We have recently been victim of an Airbnb fraud. While searching through the app for an accommodation for a weekend, we came across an Airbnb verified listing that led us to contact the host outside the platform. The listing was inviting us to contact the host via email due to issues in synching their Airbnb calendar and was openly providing an email address.
As described in the listing, we contacted the host and after some back and forth on details, the host generated an Airbnb-like booking confirmation email. Very professionally, the email was sent from an Airbnb-like email address and contained a link to customer service. Before carrying out the wire transfer, we unfortunately checked with what we believed was Airbnb’s customer service and got assurance about the legitimacy of the listing/booking.
I discovered this was a fraud a couple of weeks after carrying out the payment, as the booking did not appear in my Airbnb app. I then reported this to Airbnb complaining about the fact that they had hosts verified through their on-boarding process that led me to a scam and requesting some form of help or compensation.
Airbnb has been handling the issue in an extremely unfair way through their (outsourced) fraud department, fundamentally saying that they are not in any way responsible for anything that happened to me and that they can’t control what’s going on their platform. They closed my case a couple of times and no one, whether they’re in the fraud department or customer service, has been helpful in any way.
Not only that, but a few days after I reported my fraud case to Airbnb, I could find very similar fraudulent listings on the platform and I reported them – clearly they didn’t act upon them. My question is the following: is there any consumer protection for this issue? What do you suggest doing? The amount here is considerable (a few thousands euros). Any help would be very much appreciated.