Airbnb Just Doesn’t Care People Are Being Scammed

I too have fallen victim to the scam that Airbnb seem to allow to run through their website. I clicked on several advertisements for beautiful apartments in New York that are showing up on their website. I noticed some of the hosts had issues with their calendars not updating and were requesting potential guests email them directly. I thought this was odd, so I Googled “Airbnb email requests” and found an article that talked about how hosts like to vet their guests before allowing them to stay in their apartments and that this was normal for Airbnb. When the host replied to my email stating that the apartment that I was interested in was now booked long term I thought nothing of it. She said she would email me details of another apartment if I would be interested. I was, and asked her to send through the details with a link to the site so I could book. When she sent the details over she didn’t send the link and asked instead for further information on why I wanted to stay in her apartment and wanted a little more information about me. I told her all about my group and why we were wanting to stay in New York, our dream holiday to celebrate an 18th, 21st, 40th and 60th birthday. She responded with the link and said we could book her place.

I was really pleased as I was worried she wouldn’t rent it to us (following what I had read in the online article). I was even more pleased when it was an Airbnb link, as I was worried about it being an unknown site. I clicked the link and got taken to an Airbnb site showing the apartment and a “click to book” button. I clicked the button and was taken to another Airbnb page, this time showing bank details and asking me to send payment via bank transfer. This didn’t appear odd as this is how I had paid for another apartment on a different website and I thought this was safe. Anyway, I emailed the host back and told her payment had been made and she was happy and asked me to ensure I kept in touch and provide a mobile number closer to the time so she could arrange to meet me. I received email confirmation and invoice from Airbnb telling me I was all booked. The next day the money was sent from my account.

The day after Airbnb got in touch to say they believed I could have been involved in an email scam. I phoned them quickly and asked about my booking. They had no record of that nor the person with whom I had been dealing. I started to get upset on the phone and the customer service person told me not to worry; I would be in safe hands and that they would get my money back. She told me she had to pass my case on to someone but to not worry as they would solve this for me. I waited and no one returned my call. I called back later, was told it was being investigated, and again told not to worry, that I would get my money back. I received an email later that night to say that Airbnb accepted no liability as this transaction was done outside their platform which they advise against. They told me this was the end of the conversation and they would not reply to any more of my emails. I tried again and they said they would look into it further. Still there has been nothing; no replies or anything.

You know the worst part? The page is still active, along with several more that I now know to be fake even after I emailed Airbnb with the page link and told them it was still online. I’m not a stupid person; the pages that appeared from the link seemed genuine. I now know that they were just part of an extremely clever scam, one that has cost me and my family our dream holiday. I feel ashamed that I have allowed this to happen to me and my family. I am hoping to seek legal advice but to be honest I am not hopeful. Airbnb needs to take responsibility for what is happening to their potential customers. There are no warning signs on their site so new customers are informed that they only accept a certain form of payment. There are so many reasons why I believe Airbnb to be in the wrong, but no one at Airbnb will even listen. I expect because they are inundated with these complaints, that in itself tells you something.

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 ( and to Airbnb (; 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.

Airbnb scammers using fake email

Hi, i have a big problem right now with an airbnb booking.
On July 22 – 2015, i watch an apartment in AIRBNB, one of the pics of this apartment had a email , telling “If you are interested please send me an email”. I get in contact with her, I send she the days I was interested in, the number of people… She told me that she could make the reservation for me and then AIRBNB should send me the instructions to confirm the reservation. I received a email supposedly from AIRBNB , but it was a fake AIRBNB email address…, with a ING bank at Poland ,account number to make the payment, the owner of this bank account is supposedly AIRBNB inc. I went the next day to make this payment…
Few days after that I get in contact with real AIRBNB, and they tell me that I was cheated , and they dont make anything at all, they get 0% of rresponsibility with that
I had gone to the police and they will try to find the burglar. Does other people goes to police, receive any info… ?
I don’t send more details of which apartment and host was, because police is working on it too , but now its not announced in AIRBNB anymore
Does anyone tried to make a joint action to push AIRBNB?

Hola, he tenido un problema bastante serio con AIRBNB, el día 22 de julio de 2015 ví un apartamento en la web, en una de las fotos aparecía la dirección email de la supesta dueña del apartamento para contactar con ella y reservarlo. Le escribí diciéndole las fechas , la cantidad de gente , etc… . Me dijo que ella misma hacia la reserva y que luego AIRBNB me mandaría un correo para confirmar la reserva. Me llego el supuesto correo de AIRBNB, pero era una dirección falsa, con un numero de cuenta a nombre de  AIRBNB inc , del banco ING en polonia, al dia siguiente hice el pago y varios días después hable con AIRBNB y me dijeron que me habían engañado y que no podían hacer nada… Ellos no se toman ninguna responsabilidad.
Lo he denunciado en la policía y tratarán de localizar al ladrón…
No os envío mas datos por que la policía está trabajando en ello, se supone…, pero si os puedo decir que el anuncio y el dueño del apartamento ya no salen en la web de AIRBNB
¿Sabéis si otros afectados acuden a la policía a denunciar, si reciben alguna información…?
¿Se podría llegar a organizar una demanda conjunta para presionar a AIRBNB?