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A Nationwide Scam on Airbnb? November 1, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in People, Travel & Leisure.

If you or your family & friends use Airbnb when you travel, you might want to read this article before making your next reservation:

I Accidentally Uncovered A Nationwide Scam on Airbnb (Vice)

The author, Allie Conti, investigated and reported on a potential Airbnb scam involving a number of “fake hosts” in multiple cities.

During her investigation, she received no satisfactory answers from Airbnb to her questions about its verification procedure to guard against scammers.

Aah . . . Be Wary!

Note to Self:  One more reason to stay home.


1. joyroses13 - November 1, 2019

Interesting! We had thought about using that when we were looking for a place to stay in Vancouver this summer but I decided against it. Glad now that we did!

nrhatch - November 1, 2019

I expect that the bad apples are few and far between . . . but it sounds like Airbnb could do more to protect the unsuspecting.

joyroses13 - November 1, 2019


2. anotherday2paradise - November 1, 2019

We’ve never used it, but thanks for the warning.

nrhatch - November 1, 2019

As with many purchases: Buyer Beware!

3. Alien Resort - November 1, 2019

Staying home is a good plan.

nrhatch - November 1, 2019

There’s no place like home!

4. Jill Weatherholt - November 1, 2019

I’ve heard about this, Nancy. You know, I’m not too surprised. This is why I love staycations! 🙂

nrhatch - November 1, 2019

Me too! “Wherever you go . . . there you are.”

5. Behind the Story - November 1, 2019

I hope the FBI has some success in investigating these scams. It’s hard to keep up with them, though. It’s a shame because lots of people have benefited from using airbnb.

nrhatch - November 1, 2019

It’s a great idea . . . with a few potential potholes.

6. Tippy Gnu - November 1, 2019

Such a long read, I only read about a quarter of it. I’ve never used Airbnb, but about a year ago I got a bogus charge on debit card for an Airbnb I supposedly rented. I got the charge taken off, plus a new debit card. To this day, it’s still a mystery to me how that charge occurred.

nrhatch - November 1, 2019

We needed to get a new credit card recently for the same reason ~ fraudulent charges that we did not make that got charged to our account. Cyber commerce has its challenges!

7. Rivergirl - November 2, 2019

I did hear about this… and a lot of other problems like hidden cameras and theft. I’ve never AirBnB’d… and I doubt I will now.

nrhatch - November 2, 2019

One of the hidden cameras was on Longboat Key . . . a sleepy (now sinister) island 20 minutes away from us. 😯

8. L. Marie - November 3, 2019

Oh no! A couple I know always uses them on their vacations. ☹️

nrhatch - November 3, 2019

Maybe share the article with them so that they have an idea of what to look for?

Several people in the article who got scammed are still sold on Airbnb and don’t plan to desert the brand.

9. Debra - November 3, 2019

We’ve used Air bnb and have had good results, although mixed, if you include a few small areas where the description didn’t precisely match the expectations. Altogether we’ve kind of arrived back at thinking hotels are still generally best for us. And at the same time, I’m rarely all that eager to leave home, if I’m honest. 🙂

nrhatch - November 3, 2019

Since there’s usually just 2 of us when we travel, hotels work pretty well. If I traveled with an entourage, Airbnb would be quite tempting . . . despite the occasional glitches.

10. Ally Bean - November 5, 2019

I saw that article, too, and have to admit that I’ve been leary of Airbnbs from the start. If/when we travel we stay in hotels or motels, but friends swear by Airbnbs so maybe it’s the luck of the draw. Or maybe they’ll soon be a thing of the past like 8-track cassettes– something that filled a need for a short period of time…

nrhatch - November 5, 2019

Probably more success stories than horror stories . . . but I don’t travel enough to want to chance it. In a hotel, you can ask for another room if the toilet leaks or the mattress is lumpy.

11. Joanne Sisco - November 6, 2019

We have used Airbnb extensively over the past several years throughout Europe and Canada, although admittedly never in the US.

We’ve never had a bad experience with the units we’ve rented, although one place in Bruges, Belgium made us question the quality of user reviews.

All of our hosts have been gracious and helpful. I’d like to believe that our experience has been more than just luck. The horror stories always get a lot of attention and hopefully those are few and far between.

It’s unfortunate that there are unscrupulous people everywhere.

nrhatch - November 6, 2019

Excellent points, Joanne. I’m pretty sure that my brother and his kids have used Airbnb with great success ~ in Europe, Asia, and South America.

Probably Canada too! 😉

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