Home Technology Russian crooks use Airbnb as money laundering platform

Russian crooks use Airbnb as money laundering platform

A computer, an online rental site and a little imagination: these are enough ingredients to launder dirty money without moving from the couch, after stealing blue cards.

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For online criminals, market places (more commonly known as “market places”) are real havens to traffic. This observation is also verified on Airbnb.

Daily Beast investigation reveals Russian crooks use the community rental platform to launder money. A way for them to transform stolen credit card sums with the participation of corrupt hosts. These are recruited from forums frequented by criminals, as the American news website has seen in a number of recent posts seeking volunteers.

“We make 50/50”

The maneuver is simple: the thieves pretend to reserve lodging; the transaction takes place with the owners put in the blow, which return the sum to which they withdraw a commission. In the meantime, of course, no one actually moves to the leased premises, says cyber security expert Rick Holland at Daily Beast.

“It’s 50/50,” reads a Russian forum post posted by a scammer. “You will receive the money two days after the reservation date,” promises another. A third post mentions a search for serious volunteers willing to rise from $ 1,000 to $ 3,000 for each transaction.

On the side of Airbnb, which takes about 3% commission per transaction, the tone is reassuring. “We have a real-time detection system that tracks each Airbnb reservation in advance based on risk.” Using machine learning and predictive analytics, models instantly evaluate hundreds of signals to stop any suspicious activity, “said Nick Shapiro, Global Head of Risk Management and Trust at Airbnb, Daily Beast.

For now, it is difficult to measure the exact extent of Russian money laundering on the private rental platform. But Airbnb or not, it is obvious that the market places are privileged places to offer a new life to funds of illicit origin.

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