Following a substantial fine from the Federal Court for misleading pricing practices, Airbnb faces a $15 million penalty and an additional $15 million compensation payout. This stems from misleading customers who believed they were paying in Australian dollars when, in reality, the listings were in US dollars.
Exploiting this situation, scammers have swiftly emerged, promising refunds to Airbnb customers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has highlighted this fraudulent activity in its media release on the court action, cautioning the public against potential misuse of the release by scammers.
The ACCC urges vigilance, warning against unsolicited calls offering assistance with refunds. It advises immediate hang-up, emphasizing never to disclose personal information or provide access to computers or bank accounts in response to unexpected calls, texts, or emails.
The ACCC’s release details Airbnb’s misleading actions, revealing that customers, paying in US dollars, incurred unexpected charges, impacting their ability to make informed booking decisions.
ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb emphasizes the importance of holding large digital platforms accountable to Australian Consumer Law, signaling a commitment against misleading practices. The ACCC acknowledges Airbnb’s agreement to compensate affected customers, with the platform initiating contact within 45 days for claims.
Stay cautious and informed to protect against potential scams and maintain consumer awareness.