Identity theft, Phishing or SMiShing

What is phishing?

Phishing is a scam in which the scammer tries to pass him- or herself off as an accommodation owner. To do so, the scammer obtains the login details of the property owner and communicates with travellers while pretending to be the original owner, even to the point of renting out someone else’s house.

  1. Types of phishing aimed at owners
    Whether through emails, text messages or WhatsApp, etc. a scammer is posing either as Rentalia, another company that wants to manage your accommodation or even as a traveller.
    When the scammer pretends to be Rentalia (or a Rentalia employee), then usually the individual sends a notification offering some sort of free promotion to the account owner or simply a message requesting the owner to log in to their account because of an alleged failure with their data. The link sent by the scammer leads to a page identical to Rentalia but not belonging to it. Once the owner enters his or her data, then the fraudster can take the user’s identity and pretend to be him or her.
    When fraudsters pretend to be a company that wants to manage the accommodation, usually they will offer some sort of intervention/cleaning/management services to (supposedly) make the owner’s life easier. Some even claim to be part of Rentalia. The only intention of the scammer is to appropriate the money from the reservation paid by the travellers and then disappear.

A scammer may also pretend to be a desperate traveller who needs to make an urgent reservation. This is usually done by sending an email explaining a complicated situation and the scammer adds a link that looks like a Rentalia listing, but it actually isn’t. The intention of the scammer is to obtain the owner’s access details and subsequently pretend to be the user.

How can you avoid being a victim of these types of phishing?

  • Rentalia does not send any kind of notification or management via WhatsApp, therefore, do not trust any notification that supposedly comes from Rentalia that you receive via this medium.
  • Rentalia only uses text messages (SMS) to notify an owner when a traveller writes a rental request or makes an online booking. Therefore, excluding these two cases, do not rely on any other notification that supposedly comes from Rentalia via text message.
  • Rentalia does not offer any intermediary services or cleaning of accommodation. Therefore, nobody from the Rentalia team, or from a company we collaborate with, will ask you for your login details to manage your listings.
    Make sure that you only enter your username/password in official Rentalia pages that have “https” in the URL and that have a security certificate. This certificate is shown with a green padlock and, on some pages, the text “Rent Alia Holidays SLU” is displayed. If you click on the green padlock you will be shown the text “Secure Connection”.
  • Usually the pages that pretend to be Rentalia fraudulently have in their URL the word “Rentalia”. However, all of them lack this green padlock which proves that you are entering your data in a safe page.

Other tips to detect these types of phishing:

  • If you open a page that looks like Rentalia, but the links don’t work or they take you to other pages, you’re probably experiencing a potential phishing attempt. You should close said page and do not enter any personal information.
  • If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the Rentalia team asking you for your passwords, with some excuse such as a raffle or a gift, be suspicious and don’t give them any details. Rentalia staff cannot access your passwords and will never ask you for them by phone. If you have any questions, you can get in touch with us via this form:
  • Be suspicious if you receive an email with lots of spelling mistakes, translations with lots of errors or emails where the traveller tells very elaborate or far-fetched stories.

2. Type of phishing aimed at travellers

You receive an e-mail from an accommodation owner who you have contacted. To pay for an accommodation booking, they ask you to send a wire transfer to a foreign bank or through an account they have on another website. You pay for the booking and you think that it is all done. The problem is that you have paid a fraudster who has managed to hack the true owner’s e-mail or is passing himself off as the latter. You will have lost your money and the real owner will not know that you have, in theory, booked their accommodation.


  • Whenever possible, always pay through the Online Booking system.
  • Although you may have received e-mail confirmation, try to confirm the booking by telephone as well.

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Updated on 21 February, 2020

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