I booked a house from December 23-25 in Maui. The host asked me to use a wire transaction for the deposit and cleaning fee to his private account, a total amount of $840. He claimed the deposit is refundable but the cleaning fee isn’t. The first time he gave me his “secretary’s” account to wire the transfer but it fell through. I guess I should have stopped there. Then he gave me his property manager’s account so I filed the transaction on October 24th and it went through. He said he received the money and the house was booked. Then I received a message saying my reservation has been canceled. He explained to me that this was a result of a system error due to Airbnb being updated. He suggested I make my reservation directly with the property manager. He also asked me to proceed with the rent payment to his property manager’s account so they could complete the reservation.
As of this point, I had already wired him $840 and he still asked me to wire $749 more to his property manager’s account. He said as soon as I did that my reservation would have been officially made. He also said it was a private booking but it would show up on the Airbnb website as soon as the upgrade was finished. This was my first time using Airbnb and I thought it was normal that he sent me a text massage directly. I already wired $840 to his account. He asked me afterwards to also wire the rent, $749, to his account. Then I realized something was wrong. I replied to him, saying that my family had an emergency and we had to cancel the trip; I wanted my deposit back. He said he understood perfectly and will refund my money the moment he receives it.
Now it’s been one day and I still haven’t heard back from him. I texted him a few times but he still hasn’t replied to me. The property is in Haiku-Pauwela, Hawaii. The host’s name is David. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.