Airbnb scammers are hijacking users’ accounts with great reviews and then burgling them once they’ve gained access to the home, an investigation has found.
Several users of the accommodation-booking website have had their homes burgled after scammers managed to hijack their accounts.
According to the BBC, three of them had their properties burgled after leasing their home to what they thought were verified users.
Scammers managed to hack into their account and change some of their personal details so they could pull off the thefts.
Christian was one of the victims of theft who had let out his apartment while he was away for his birthday for a few days.
Airbnb scammers are robbing homes by pretending to be users with great reviews
He told the BBC: ‘While I was enjoying the hotel, having breakfast…I got that horrible text message saying somebody is in the flat. It’s not me because my account had been compromised. Obviously my birthday was over.’
A verified user’s account had been hacked but all their positive reviews remained so that Christian thought they were a legitimate person.
Airbnb was made aware of the investigation and is now cracking down on scammers by tightening their security.
One of their improved features includes sending text warnings if profiles are altered and two-step authentication.
Nate Blecharczyk, co-founder of Airbnb, told the news site: ‘Unfortunately there have been some incidents where hosts and guests have suffered.
‘This is not acceptable to us, therefore we’re working around the clock to do everything we can to improve our detection and prevention methods.’
In a statement, the company said: ‘These incidents are simply unacceptable and while thia experience is incredible rare, we are not complacent.
‘Today we announced a number of new safety defences to better tackle fraudulent activity.’