Airbnb Allows Fake Account to Let Felon Host

I was preparing for an extended work assignment in a northern state. After viewing several places, I came across an Airbnb that was in my price and location. I messaged the host and introduced myself to “Debbie”. She said that her retired brother and daughter lived in the home and she was traveling for work. Good enough.

I made the 12 hour drive and finally arrived at the house. I was greeted by a woman – not “Debbie” – and was shown around. There were more people than I thought staying there. The following week I met the homeowner. I inquire as to who “Debbie” was and he changed the subject rather quickly. I began to become suspicious as to what was really going on after he said that all communication could go through him via text.

I compared the number that I was given to me by Debbie and it was the owner’s. I decided to Google him and get more information. I found that Debbie had passed away the previous year and that he was a convicted felon (burglary). Apparently either she made the account for him or he used her information to open an account. I would have confronted him but quickly found out that he was currently doing a short stay in the local lockup for another DUI.

I packed my things and hit the door running. Nothing felt right about the stay there and situations like this are how people end up in an ice bath, missing a kidney. I’m currently in the process of trying to get some sort of refund from Airbnb and he should be out of jail at the end of this week. It should be an interesting conversation if he tries to contact me.

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