From a Loyal Airbnb Customer to a Duped One

This is my sad Airbnb story. A group of friends and I planned a trip to Amsterdam and Ibiza. We found the house we wanted on Airbnb; the host was a registered user with good reviews from the apartment, so apparently everything was normal. We contacted the host through the site, who responded to our request via email where we exchanged information to confirm the reservation. We went back to the property page, to proceed with the booking, and once again everything seemed normal… or the site was a perfect copy of that on Airbnb. Maybe even an original, because everything was the same: logos, fonts, layout, etc.

I proceeded with the reservation and confirmed the same details, then I got an email from (again, the same as that sent by Airbnb) to pay for the booking to a bank in the UK, HSBC BANK PLC. Unfortunately, once the payment was made, we received a new email confirming that the host had been transferred the money, and the reservation was ready and secured. The host confirmed by email that Airbnb was informed that he had been paid the booking, and told us that on the day of our arrival we should contact him to arrange delivery of the house keys.

With our start date approaching with no response from the host, we began to get suspicious that we were victims of fraud. We contacted Airbnb, who just informed us that there was no reservation for that number, and asked for our payment information and other documents; we sent everything to them. More than 48 hours have now passed and there has been no response from Airbnb, which forced me to make a complaint on their Facebook page. By a sheer miracle, this made them send me an email immediately, saying I had been defrauded. They apologized but said they can not do anything. It is amazing how a company the size of Airbnb does not help victims of these crimes, nor take responsibility for a scam that happened on their website with a registered user, using their platform to catch victims!

The first instance of fraud is accomplished on the real Airbnb website; they should take responsibility for it. I did not ask Airbnb to give me back the money I lost, but at least to improve their customer service and provide information on the host, including how he was able to defraud me. I believe it is an inside job from someone who works at Airbnb along with another person outside the company, because the initial contact is always done on the Airbnb site, where they “fish” their victims.

Fake Airbnb website, don’t be fooled!

I found a nice apartment in Oman on the website and I contacted the owner. He replied to me and said that he is currently in London cause his contract in Oman has finished in 2011, he has the keys from flat in Muscat with him and he will fly to Muscat as soon as he finds reliable tenants. I was interested in a long term rent, the apartment was very nice and I was ready to talk with him on skype to convince him how good and neat couple me and my husband are. I got a long letter from him, his passport copy and not even a single answer to any of my questions… it was like I got the answers from a robot. Then he sent me an email saying: “I had bad experiences with prospective tenants so that it happened for me to travel to Muscat for nothing which involved a complete waste of time and efforts. Having received proofs from tenants according with them being interested in renting (passport, job contracts showing their earnings, bank statements) proved to be ineffective for my certainty. Some tenants tend to put additional conditions even if they had not been discussed previously or worse, they sometimes still try to negotiate after traveling back to London. Some of them also asked me to wait until the end of the month for them to get paid. I hope my explanation is enough for you to understand my point of view and why I chose Airbnb. My apartment is listed on and I have more good reviews. Let me know if you know about airbnb and I if you are ready to rent the apartment for the first month. That is my certainty guarantee and the only way I can come to Muscat.” I said I don’t mind to rent his apartment through airbnb for the first month and asked him to give me the link. He said he will send it to me shortly and I only got it the next day.

This is the address that I saw in my browser after I clicked on the link he sent me: Which looked exactly like airbnb and had the payment system in it. Of course it was clear for me that this website is fake airbnb and someone was just trying to get a 1500$ transfer from me. So be very careful and make sure you deal with real airbnb 😉

Fake hosts..FAKE listing!!


I lost out on £2910 thanks to Airbnb. They had allowed a person to upload a FAKE villa, under a fake hosts details!! They don’t even check that the host is real…this is basic stuff here??! They offer the “option” that a host can verify themselves? this is SICK! I was communicating with the host, and told to wait until I had a confirmation from air bob before i went ahead with the booking. Guess what…I got the confirmation, which was from a AIRbnb email address. the payment details were at the bottom and i paid it! It was fake!! I called the police, air bnb and the banks immediately. Air bnb didn’t appear to be bothered and didn’t help AT ALL! Even though they cover hosts by £600k each in property damage, they don’t have the time or money to help the people whose lives have been upset because of them! The banks looked into the account and shut it down immediately, although the money had been spent, barclays offered my £27.00 as a good will gesture? Good will… damn insulting!! The police can’t track down the man in question, so have closed the case! I would feel a lot better if airbnb would admit they DON’T take their security seriously, and if they would help me out…but no! I have and am still in talks with solicitors, they cannot get away with this!!