40 Replies Latest reply: Sep 15, 2019 9:08 PM by margaret RSS

    Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?

    margaret CommunityAmbassador

      This is a scam site, at least some of the listings are scraped from HA/VRBO. We need watermarks on our photos.

       

       

      https://www.bnbfusion.com/

        • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
          ohst8er Premier Contributor

          margaret, how did you find out it was a scam site?

          • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
            auntytammy Contributor

            Are you sure it's the site that is bogus or just certain listings?

             

            I, myself, recently added my listing to Houfy.com which also is an Owner Direct site.

             

            "Victoria" may be the real culprit here.

            • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
              snow New Member

              I found one of my neighbors on my lake in Maine on this site. I know "Victoria" is not the proprietor. I am trying to contact them directly. Does any one know what we can do if we find our listing on this or any fraudulent site? Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

              • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                My property IS on there and even my reviews were copied in another location but the names were changed from the original guests?

                 

                 

                Does anyone know how to contact without logging in????

                 

                This is quite disturbing and yes Victoria is NOT me!!! GRRRRRRR

                • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                  wildiris Active Contributor

                  Thanks for the heads-up, Margaret!  My listing is (fortunately) not on it.  Has anyone reported this website to the authorities?  Here's a link to a WikiHow article about how to report a fraudulent website -

                  How to Report a Fraud Website: 10 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow

                   

                  Someone who has a listing on this website should report it to the FBI.

                  • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                    u0999 Premier Contributor

                    One of the Smokes owners found hers there. We need to fill DMCA request to take down site.; FBI won't do a  thing

                    • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                      twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                      I Tried to report to FBI, they will only take internet crime on-line. I tried to complete the forms and since I didn’t not get scammed myself, (one of the required blanks is amount of money) it would not let me go any further.

                       

                      Hope that vrbo/homeaway can provide something to get the entire thing taken down, they must have contacts within the internet community.

                       

                      I Can hope.

                        • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                          wildiris Active Contributor

                          It's good that you tried.  I was concerned that they might not do anything if you haven't suffered a financial loss yourself.  It's tough for an owner to prove financial damage.  It will be hard for owners to learn about a specific booking that we lost (which would represent a financial loss to us) because the traveler booked through bnbfusion instead of through Vrbo. 

                          • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                            bonesxxx Active Contributor

                            If Expedia/Vrbo/HA are aware, you can bet they are doing something to shut it down.

                             

                            Let our 14% service fee go to work on our behalf via Expedia's corporate counsel at $650/hour.

                             

                            In the final analysis, this site preys on guests, not owners and the site is clearly stealing IP from Vrbo/HA... let them put the dog in this fight.

                              • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                                wildiris Active Contributor

                                Maybe yes, maybe no.  I'm not sure that they would care very much about travelers being scammed.  (Although I think they should.)  HomeAway might care that the bnbfusion website is a copyright infringement of the Vrbo and HomeAway websites because they are copying listings' text and photos en masse.

                                 

                                MODERATORS PLEASE TAKE NOTE.

                                • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                                  scowol Active Contributor

                                  While this is indeed "alarming" and frustrating, this isn't really anything new or surprising.  Phishing emails taking users to fake login sites have been around years and years and years and years.   Scams luring people to wire money for a product or service to a fake owner, and of course Craigslist ads for actual VRs have been rampant for years.  A few years ago I was checking on CL daily for my properties, and would flag them, and get others to flag them.  It worked--for a day. The next day they resurfaced.  I finally gave up.  It was futile.

                                   

                                  Is HA concerned?  Absolutely.  Is Airbnb concerned?  Even more so--it's a blatant logo ripoff.  But neither has any "Magical Internet Powers" to take other sites down.  Will I report this to the FTC?  Absolutely.  Will I report this to the search engines.  Done.  Will the site be taken down?  Possibly.  Eventually--if they can even find the overseas owner in a secret basement.   But the next day, the illicit operators of this site will simply restore it under a new website domain address, and rebrand it.  Meanwhile other scammers are already watching and learning about this site, and building their own sites. Right. Now.  The technology to do so is simple, cheap and fast to replicate legitimate sites.

                                   

                                  As I said, my properties are advertised by scammers on CL.  If someone chooses to stupidly wire money, or even worse, transfer cryptocurrency to pay for a rental, I'm not a party to their stupidity.


                                  If travelers sadly make the decision to trust and conduct business on a site that is...

                                  • Unknown
                                  • Has zero reputation
                                  • Contains spelling/grammar errors; e.g., "Informations"  "How do I contact host ?  ? "
                                  • Is poorly formatted; e.g., https://www.bnbfusion.com/user/help/index
                                  • No contact help to reach the site's customer service department
                                  • Inquiries go to a black hole; i.e., you never get a reply from the owner
                                  • Takes cryptocurrency as a form of primary payment
                                  • Has clickable links to an Apple and Android app that doesn't take you to the site to launch the mobile apps (and they don't exist on the app stores)
                                  • Invites you to join them on social media that is nonexistent; e.g., clicking on the Facebook icon redirects you back to the scam website--not social media
                                  • Clicking on "Earn Money from Host" (poorly written) box directs you nowhere.
                                  • Requires a credit card number in order to register on the site as a traveler.  (Yes, please be stupid and enter your credit card number to simply register for a traveler account)
                                  • and so on...


                                  If not one of the above bullet items gives a person pause and makes them stop for just a moment and scratch their head, then, I'm sorry but I don't have much sympathy.  Yes this sounds heartless, but c'mon.  Scams and snake oil is a 100-year old business.  Just as people were 100 years ago buying snake oil from a traveling salesman, they are still too quick to fork over cash (I mean Bitcoin and credit card numbers) without doing any research.  As the FTC says, do your homework.  HomeAway and Vrbo are trusted sites.

                                   

                                  Again, once this site is taken down--don't celebrate.  It will resurface under a new logo and domain name.  And the other sites being constructed now will be posted.

                                   

                                    "Let the buyer beware."

                                   

                                  Rental Listing Scams | Consumer Information

                                    • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                                      twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                      The problem is unfortunately there are unsuspecting people out there and when they find out they have been scammed they think it is the homeowner. They have no idea that Victoria is fake. I understand what you are saying that there just isn’t much we can do, but those guests who may eventually get scammed will tell their friends/family and it will hurt the business overall.

                                       

                                      Wonder if Victoria is really a hotel chain. (Just kidding))

                                • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                                  wildiris Active Contributor

                                  I have reported the bnbfusion website to Google as a scam.  Here's the link to that page -  Report a Phishing Page

                                   

                                  If several of us report it, perhaps Google will take down the URL.

                                  • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                                    wildiris Active Contributor

                                    I just tried to register on bnbfusion as a traveler.  The registration process REQUIRES the traveler to set up at least one payment method they are having travelers submit either a PayPal account number or a credit card number BEFORE the traveler can "message" an "owner."

                                    • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                                      dramsey Contributor

                                      Yes. Our property is fraudulently being listed on this site.

                                      • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                                        ambidextrous Active Contributor

                                        These guys must be legit!

                                         

                                        "Offline or cash payments are a violation of our Terms of Service, and can result in removal from b&b fusion. We prohibit off-site payments because paying outside of b&b fusion makes it harder for us to protect your information and puts you at a greater risk of fraud and other security issues."

                                         

                                        See? Hahahaha! It's a nice site... too bad it's total BS.

                                        • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                                          samantha_ha Contributor

                                          Hi Everyone,

                                           

                                          Thank you for flagging this to us. This website is not a VRBO or Expedia owned site, nor is it an affiliate. I see that many of you have reported the website using various avenues, but for those who havent, you can report the site to the FBI using this site:

                                           

                                          Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) | Home

                                           

                                          Our teams are monitoring. Thank you for being vigilant in spreading the word on this.

                                           

                                          Samantha

                                          • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                                            twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                            I Just noticed on mine that they are using archived pictures from vrbo, not even the current ones, HOW are they accessing my archived pictures.

                                             

                                            BTW: Victoria’s picture has changed to a much more ”smiley” lady.

                                             

                                            This whole thing is very very disappointing. I don’t want my home associated with scammers. Poor guests who fall for it and apparently there is nothing that I can do at this time to prevent it. (Frustrating)

                                              • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                                                scowol Active Contributor

                                                They didn't access your archived pictures. They accessed them previously when they were publicly active before you archived them.  Work of this magnitude didn't just happen today.... it's been a work in progress.

                                                 

                                                As I mentioned earlier, you can't let allow this to get to you or try to "own" it.  Thousands of property photos and listing copy were lifted and fraudulently posted on a fake site.  This is not different than the Cragislist scam that has been going on for years and years.  This is not a new type of scam.   The only difference is that the scammers have evolved to consolidating listing on a singled hosted site that they own.

                                                 

                                                A year ago, someone sent me an inquiry via VRBO to confirm their reservation for a booking they made at my property via Craigslist (CL) - (I don't advertise on CL).  They had  wired money to a stranger. The fake reservation was for a full month and the rate was $600 for the entire month.  I replied that I don't advertise on Craigslist, and that there was no reservation--at least at my property.  I also advised them that my monthly rate, which they can quote online with VRBO, was $8,500.  I suggested they contact the authorities. They understood I was not a party to this crime whatsoever, and they also admitted that it was beyond stupid on their part to wire money to a stranger, and not question the ridiculously low price. 

                                                 

                                                At the risk of again seeming to be heartless, I can't feel sympathy for a person who ignores the numerous red flags on this site and still pushes forward willy-nilly to enter their credit card number to merely create an account before booking.  And honestly, I'd rather not want to have a person of this decision-making capability staying at my house. If they fall for this type of scam, I can't fathom someone of this mindset staying at my house and the havoc they would cause.  Let that sink in....

                                                  • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                                                    scowol Active Contributor

                                                    And this is just the beginning...

                                                     

                                                    https://thisrentaldoesnotexist.com/about/

                                                     

                                                    https://www.chrisplaysgames.com/gadgets/2019/02/19/this-airbnb-doesnt-exist/

                                                     

                                                    https://futurism.com/fake-airbnb-listings-machine-learning

                                                     

                                                    This Site Uses Deep Learning to Generate Fake Airbnb Listings

                                                     

                                                    The future of the internet is lots and lots of fake stuff.

                                                     

                                                    Fake Beds

                                                    There’s a four-bedroom Edinburgh unit with “original wood floors,” listed by Christine. And there’s a two-bathroom apartment in Gainesville with a double sofa bed and open kitchen plan, listed by Michel. A “beautiful apartment” in Berlin has a “floral feeling.” A three-bedroom in Rome includes “utilities and toiletries.”  There’s just one problem with these Airbnb listings: they don’t exist.

                                                     

                                                    Machine Learning

                                                    A new website uses machine learning to whip up plausible-yet-slightly-incoherent apartment listings — from a description to ersatz photos of the interior. The site’s creator, Christopher Schmidt, was inspired by This Person Does Not Exist, another recent viral site that uses a neural network to generate photos of nonexistent people.


                                                    Schmidt trained This Airbnb Does Not Exist’s image generator using a dataset of apartment interiors and its text generator using actual Airbnb listings. The result: fully furnished figments of the digital imagination.

                                                     

                                                    Plausible Enough

                                                    Strikingly, Schmidt had little previous experience with machine learning. But by studying similar projects, he said, he was able to pull together a site that generates almost-convincing fictional rooms.


                                                    “This means that just about anyone with a couple hours to kill could create something just as compelling as I did,”


                                                    Schmidt wrote about the project. “While there are parts of the experience that are weak, overall, I think that it works: the listings are often dubious, but typically plausible enough that they would survive a quick glance.”

                                                      • Re: Scam site BNBfusion. Is your listing on it?
                                                        twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                                        I understand how you feel. However I still believe if enough of these scam fake platforms become a major issue we will all lose business because people trying the platform for the first time will not know the difference between a real one and a fake one so with that in mind they may go back to hotels and motels. What kind of reputation will the viable ones have after all this? 

                                                         

                                                        You stated you didn’t want that type of guest in your home I think some of the people in the senior set may fit the type of people being exploited and those are exactly the type of people I do want in my home.