WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Airbnb is cracking down on fake listings. The company has removed 59,000 of those accounts this year. Airbnb property managers in Wichita worry this trend will scare off customers.
“I’ve seen horror stories with two guests showing up at one listing. One because they got scammed and one being real,” co-property owner Allison Langer said.
Fraudulent listings cause issues for Airbnb, like refunds and rebooking costs, creating a ripple effect of problems for property owners.
“People lose trust in Airbnb, and they’ll stop using that platform,” Langer said.
The company is now using AI and GPS to verify addresses and compare locations with pictures the host uses on the listing. A tool Airbnb property owner Lesley Perreault sees as a benefit.
“I do think that there’s a definite use of it that’s already happening in the marketplace, and I see more and more of it happening in the future,” Perreault said.
There are warnings of fraud for customers that a rental could be fake that people should be aware of.
“If the property owner asks you to pay outside of the Airbnb platform, definitely a red flag. Do all of your business and correspondence through the platform that you booked. That way, you’re protected,” AAA Spokesman Shawn Steward said.
Properties that pass the AI test will get a “verified” icon on their listings starting in February.
The company said it will verify listings in 30 more countries starting late next year.