No Apartment and No Money Thanks to Airbnb

After this experience, I contacted Airbnb by telephone. I sent them documents, data and evidences of the scam I experienced through the company. I still noticed that there were ads on Airbnb pages that follow the same strategy to persuade customers to book on behalf of the corporation.

On Saturday, November 12th, I logged in to Airbnb to search for an apartment. When I booked one, I received an email telling me that they were not able to verify my payment method (which was true because I had not yet updated my profile on their system) and they advised me that if I did not do it within 48 hours the account would be suspended and I could not book an apartment through them. They informed to me to verify the method of payment, and I had to send them my full name, address, expiration date, and the last four digits of my debit card. I also added a statement from my bank with sensitive data like my account number.

Someone sent me emails at the same moment I visited Airbnb and they also asked me about verifying my account. It sounded true. In addition, I had not still updated the method of payment on the application. On the other hand, searching Airbnb, I saw an apartment in New York for January 4-7, 2017, near Central Park and Times Square. The apartment, whose host was called Tammy (attached picture), was interested in us and we read the information given that they only accept bookings through WhatsApp, at the number indicated on the Airbnb website. This was something that initially did not seem dubious because we had heard that Airbnb was a very safe and reliable company, according to friends and acquaintances. When I contacted the host by WhatsApp, she told me that she would send me a pre-approval email with all what I had to do (attached image). There, I could read about how to send money (Western Union) and where I had to forward the payment confirmation by email to Tammy (tammy_bangle@yahoo.es) and to Airbnb (automated@airbnb.com; same domain as the website, something that made me trust the email). On Tuesday, November 15th, at 7:45 AM, I sent the transfer and exchanged messages through WhatsApp with the host. Obviously, it was a scam.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Kindly read the Airbnb Terms of Service. It is under “User Conduct”:

    You understand and agree that you are solely responsible for compliance with any and all laws, rules, regulations, and Tax obligations that may apply to your use of the Site, Application, Services and Collective Content. In connection with your use of the Site, Application, Services and Collective Content, you may not and you agree that you will not:

    accept or make a payment for Accommodation Fees outside Airbnb Payments. If you do so, you acknowledge and agree that you: (i) would be in breach of these Terms; (ii) accept all risks and responsibility for such payment, and (iii) hold Airbnb harmless from any liability for such payment.

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