I cannot stress this enough: if you see your Airbnb notification settings change, then change your password. I spotted that my notifications had been switched off a few times and put it down to Airbnb playing up as I know that are phasing out emails and text messages. Yesterday by pure luck I went into the app and saw a message I had sent to another host saying that we would ‘be arriving tomorrow’. It was a 16-day trip to France costing £1117 that I hadn’t booked. The payment was at ‘pre-approved’ status in my PayPal.
I immediately called my bank (Barclays) and they were superb, immediately giving me direct phone numbers for Airbnb and PayPal. PayPal also dealt with the issue brilliantly, immediately freezing my account (which was up and running again within five minutes of calling them to let them know it was all sorted). For Airbnb – not so professional – it seemed to be out of their hands; everything I said was noted but it didn’t seem they could do much.
The account for our ‘host’ was obviously a fake one; I daren’t look to see if it’s still there. I have no idea how anyone got into my account but having seen other stories on here along the same lines I think something needs to be done at their end. Anyway, I was lucky. I noticed it just in time. I think some of you have lost money in this way. Watch those notification settings.