Airbnb is a popular platform which lets people open up their homes as accommodations for travellers across the world. Toronto has been a significant city on the website with over 530,000 reviews on the website. But, there are some dark sides and risks involved with staying in someone else’s home.
Sgt. Nunzio Tramontozzi from the Toronto Police Department notes that his department has noticed a significant growth in human trafficking cases which have a connection to Airbnb. The website has been a hub for conducting illegal transactions, and the police believe it has to do with the anonymity offered on the site.
“It’s more anonymous for them, so it’s a lot easier not to be caught by the police when they’re in these private types of residences rather than hotels and motels where we could get more information,” says Tramontozzi.
One disturbing account in the GTA involved two 18-year-old male visitors forcing their 19-year-old woman host into sex trafficking. The two males are currently in custody facing 58 charges, while the woman is undergoing medical support.
The Toronto Police warn that if you are renting out your home or apartment on Airbnb, you should be aware of who is staying on your property and report any off behaviour.