Airbnb cancels donation bookings in Ukraine due to scammers

At the beginning of March, Airbnb users from all over the world found a quick way to support Ukrainians. Using the platform, they began to book apartments for the summer and pay the owners in advance, although they were not planning to visit the country. As of March 21, people booked more than 434,000 nights in Kyiv, Odesa, and Lviv for a total of over $15 million.

However, to limit scams, Airbnb has canceled donation bookings in Ukraine with no explanation that confused a lot of users who wanted to help Ukrainians, Wired says.

But the platform has not completely canceled this option for making donations. It is still possible to help Ukrainians by booking their apartments on Airbnb.

  • According to Wired, some “hosts” created fake advertisements for renting apartments in Ukraine. In some cases, the “hosts” did not even live in Ukraine.
  • Even though the money was intended for humanitarian purposes, the publication of fake listings runs afoul of Airbnb’s policy. After investigating such cases, the service canceled the bookings and returned the money to the renters.
  • Moreover, in mid-March, Airbnb stopped allowing new hosts to create listings in Ukraine. The company has also said that it is “closely evaluating” all listing activity in Ukraine.

Earlier, the company’s CEO Brian Chesky has also announced that Airbnb would provide free accommodation for up to 100,000 Ukrainians.