Airbnb scams: Zero stays a ’red flag’ - host

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An Airbnb host says guests should always check reviews before booking.

A number of people have been scammed by the hosting site recently.

One family was left almost $5000 out of pocket while booking a trip to Auckland and another group of friends were scammed when booking a house over the holiday period.

Both groups had been re-directed to pay money into a Spanish bank account when making the booking.

In a statement, Airbnb said they had removed the host and listing.

"Fake or misrepresented listings have no place in our community," the statement said.

"We recently introduced new security tools to help tackle fake listings and educate our community about staying safe online, including more education to users on how to book safely".

Other changes included more visible messaging and more visible flags to allow people to report suspicious listings.

"The most important thing to know is that as long as you stay on the airbnb.com platform and only send money through Airbnb, you will always be protected.

"There have been over 260 million guest arrivals on Airbnb and negative experiences are extremely rare."

Patrick Dodson is a host in Queenstown, and said he always checked reviews.

"If I was going to stay at another place and there was zero views on the system then I would probably write that person and get more information because I'd want to know if it has other guests who stayed at this place, if it's a first-time place.

"If I'm the first person they've ever hosted probably a red flag would go up in my own mind."


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