I got scammed on Airbnb and it was a totally legit listing. I only communicated with the people through the Airbnb app. When I got to the house and met the folks they seemed cool. When I went out for dinner, they stole all my stuff and locked me out. They told Airbnb my dog was violent and they were scared. I tried multiple times but I couldn’t get any refund and my luggage and laptop and camera, everything was stolen. They are still on Airbnb offering the same listing. I’d say Airbnb needs to be made illegal in every state. That’s the only time I used them so in my eyes they have 100% scam rate. There is no protection if you use them. The renters were even able to change their refund policy after I paid and the new rules were instantly considered valid. To make it worse, they sent me an email saying God bless, Jesus loves you. Also, once they canceled my reservation I wasn’t allowed to leave negative feedback. So, no one will ever know by looking at their listing.
I stayed in Copenhagen for 5 nights at this listing (https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/4465929) hosted by this guy called Cem Arslan. I didn’t want to leave any review for him because there was nothing great about my stay. But the host has texted me and emailed me twice to have a good review. I got the rude shock this morning (after 2 weeks after my trip) when airbnb sent me a request to claim US$250 from me just because the host suddenly claimed that I damaged his TV console?!? He left me a good review after my stay, and after I gave him an honest review, he turned against me and demanded payment for some made up accusation which never happened. I was horrified to find out that airbnb still entertain such baseless complaints and demanded that I respond. In addition, he also told so many lies in his public response to my review. Gosh! I told him at the booking that there will be 2 children and he even replied saying they can sleep on his couch. Now he claims that I didn’t tell him there were young children. And he also claimed that I left the apartment dirty?! Why have a change of heart after 2 weeks when your review after I left was so good?! Beware of such host because your credit card details and security deposits are certainly not safe even weeks or months after your trip!
I found a nice apartment in Oman on the olx.com.om 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 airbnb.com 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: http://airbnb-rent-booking-apartment-verified.ashanti.ro/rooms/2367933?View 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 😉
My daughter found a flat in NY on the Airbnb website. She received an email from the ‘host’ of the flat and also one issued by a fake Airbnb email address (firstname.lastname@example.org pretending to be the real Airbnb, used its buzzwords / terminology and carried the Airbnb logo. It said: “Welcome to Airbnb!” and added that to “get started” they needed her email address. It was signed “Thanks, Airbnb Team” etc. This started correspondence with a duplicitous platform whose sole purpose was to swindle my daughter into paying an Airbnb Inc account with Barclays Bank for a reservation it confirmed with payment instruction. By the time payment was made. We contacted Customer Support and we were told, after rigorous checking of our credentials (how ironic or cynical) that they consider the host to be a security risk – but that we would have to be informed properly by their safety team. There were a number of conversations – each with the same rigorous check (I wonder for what purpose?) and each ending with how they care about their customers; how sorry they are and telling us to wait for contact by the Safety department. This took about 2 weeks. Despite the statement about how much they care, no interest was ever expressed to view the fake exchanges and perhaps learn how their customers are being cheated. This is amazing because for a company that is valued as high as Airbnb, it is obvious that they are operating a platform that ‘leaks’. Either third parties, or perhaps third parties aided by insiders working at Airbnb or ex-workers of Airbnb who are familiar with the engagement process themselves operating these fake operations. We do not know – but it is equally obvious that this scam was not designed for single use but is intended to score many hits. Presumably it does. There is however no-one to talk to at Airbnb. There is no interest on their side to learn more. They continue to operate a leaky platform that confuses and dupes their customers and this can be remedied by regular pop-ups or the use of passwords that protect private information AND by checking their hosts BEFORE they support their fraud by placing their ‘property’ on their website. Is it stupidity or naivety on their part as business managers that stops them from doing this – perhaps it is all too much for them? In any case, Airbnb is remarkably similar to the fraudsters who work as parasites on their sites. Once there is a problem there is no-one to talk to and their use of ‘no-response’ mails has similarities to the email addresses used by the swindlers and purporting to be issued by Airbnb which eventually are returned with the message ‘your message to express@airbnb could not be delivered”. I think this level of care is the lowest I have encountered on the web. I think the disregard for customers losses is unequalled in a travel business. I believe that no-one should use Airbnb as it is a company that is not interested in advancing itself or improving its services to its customers. Its concern is to turn away from the deceit practised around its activity and tell us how much they care and how sorry they are. Don’t bother using them – and running the risk of a swindle that may be encouraged by a leaky platform. Use a hotel. The customer feedback on travel sites for hotel bookings I have found reliable and authentic. Moreover, in entering someone else’s property – God knows to what you expose yourself (leaving aside Airbnb’s platform abuses), especially when you know that (no matter what they say to the contrary) their level of care is abysmal and you are on your own. On the face of theirs appears a hopelessly defective model.