July 25, 2017

Airbnb – the heartache of fake holiday scams

Photo of LG Smartphone with Airbnb logotype on the screen. Selective focus.
Copyright: gyddik / 123RF Stock Photo

Here’s another Airbnb scam story, straight from the balmy, beach town of Esperance in Western Australia:

As ABC News tells it, last weekend, a family of “some very nice people” – also known as utter strangers – showed up on the door step of Carmel Creed. I opened the door and some very nice people were there going, ‘Is this the B and B?” And I said, ‘I think you’ve got the wrong address’. Oh, no, couldn’t be: they had paperwork. They showed it to Ms. Creed, who’s never listed her property on Airbnb. But there it was: an exterior shot of her house, plus another photo that seemed more generic.

It didn’t take long for the realization to settle upon them all: it was a fake listing, and these nice people, who’d driven 4 hours south to get to their vacation spot, had been had. We were just standing there not knowing what to do really. Awkward!

Airbnb refunded the family and permanently banned the fake host from the platform, a spokesperson told ABC News. They said that there have been over 180 million guest arrivals on Airbnb, and bad experiences like this one are “extremely rare.”

Well, maybe, but this scam […]

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