Incidents

Airbnb is scamming its users by asking them to donate money the platform due to COVID-19

The pandemic continues to cause multiple online security issues. Logical security specialists say that one of the companies most affected by social distancing has been Airbnb, as their profits plummeted while governments around the world imposed restrictions on tourism and leisure activities.

To mitigate the economic impact of the health crisis a little, the hosting platform announced the launch of a donation program through which its users could help maintain Airbnb operations. 

Although some start-ups and retail establishments (bars, forums, nightclubs and others) have implemented these campaigns successfully, Airbnb’s proposal was received in the worst possible way as some users even have accused the platform of attempted fraud, causing anger, loss of customers and partners, as well as threats to initiate legal processes, mentioned logical security experts.

After revealing the level of economic losses generated by the coronavirus, Airbnb operators began asking their users to send “kindness cards”, a means for issuing cash donations, claiming that it would be virtually impossible to maintain their operations their financial situation did not improve, as thousands of hosts who collaborate with the firm began to leave the platform.

In interview with Bussiness Insider, an Airbnb spokesperson assured that 100% of the revenue earned through this campaign would be for the benefit of the platform’s hosts: “In order to avoid the loss of more partners, we enabled a new feature that allows users to send virtual cards with support messages to our hosts; if they wish, users can also submit an economic contribution.”

As mentioned in previous paragraphs, the proposal was not well received by Airbnb users or the general public, mainly because the economic crisis affects everyone alike, so users are unlikely to decide to send their own money to save the company.

The company has already received hundreds of complaints from hosts, logical security experts mentioned. The main argument is that the firm has implemented severe cancellation policies since the start of the pandemic, which not only limited its profits, but generated considerable losses. Users have also shown their dissatisfaction, believing that the firm will significantly increase its rates when the confinement measures are relaxed.

A couple of months ago, the company announced that it would use more than $250 million USD for the hosts to recover lost money, although this plan has not yet been implemented.

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