I have been a victim of online fraud totalling 1,297 Euro whilst using your website www.airbnb.es.
Below I have outlined what occurred whilst using your website.On 10th February I contacted the host via the internal mail of Airbnb, the landlord of a luxury Chalet.
I do not have a copy of that email as all my emails in Airbnb have been deleted from my Airbnb account, and not by me.
It was the first time I rented an apartment via Airbnb so I did not know the normal procedure of the website, however, I reiterate, nothing seemed out of place to me.
I received the following e-mail from a fake Airbnb adresse that told me to contact the landlord.
I contacted the landord and the landlord agreed to give me a discount on the price and said Airbnb would contact me directly.
After that, I received and e-mail from a fake airbnb adresse confirming the reservation and with the details of the payment
I made the payment via Western Union Wire Transfer to the certified “secured Airbnb agent”
I read in the website that Airbnb sometime pays the host via Western Union so that seemed normal to me. Also the payment was located in the USA and I know Airbnb is an American company so this also seemed normal to me.
Airbnb is an interesting business model but it is not acceptable that the company does not validate ownership of properties, the identity of the users or if lessees are permitted to sublet. Apparently accounts are hacked quite often. Airbnb should be liable for the things that happen in their own website. In addition to that, Airbnb is aware that these operations are not compliant from a tax perspective as the landlords normally do not declare the amount that have been paid. Airbnb is profiting from this too.
International courts consider that websites that permit the transfer of illegal IP content such as P2P platforms (Napster among others) are liable because they acknowledge that the operation was not fully legal.
Airbnb cannot control all the websites and hackers, but that is why companies have insurance that cover situations like the one.
I can assure you that I am very careful in my online transactions as I am a lawyer. Something is very wrong if this has happened to me, a trained and practicing lawyer, because this means that could happen easily to anyone.
To resolve the problem, my request is that Airbnb would reimburse the full amount for which I paid for the fake apartment. I contacted the fake landlord through your website and I know that Airbnb as has insurance to cover these kinds of situations.