July 25, 2017

Airbnb Criticised For Taking Nearly Two Weeks To Remove ‘Fraudulent’ Account

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Niall Carson / PA Archive/PA Images Airbnb has been criticised by the consumer group Which? after it took nearly two weeks to remove a fake account that was deliberately set up to look fraudulent.

Which? created a series of fake profiles across Airbnb, Homeaway and Tripadvisor’s Holiday Lettings in order to investigate “how easy” it would be for scammers to use the sites to “hoodwink holidaymakers with fake listings.”

It was able set up eight fake listings on Airbnb without any proof of ID, it said. It then deliberately broke the site’s rules by providing a contact email address on the listing – a tactic often used by scammers to entice consumers to communicate with them off the site and then encourage them to pay via bank transfer for a fake room.

Airbnb spotted and removed the address. But Which? was able to add it back to the listing again after without it being noticed by the company.

It then used Airbnb’s on-site reporting mechanism to flag it as a potentially fraudulent account but it remained active for 13 days before being taken down, during which time a “real fraudster could have scammed several people,” it said.

“More needs to be done to tighten […]

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