Before reading this story, quickly Google “Airbnb account hacked” and you will see this is a regular occurrence, happening to many people. Upon signing up for Airbnb, our account was hacked. Access was gained to our personal emails and even work accounts. We do not know exactly how this happened except that it was done through Airbnb. This by itself is scary and completely unacceptable. The hackers accessed and changed our bank details on the Airbnb website. Money was then stolen from us. Without getting into the details, customer service was terrible and infuriating. We fought for a month: phone calls, emails, the lot. Without our consent, Airbnb opted to close the investigation. This cut us off from replying to emails or talking to the customer service team. We never got our money back and ended up cancelling our account. I would strongly advise others to find alternatives. You have no security with Airbnb.
The past couple of days have been a nightmare in dealing with Airbnb. My account had been compromised, but Airbnb never notified me. Someone had even changed my email address, but I was not notified of the change. They recognized that my credit card would need to be verified for security reasons, but again, I was not notified and had to discover this for myself when I went to make a reservation. I complied with everything asked of me to verify my credit card. The message I received after submission was that the issue would be resolved within 24 hours and “there’s nothing else you need to do right now.”
I could not make a reservation until then, even with a different credit card. Due to the popularity of the place I was trying to reserve, I contacted Airbnb to see if I could hold the reservation. They told me I would need to contact the host. They also assured me repeatedly that my case would be marked as “urgent” and that I should “keep the lines open” to hear from someone from the security department shortly. No one from Airbnb contacted me that night. Luckily my host was kind enough to put a temporary hold on my reservation for 24 hours. This was a relief as the issue was not only originally promised to be resolved within 24 hours, but the representative from Airbnb said she was marking it urgent to be expedited.
Nearly 22 hours after my initial submission to have my card verified, I still had not heard from Airbnb. I called two more times and was told that my case had not in fact been marked urgent despite the fact that each time I was incessantly promised by the representative that is would be. My issue was not resolved until 26 hours after my initial submission – two hours after the “regular” maximum wait time and after calls to over a dozen representatives and three supervisors. As I feared, my reservation was no longer available. I immediately searched for another, but the comparable reservations available were now twice as high. I lost about $130 in value of my reservation. Airbnb offered a measly $25 as a “thank you for waiting.”
In March 2017 I received an email from Airbnb stating that my email had been successfully changed. As I was not traveling at the time and hadn’t used Airbnb recently, I went on the app and realized that not only had someone changed my email but the picture, the name, and the phone number. He also booked a luxury condo in Montreal for 572 GBP ($750USD) the same day. I immediately canceled the booking, changed all information back to my own, and contacted the host, Sophie, as she could potentially host someone who is not me and empty the house. Sophie couldn’t seem to be bothered and her lack of interest made me think she was part of the scam. She apparently has three luxury condos in Montreal and almost too many reviews per month to be real. I’ll let you be the judge. Two months later, I am still battling with Airbnb to get refunded or investigate.
I listed two of my homes on Airbnb less than one year ago. Since that time my account was hacked; I was not notified by Airbnb that this happened but only found out when I could not log in to my account. I missed bookings due to this issue and as a result lost money. I spent hours of my time on the phone over the past two months trying to have this resolved and get input from their “trust and safety” team to no avail. I never received any email communication from Airbnb and though I changed my login password several times I was repeatedly locked out of my account. Airbnb cannot explain what happened and they say there is no error showing on their end, yet I am repeatedly locked out of my account. Today for the last time I called Airbnb to try and reset my password. Since I had not been receiving their emails in past phone calls I had been given a temporary password to log in. The representative “helping” me was unwilling to do that so I asked for my account to be closed. He claims that he did in fact close it but there is no way for me to know for certain, I did get a ticket number but to verify the account is closed I would need to call them once again and present this ticket number, wasting yet more of my time. This business is horrible, the lack of customer service is astounding, and the safety of any information on their website is questionable. My account was hacked and not one word came from Airbnb to warn me that my pertinent contact information and payout method had been changed. I will no longer do any business with this company and strongly caution anyone from using this site.
My Airbnb profile has been hacked and the company seems unable to help. The hacker cancelled an impending stay causing myself and the host great inconvenience. Unable to access my account, I was therefore unable to contact the host and had to do so through a circuitous route, via a friend’s account. Airbnb has been very difficult to contact by phone and when I have gotten through have been very non-specific in their responses. They prefer to use bland corporate speak talking about trusted communities and valued members which means very little if not accompanied by action. As it stands my account with four years’ worth of good reviews is gone. I am getting emails from Airbnb addressing me by a different name and asking me to review somewhere I haven’t stayed. Their cyber security clearly leaves a lot to be desired and their customer support seems nonexistent.
I can’t seem to find a story similar to mine in which the fraudster booked a house in China with my account, but seems to have uploaded their own method of payment – I hope – instead of using the two credit cards of mine that were stored on file. I woke up around 4:00 AM EST on Sunday morning, February 12th, 2017 and decided to check my email. I don’t usually check my email at this time so I’m not sure what prompted me to. However, I’m glad I did. What I saw when I logged in to my email account was about 95-100 spam emails, which were very unusual in the sense that they were not typical spam with a selling point or a strange message and attachment, but were all from different email addresses, sent to me with my very own email address in the subject header. In the subject was a short statement in a foreign language “发自网易邮箱大师”. I used a translation app and it said “From my Netease Mobile E-Mail Service”; basically it’s that provider’s version of “Sent from iPhone”, right? Strange.
Under all those emails were two emails from Airbnb in that same language (I’m guessing Chinese at this point). I don’t read Chinese, so I logged onto my Airbnb account and saw that a house had been booked in China for the amount of 9518 HKD plus a 40 HKD cleaning fee. This is over 1000 USD. I immediately canceled the reservation but noticed it was the type that allows you to pay immediately with no refund. I received a refund for the cleaning fee only. Then, I went to payment method and (stupidly, you will see why later) canceled all of the cards that were on file, not realizing at the time that the one that was used for the booking was not my card; as far as I know, I do not have a card in the ending in the same four digits. I was in a panic.
I then searched the website for a contact method, eventually reaching the contact form. I wrote a short message detailing what had occurred, explained that I deleted the credit cards by accident, and asked them to please look into it: the 100 spam emails, etc. I used Google and realized there were hundreds of fraud stories about Airbnb and through one blog went to the login page. There, I found that someone in China had logged into my account twice. The two logins had different IP addresses; I’m not sure if that matters. I called Airbnb around 12:00 PM Sunday, finding a customer service number through Google. It took about 18 minutes for someone to answer. The woman who answered was not very helpful, but very apologetic. She said she saw that I had submitted a message that morning, that the fraud team was working on it, and that I had to wait. I asked her if she had ever encountered an instance of a listing being booked with an entirely separate credit card. “No,” she giggled. “That’s new to me.” Fine.
Well, yesterday on February 15, I received a message from “Becky.” I have attached the email. As you can see, she makes no mention of the house being booked, of the fact that it actually went through, that it’s non-refundable, whose credit card it is, the spam emails, etc. Nothing. I wrote back:
Thank you for your email. However, this does nothing to address my question and concern about someone having booked a house in China with a credit card that is not mine. Is Airbnb looking into this?
This morning I received a reply:
I reviewed your account and noticed that you have cancelled the reservation. As you told us that the reservation was not made by you I have forwarded your case to the concern department for a refund. Please note that you will get the refund within a few working days. You also mention that the credit card in your account is not yours. Just to inform you that I have already removed the credit card from your account.
I already removed the credit card on my own. Is this a robot I am corresponding with? And yes, I cancelled the reservation. You noticed it, but I also wrote that in my original message. Is Airbnb’s customer service even alive? Now I’m not sure what my next step is. I’m 99.9% certain the card used in booking was not mine. I have exhaustively searched all my credit cards (I only have seven) and even ran a credit report just to make sure it wasn’t an old one I haven’t used in a while or that one was opened in my name fraudulently. Is there anything I can do? Am I just waiting my time going back and forth with Airbnb?
I started using Airbnb right out of the gate since I travel a lot. It’s been a lifesaver, but somehow about 18 months ago I started getting emails (in Chinese) requesting to book my apartment in China. Since I do not own an apartment in China I immediately contacted Airbnb for help. Crickets…for about 12 months. During this time I was not allowed to use my account. Because I was in the process of trying to get this resolved, my account got locked. I have emailed them dozens of times but to no avail. You’d think the smart person would just open a new account. I did, but because my identity is tied into my locked account I can’t get around the system. Of course, I can’t even find a phone number to call and resolve this issue. I just keep getting emails saying we think your account is compromised, please email us to resolve and then crickets… again. They have absolutely the worst customer service ever. Thankfully I have found this site and maybe I can call and resolve the problem but after reading all of the reviews, I expect more crickets.
Here’s my horror story; it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I had a person Instant Book my place with a stolen Airbnb account. The account holder was in Belgium and this guy was from Canada where my property is. I texted her to see how things were going only to find out she had no idea who I was and that she definitely had not booked my place. I called Airbnb and explained the situation to them. They put me on hold for 45 minutes at 3:00 AM in the winter in Montreal, so I called the police. They never came so I grabbed a baseball bat and entered my property. There was no one to hit with the baseball bat. No one was there, and most of my electronics were gone. That is not why I’m mad; it’s because of the way Airbnb handled the situation from there. I spoke to at least ten customer service representatives. They were all very nice, but my situation never got dealt with. After months of calling the only thing I could do was file a dispute with the person whose account got hacked, which they told me they would deny. They said they aren’t responsible for any stolen items, and that they would help resolve the situation if the guest had stolen anything. They would never pay my losses with their money. Obviously I can’t go after the guest who had her account stolen. Now it’s obvious that I can’t reason with Airbnb.
I received notification for a booking in San Diego for “my nephew and niece” (neither of which I have) and that I was charged £427. Luckily the credit card company has taken this seriously. We did not make a booking. The apartment owner has got the police involved and is endeavouring to sort something out on his end. Our rant is that there is no phone number for guests, only (I assume) for hosts to contact Airbnb. What a strange and rather ridiculous way to run a company. Anyone buying a service should have recourse to contact the company. Does anyone have an explanation as to why they don’t want to be contacted? I don’t think I have come across a company without a customer service line before. I am concerned that whoever did make this booking may be tampering with bookings I have actually made for later in the year. Any advice would be most welcome so that I can get some reassurance from Airbnb about how the company handles privacy settings and all our details.
All of a sudden there was a listing for a place in Amsterdam on my Airbnb account. I started getting emails about the space – 183 to be exact. I called Airbnb and waited about twelve minutes until someone came on the line. I explained that somehow someone else’s rental was showing on my account. The representative did not understand what I was saying and I had to explain it several times. Once they understood, they said they were writing a ticket and escalating it and I should get an email the next day. Two days later – no email. My account was suspended because I had unanswered emails; they are not mine. I called again, waiting another twelve minutes before someone came on the line, and had to explain the problem for a second time. The representative said that an email was sent to me by the case manager. I informed him that I did not receive an email. I asked him what email address it was sent to. He gave me some random email address that was not mine. The person I spoke to two days ago confirmed the email address. I asked to speak to the case manager. He said everyone was unavailable and sent them a message to call me immediately. Five hours later… no contact.