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Australia: Watchdog will help oversight Airbnb

 |  February 23, 2017

Australia’s competition watchdog will work directly with Airbnb, Stayz and other shared accommodation providers to stop the dramatic rise in users being scammed on the site.

The Australian Consumer & Competition Commission has flagged a more direct approach to dealing with shared accommodation providers to make warnings of potential scams clearer and strengthen consumer protect­ions.

Criminals are becoming more sophisticated in their tactics to trick users into paying for accommodation that doesn’t exist, but Airbnb, Stayz and other online accommodation providers need to make their warnings for new users clearer, the regulator said.

“These warnings need to be prominent and not buried way at the bottom of the page and only accessible through multiple click troughs … which is what they do,” ACCC deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard told The Australian.

The regulator has fielded 15 complaints this year alone, with users losing an average of $800 each on the site, including one user in February who lost $8558.

Last year, the ACCC had 166 scam complaints across Airbnb and Stayz, with users reporting an average loss of $2231 per person.

Full Content: The Australian

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