booking.
It is a rude shock that, sadly, is awaiting many families this festive season.
"What we're finding is the accommodation sites like Stayz and Airbnb are the ones that are being affected," Superintendent Terry Lawrence from the Queensland Police fraud squad told A Current Affair.
Queensland Police say fraudsters are targeting popular booking websites with completely fake advertisements.
"People are either posting fake addresses, or taking images of houses or accommodation places and putting them up in a different location and enticing people to pay the deposit, and then the full amount. And of course, when they arrive, there's no accommodation there at that particular address at all," Mr Lawrence said.
Queensland Police recommend always paying through a booking website and not directly into a bank account.
"Apart from researching widely, make regular contact with the accommodation provider, the official one, to make sure your accommodation is there and your payment has been received," Mr Lawrence said.
"If you have concerns, contact the actual website provider, so in this case it would be Airbnb or Stayz, and make sure that everything through them is okay."
If you have been scammed out of your holiday accommodation, make sure you report it to police and the ACCC.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2016