Ukraine Airbnb

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When people began booking Airbnb rentals in Ukraine to get money into the hands of the embattled country's citizens, it seemed like a good idea — even to Airbnb, which waived its 20% booking fee for Ukrainian properties. 

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The effort raised plenty of cash quickly. Over 434,000 nights have been booked with $15 million going to hosts in the country. But now, it appears scammers have crashed the party. 

Airbnb, suspecting some of the listings to be fraudulent, has started canceling some bookings — and is no longer allowing new hosts in Ukraine to create listings at all.

While Airbnb is making an effort to eliminate so-called "ghost listings" that link to nonexistent Ukrainian rentals, the company says people who still want to help can donate directly to Airbnb will be providing free short-term housing for 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine. 

Ukraine AirbnbPhoto credit: Airbnb

This isn't the first hiccup that the effort has encountered. Even legitimate Airbnb listings don't indicate whether a host is an individual or a professional renter. The latter can host dozens of properties and may actually be employed by a large corporation. There is no way of knowing anything about that corporation — including where it's located. In fact, some people may have actually sent money to a Russian corporation when booking a Ukrainian Airbnb.

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Vetted charities provide more opportunities for people to help Ukrainians. Organizations providing support in the country include the following:

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