Scammers from Russia are using Airbnb to launder cash from stolen credit cards, according to a new Daily Beast report.
The criminals are reportedly finding hosts willing to aid and abet, or hacked accounts, through Russian-language crime forums. The fraudsters then request bookings from these fake accounts without any intention of having people actually stay at the location, and the hosts send back most of the profits.
One of the posts found by the Daily Beast showed a request for hosts to funnel as much as $3,000 at a time. The report indicated the fraudsters were seeking hosts both in Russia and the wider European Union.
The report comes after a recently unsealed indictment against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort detailed how he allegedly laundered money through Airbnb.
The platform replied to the Daily Beast’s report by stating that it “uses a multi-layer defense strategy to prevent fraudsters from ever accessing the platform in the first place,” and that when it’s made aware of suspicious credit-card activity, it employs “micro authorization friction and 3D-Secure to verify if a credit card is being used by its owner and assess the level of risk associated with a transaction.”