Scammed For Over £1500 On Fake Spain Listing

I decided to use Airbnb for the first time recently, in order to book a villa in Spain for my family. Having never used Airbnb before, I contacted the host, put in my bank details and ‘requested to book’. The host wanted to speak on the phone, so I gave them my number. We spoke on WhatsApp, albeit in Spanish, with myself consulting translators. I was then sent a series of official looking emails, from what I assumed was Airbnb (the links even took me to the brand’s social media accounts). I was instructed to make a payment into a bank account in Valencia. Again, to a first time customer, without fraud even entering my mind, I made the payment. Weeks later, the day before we were due to fly, I couldn’t contact the ‘host’ and their profile had been removed from the site. After a few panicky phone calls to Airbnb customer service, it became apparent that I had been scammed. We were due to fly in less than 12 hours, and Airbnb cheerfully shirked all responsibility in this matter, even asking politely if there was ‘anything else they could help with?’ Weeks later, I have been emailing them and calling them with barely any response. They seem to be impossible to contact, and they are getting away with assisting fraudsters on their platform.

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4 Comments

  1. Hey! Thanks for leaving this review of your experience of Airbnb. Myself and my family booked an apartment in Spain (Altea) last week, and this week discovered it was a scam also. Goodbye family holiday, and goodbye ££££. I would love to talk with you to see if perhaps we’ve been scammed by the same person/people? I’ve managed to track of the people involved, who is based in Valencia. We are currently investigating, and will take legal action if Air BNB do not step up and take responsibility.
    I am a British Athlete, so have a very respectable following across media platforms, and will use my accounts to make Air BNB sweat! Please get in contact at lizzie@lizziewilliams.racing

  2. You were NOT scammed: you simply paid the price for being an illiterate cheapo. How on earth one could transfer such an amount of money to a complete stranger in a foreign country, is beyond any kind of logic.

  3. Is it your first time on the Internet?

    I ask because at what point does taking communication away from airbnb into a cosy little hub between yourself and a total stranger not make you have a little think?

    You’ve already input your payment details to airbnb (credit card or paypal ~both methods btw which have some kind of protection for the buyer in fraudulent transactions) when setting up your account. Why then would you physically plot in numbers for a bank to bank transfer outside of the platform?

    So what if the emails looked official and linked to social media accounts? That scam has been going on since the 90’s, only now they can spell good.

    You log onto airbnb, you communicate through airbnb, you pay through airbnb. Change the name to reflect any online market community in the world in the 21st century and this won’t happen again.

    And Paul, say what? It was there? There is no such thing as buried. Do you avoid reading the fine print on important documents too?

    C’mon, enough. I like reading the horror stories about decrepit houses being rented, rat droppings in the kitchen, mould on the walls. Pubes in the sink. Crazy, unhinged hosts. And airbnb brushing it over. These petty/whingey/I -didn’t-read-the-listing posts that happen more often than not on this forum would lead one to assume the true horror stories are gew and far in between (as airbnb claim they are ).

  4. I’m very sorry to hear about this. With all this going on I’m sure Airbnb’s days are numbered. Here’s our story:
    It had been a very long time since we’d had a decent vacation and in our mind it’s “No beach? No vacation!” We’d heard some pretty good things about Airbnb so we decided to look around in the San Diego area where we wanted to go. My wife Sharon did the looking and she did it for days. As it turned out most of the area was already booked. That’s why we were so pleased to see this listing vacant. It seemed to have everything; a nice kitchen, WIFI, free parking and only a three-minute walk to the beach– and it was a VERY nice beach! When we got there the host, Carol told us about the train noise but said that most people sleep through it. That was when I decided to look at the listings and sure enough, buried waaay down at the bottom was the mention of the train noise. You can read it from the screenshot that I took at this link. You can also listen to it at this link . I seriously don’t know how anyone could sleep through this and believe me we tried. The only air conditioning in the place was a one-room portable air conditioner that needed to be vented to the outside. This means that you have to have the sliding door open a bit for the vent. The Heat throughout the place was brutal, especially upstairs. You have to have the windows open for the cross Breeze at night to give you any relief, but then you’re listening to the train. Carol DID go out and buy us earplugs and a noise machine but the trains even drowned that out. We ended up leaving one day early, because without decent sleep we were exhausted. I feel like we threw away $16, 39.00 and will never stay there again or probably at any other Airbnb. You just don’t know what you’re getting!

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