When booking accommodation for a holiday in Paris, I found a beautiful apartment on Airbnb that was going to cost 2500 euros for 4 people for a week. I contacted the host who got back to me immediately and answered all the questions I had. When it came time to pay, the host sent me bank details are asked me to pay them directly.
I found this strange so I clicked on a link in the same browser to contact Airbnb help and ask if this was normal. The scammer managed to replicate the Airbnb help window and ‘airbnb employee’ replied saying that it was normal to pay a host directly and not always through the Airbnb site. I decided to go ahead and pay for the accommodation at which point the host disappeared and never replied to another message.
All attempts to recover the money from my bank and from Airbnb were unsuccessful. I learned the hard lesson to only ever pay through the Airbnb platform and never directly.