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(Metro)   Always make sure that the Airbnb you're reserving actually exists   (metro.co.uk) divider line
    More: PSA, Fraud, Ms Jones, Hannah Jones, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Deception, prospective holidaymaker, charity worker, initial bogus listing  
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2049 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Apr 2022 at 1:14 PM (8 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



43 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-04-29 10:10:48 AM  
mrs edmo just dealt with an issue simliar to this. Real property but not actually for rent. Done through booking.com which was great about instant refund. Still, hesistant to use them again because it's not clear how they vet those who list.
 
2022-04-29 10:12:08 AM  
"You should refund me for a payment made off your site"

"lol...no, next time don't be an idiot"

Sounds like a host with a good rep got their password hacked. Happens on ebay all the time. A poor password, the weakest link in the chain. Airbnb should force two factor authentication.
 
2022-04-29 1:17:46 PM  

SecretAgentWoman: "You should refund me for a payment made off your site"

"lol...no, next time don't be an idiot"

Sounds like a host with a good rep got their password hacked. Happens on ebay all the time. A poor password, the weakest link in the chain. Airbnb should force two factor authentication.


If someone 'hacks' your password it only means you either used the password on many different sites, including sketchy ones, or it's just a weak-ass password. It's like leaving your car in a rough neighborhood, unlocked, and with a bag of cash in plain sight on the passenger seat.
 
2022-04-29 1:18:40 PM  
Rather pretty, but dumb. Beware.
 
2022-04-29 1:22:20 PM  

SecretAgentWoman: "You should refund me for a payment made off your site"

"lol...no, next time don't be an idiot"

Sounds like a host with a good rep got their password hacked. Happens on ebay all the time. A poor password, the weakest link in the chain. Airbnb should force two factor authentication.


No hacking required. Nothing stopping me from copying/pasting the description and photos of an existing listing then putting in instructions to handle everything via some third party platform not monitored by AirBnB. This was pure stupidity on the part of the consumer and 2FA would have done nothing to stop it.
 
2022-04-29 1:23:36 PM  
The upshot is that a really stupid person has been made a little smarter.  Let's see if it sticks.
 
2022-04-29 1:24:25 PM  
We had some friends to whom this happened.   After they booked it, they went on Google Maps/Earth to look at it.  There was nothing there.  They called an acquaintance who lived near the supposed place.  He went and verified that it was an empty lot.  They did eventually get their money back.
 
2022-04-29 1:26:29 PM  
Maybe airbnb needs to be checking things better.
I never booked a hotel and there was no hotel
 
2022-04-29 1:29:30 PM  
Meanwhile, the properties on Airbnb that do exist have pervert cameras installed in every room.
 
2022-04-29 1:31:09 PM  
Yeah, that's an AirBnB problem. While it's an inconvenience for the traveler, it's not really something they can 1) easily detect on their own or 2) fix in any way.

AirBnB needs to refund the payment, pay for an ~equivalent room in the area. That would be an equitable solution here, especially for international travel.
 
2022-04-29 1:31:59 PM  
She really thought she could rent a 10 room villa with a pool for a week for £3,000?  Okay then.
 
2022-04-29 1:32:36 PM  

edmo: mrs edmo just dealt with an issue simliar to this. Real property but not actually for rent. Done through booking.com which was great about instant refund. Still, hesistant to use them again because it's not clear how they vet those who list.


They don't really vet the listings on Airbnb because that would be physically impossible. The volume they do is far too great for that. I know they have some automatic stuff based around addresses, but if you enter an address that's a valid address even if nothing's built there the algorithms probably won't know that there's an issue. Probably similar for Booking.com.

This young lady will get her money back now, I'm sure. Airbnb doesn't actually care about her whatsoever, but they very much care about the bad press. They're pushing hard on some stuff I can't talk about (they're a business partner for my firm), and I know for sure they're very sensitive to stories like this. Airbnb as a brand has a lot of negative association with many folks, and that causes resistance for their upcoming initiatives they very much don't want.
 
2022-04-29 1:32:59 PM  
Lady, call your bank or credit card and report the fraud. This isn't that hard.
 
2022-04-29 1:37:15 PM  
She made payment off-site. It's like buying something on Amazon but having to enter your payment information somewhere else. That was pretty damn stoopid. But Airbnb should be able to verify each listing as legitimate. They don't obviously. So buyer beware. That's what I want when I book a vacation spot. I have to do the homework to verify it exists.
 
2022-04-29 1:39:41 PM  
I've seen a lot of short films on the internet about visiting these places. I mean to try it myself soon.
 
2022-04-29 1:44:21 PM  

farkitallletitend: She made payment off-site. It's like buying something on Amazon but having to enter your payment information somewhere else. That was pretty damn stoopid. But Airbnb should be able to verify each listing as legitimate. They don't obviously. So buyer beware. That's what I want when I book a vacation spot. I have to do the homework to verify it exists.


Yeah.  She was phished.  It's not Airbnb's fault, they have no payment to refund.  Do a chargeback.
 
2022-04-29 1:48:52 PM  

Fear the Clam: Meanwhile, the properties on Airbnb that do exist have pervert cameras installed in every room.


We are using Airbnb later this summer to go a wedding - I'll make sure the pervert cameras in our room get a good LONG AND DEEP look into my brown eye.
 
2022-04-29 1:50:32 PM  

the_rhino: Fear the Clam: Meanwhile, the properties on Airbnb that do exist have pervert cameras installed in every room.

We are using Airbnb later this summer to go a wedding - I'll make sure the pervert cameras in our room get a good LONG AND DEEP look into my brown eye.


Prolapsed if possible
 
2022-04-29 1:51:47 PM  
That's why I always ask the Airbnb host if the property actually exists.  Like asking if someone is a cop, they're legally obligated to tell the truth.
 
2022-04-29 1:54:44 PM  

anuran: the_rhino: Fear the Clam: Meanwhile, the properties on Airbnb that do exist have pervert cameras installed in every room.

We are using Airbnb later this summer to go a wedding - I'll make sure the pervert cameras in our room get a good LONG AND DEEP look into my brown eye.

Prolapsed if possible


You busy that weekend?
 
2022-04-29 1:59:01 PM  

CarnySaur: That's why I always ask the Airbnb host if the property actually exists.  Like asking if someone is a cop, they're legally obligated to tell the truth.


Me: I love your property is it available in November?
Owner: Very much so, only $400/night.
Me: Sounds good, Does it exist?
Owner: Rats, no. Damn you and your unassailable logic.
 
2022-04-29 2:00:22 PM  

Fear the Clam: Meanwhile, the properties on Airbnb that do exist have pervert cameras installed in every room.


I'll have you know I've never once rented out my house on Airbnb, thank you very much!
 
2022-04-29 2:10:17 PM  

edmo: mrs edmo just dealt with an issue simliar to this. Real property but not actually for rent. Done through booking.com which was great about instant refund. Still, hesistant to use them again because it's not clear how they vet those who list.


Any time you use a site like that, check for the property on other booking sites as well.  If they show up on multiple, reputable sites and have different reviews (as opposed to copy/pasting), they're much more likely to be valid. Tripadvisor for example.
 
2022-04-29 2:11:26 PM  

the_rhino: Fear the Clam: Meanwhile, the properties on Airbnb that do exist have pervert cameras installed in every room.

We are using Airbnb later this summer to go a wedding - I'll make sure the pervert cameras in our room get a good LONG AND DEEP look into my brown eye.


Have the oldest relatives go in and walk around naked for awhile.  Then repeat with the biggest relatives.
 
2022-04-29 2:15:30 PM  
I've used Airbnb for a number of short stays without any issues. Only had one cancel, because the furnace needed repairs. Kinda need that working January in MN.
 
2022-04-29 3:25:41 PM  
FTFA: "I found the listing on Airbnb and in the description it said to contact the host directly for more information about availability. I've used Airbnb before and that's quite a normal thing to do."

NO.  No it is NOT the "normal thing to do".
We have a property on AirBnB.  Guests and Hosts cannot see each other's contact info (email/phone) until AFTER the place is booked.  Any phone, email, website is redacted in the messages until after the booking.  Unless the "Host" did some funky scammy "C0-NT-@ct me Dir--ect  using What(s) A(P)(P) at Eight 6, SEV3n FIv3 Thre3 Oh Nein." when they replied.
 
2022-04-29 3:27:21 PM  

Fear the Clam: Meanwhile, the properties on Airbnb that do exist have pervert cameras installed in every room.


That's not true.
Our property on AirBnB does NOT have pervert cameras installed in EVERY room.
 
2022-04-29 3:35:11 PM  

the_rhino: anuran: the_rhino: Fear the Clam: Meanwhile, the properties on Airbnb that do exist have pervert cameras installed in every room.

We are using Airbnb later this summer to go a wedding - I'll make sure the pervert cameras in our room get a good LONG AND DEEP look into my brown eye.

Prolapsed if possible

You busy that weekend?


Mrs. Nuran is good with knives and doesn't share :(
 
2022-04-29 3:47:33 PM  

Johnson: FTFA: "I found the listing on Airbnb and in the description it said to contact the host directly for more information about availability. I've used Airbnb before and that's quite a normal thing to do."

NO.  No it is NOT the "normal thing to do".
We have a property on AirBnB.  Guests and Hosts cannot see each other's contact info (email/phone) until AFTER the place is booked.  Any phone, email, website is redacted in the messages until after the booking.  Unless the "Host" did some funky scammy "C0-NT-@ct me Dir--ect  using What(s) A(P)(P) at Eight 6, SEV3n FIv3 Thre3 Oh Nein." when they replied.


It's normal to contact about availability since they often advertise on multiple platforms.  Not normal (or smart) to pay somewhere else.
 
2022-04-29 3:57:24 PM  

blasterz: SecretAgentWoman: "You should refund me for a payment made off your site"

"lol...no, next time don't be an idiot"

Sounds like a host with a good rep got their password hacked. Happens on ebay all the time. A poor password, the weakest link in the chain. Airbnb should force two factor authentication.

No hacking required. Nothing stopping me from copying/pasting the description and photos of an existing listing then putting in instructions to handle everything via some third party platform not monitored by AirBnB. This was pure stupidity on the part of the consumer and 2FA would have done nothing to stop it.


What would be the explanation for how they faked the many glowing reviews?
 
2022-04-29 4:01:27 PM  

farkitallletitend: She made payment off-site. It's like buying something on Amazon but having to enter your payment information somewhere else. That was pretty damn stoopid. But Airbnb should be able to verify each listing as legitimate. They don't obviously. So buyer beware. That's what I want when I book a vacation spot. I have to do the homework to verify it exists.


It sounds like they simulated the AirBnB site so well that she wasn't aware that it was an off-site fake. I'm guessing they used a similar URL, like AirBrB or such like.
 
2022-04-29 4:21:17 PM  

jjorsett: blasterz: SecretAgentWoman: "You should refund me for a payment made off your site"

"lol...no, next time don't be an idiot"

Sounds like a host with a good rep got their password hacked. Happens on ebay all the time. A poor password, the weakest link in the chain. Airbnb should force two factor authentication.

No hacking required. Nothing stopping me from copying/pasting the description and photos of an existing listing then putting in instructions to handle everything via some third party platform not monitored by AirBnB. This was pure stupidity on the part of the consumer and 2FA would have done nothing to stop it.

What would be the explanation for how they faked the many glowing reviews?


I've never used AirBnB before because I object to the entire business model of transferring the cost of ownership of capital to gig workers who don't understand the full economic cost of their contribution. Does it limit reviews to people with verified transactions with the property owner? If so, it'd be trivial to set up some fake transactions with sock puppet accounts at a reduced rate to get the listing ready to scam the public. If the transactions aren't required, it's even easier.
 
2022-04-29 4:30:27 PM  

zeroflight222: Johnson: FTFA: "I found the listing on Airbnb and in the description it said to contact the host directly for more information about availability. I've used Airbnb before and that's quite a normal thing to do."

NO.  No it is NOT the "normal thing to do".
We have a property on AirBnB.  Guests and Hosts cannot see each other's contact info (email/phone) until AFTER the place is booked.  Any phone, email, website is redacted in the messages until after the booking.  Unless the "Host" did some funky scammy "C0-NT-@ct me Dir--ect  using What(s) A(P)(P) at Eight 6, SEV3n FIv3 Thre3 Oh Nein." when they replied.

It's normal to contact about availability since they often advertise on multiple platforms.  Not normal (or smart) to pay somewhere else.


As an AirBnB HOST that advertises my property on multiple platforms, ALL the calendars are synced and up to date.  There is no need to "contact about availability".  The calendar shows it is available.  It's available.  Every.Single.Inquiry I have ever received in the last 5 years "asking about availability" has turned out to be a scammer trying to get me to accept a Fake Cashier Check or some other crap.

It is absolutely NOT NORMAL for a Host to have you contact them "Directly" off AirBnB with any questions before you book.
 
2022-04-29 4:37:48 PM  

Russ1642: SecretAgentWoman: "You should refund me for a payment made off your site"

"lol...no, next time don't be an idiot"

Sounds like a host with a good rep got their password hacked. Happens on ebay all the time. A poor password, the weakest link in the chain. Airbnb should force two factor authentication.

If someone 'hacks' your password it only means you either used the password on many different sites, including sketchy ones, or it's just a weak-ass password. It's like leaving your car in a rough neighborhood, unlocked, and with a bag of cash in plain sight on the passenger seat.


And did you see what she was wearing?
 
2022-04-29 4:49:21 PM  

Johnson: zeroflight222: Johnson: FTFA: "I found the listing on Airbnb and in the description it said to contact the host directly for more information about availability. I've used Airbnb before and that's quite a normal thing to do."

NO.  No it is NOT the "normal thing to do".
We have a property on AirBnB.  Guests and Hosts cannot see each other's contact info (email/phone) until AFTER the place is booked.  Any phone, email, website is redacted in the messages until after the booking.  Unless the "Host" did some funky scammy "C0-NT-@ct me Dir--ect  using What(s) A(P)(P) at Eight 6, SEV3n FIv3 Thre3 Oh Nein." when they replied.

It's normal to contact about availability since they often advertise on multiple platforms.  Not normal (or smart) to pay somewhere else.

As an AirBnB HOST that advertises my property on multiple platforms, ALL the calendars are synced and up to date.  There is no need to "contact about availability".  The calendar shows it is available.  It's available.  Every.Single.Inquiry I have ever received in the last 5 years "asking about availability" has turned out to be a scammer trying to get me to accept a Fake Cashier Check or some other crap.

It is absolutely NOT NORMAL for a Host to have you contact them "Directly" off AirBnB with any questions before you book.


You might have your crap together but a lot of other hosts DON'T. Between my SIL and I (about 2/3 her, I don't use it too often while she trips a lot), we've run into around 20 separate instances where a host was already booked for at least part of the time frame but their calendar still showed open.  Maybe they were scammers, maybe they were trying to double-book and take whichever group would pay more.  Whatever the reason, their availability WAS NOT CORRECT.

/i can bold random phrases too
 
2022-04-29 5:07:03 PM  

blasterz: Does it limit reviews to people with verified transactions with the property owner?


As a frequent user, this seems to be the case. You get a chance to review your stay after the stay is over.

Different people review different things and have wildly different expectations. I recently stayed in a place with 4 stars, but it was a rat hole. Generally, you should read the reviews for the things that are important for you. Cleanliness, appliance quality/shape, amenities (shampoos, etc), neighborhood, etc. I've found the AirBnB reviews to be pretty useful, generally.

However, there is a tendency towards higher ratings. Maybe it's the personal nature of renting someone's room versus a room in a faceless corporate chain.
 
2022-04-29 5:28:45 PM  

We Ate the Necco Wafers: Yeah, that's an AirBnB problem. While it's an inconvenience for the traveler, it's not really something they can 1) easily detect on their own or 2) fix in any way.

AirBnB needs to refund the payment, pay for an ~equivalent room in the area. That would be an equitable solution here, especially for international travel.


Airbnb never took the money, so there is nothing for them to refund. the renter was dumb enough to follow a scam booking link to an external scam site that was emailed to them by the scammer.

There is a reason sites like Airbnb, PayPal, etc. caution you against communications outside of the actual site itself, since there would be no way for Airbnb to catch these kind of rip-off there.
 
2022-04-29 5:35:33 PM  

Excelsior: We Ate the Necco Wafers: Yeah, that's an AirBnB problem. While it's an inconvenience for the traveler, it's not really something they can 1) easily detect on their own or 2) fix in any way.

AirBnB needs to refund the payment, pay for an ~equivalent room in the area. That would be an equitable solution here, especially for international travel.

Airbnb never took the money, so there is nothing for them to refund. the renter was dumb enough to follow a scam booking link to an external scam site that was emailed to them by the scammer.

There is a reason sites like Airbnb, PayPal, etc. caution you against communications outside of the actual site itself, since there would be no way for Airbnb to catch these kind of rip-off there.


Makes sense. I didn't read past the headline.
 
2022-04-29 5:40:07 PM  
Airbnb rented us a non-existent address in Santiago. After sitting at the curb for an hour waiting for the host to respond I asked one of 18 police standing around and found out someone was likely trolling their new president by listing a fake airbnb immediately next to his home
 
2022-04-29 7:46:40 PM  

We Ate the Necco Wafers: Yeah, that's an AirBnB problem. While it's an inconvenience for the traveler, it's not really something they can 1) easily detect on their own


Traveler can reverse image search, I've detected lots of scam airbnb listings that were cloned from vrbo. google street image. ask to talk on the phone
 
2022-04-29 8:43:37 PM  

We Ate the Necco Wafers: blasterz: Does it limit reviews to people with verified transactions with the property owner?

As a frequent user, this seems to be the case. You get a chance to review your stay after the stay is over.

Different people review different things and have wildly different expectations. I recently stayed in a place with 4 stars, but it was a rat hole. Generally, you should read the reviews for the things that are important for you. Cleanliness, appliance quality/shape, amenities (shampoos, etc), neighborhood, etc. I've found the AirBnB reviews to be pretty useful, generally.

However, there is a tendency towards higher ratings. Maybe it's the personal nature of renting someone's room versus a room in a faceless corporate chain.


I don't use AirBnB so don't know the answer to this: do the hosts rate the guests? EBay used to have a problem when sellers could rate buyers, where a poor review of a seller would elicit a retaliatory poor review of the buyer, so people were hesitant to down-rate a seller.
 
2022-04-29 9:01:46 PM  

jjorsett: We Ate the Necco Wafers: blasterz: Does it limit reviews to people with verified transactions with the property owner?

As a frequent user, this seems to be the case. You get a chance to review your stay after the stay is over.

Different people review different things and have wildly different expectations. I recently stayed in a place with 4 stars, but it was a rat hole. Generally, you should read the reviews for the things that are important for you. Cleanliness, appliance quality/shape, amenities (shampoos, etc), neighborhood, etc. I've found the AirBnB reviews to be pretty useful, generally.

However, there is a tendency towards higher ratings. Maybe it's the personal nature of renting someone's room versus a room in a faceless corporate chain.

I don't use AirBnB so don't know the answer to this: do the hosts rate the guests? EBay used to have a problem when sellers could rate buyers, where a poor review of a seller would elicit a retaliatory poor review of the buyer, so people were hesitant to down-rate a seller.


This is a thing. But neither rating is revealed until both reviews are submitted. I'm not sure what happens if only one party submits.
 
2022-04-29 9:04:32 PM  

jjorsett: We Ate the Necco Wafers: blasterz: Does it limit reviews to people with verified transactions with the property owner?

As a frequent user, this seems to be the case. You get a chance to review your stay after the stay is over.

Different people review different things and have wildly different expectations. I recently stayed in a place with 4 stars, but it was a rat hole. Generally, you should read the reviews for the things that are important for you. Cleanliness, appliance quality/shape, amenities (shampoos, etc), neighborhood, etc. I've found the AirBnB reviews to be pretty useful, generally.

However, there is a tendency towards higher ratings. Maybe it's the personal nature of renting someone's room versus a room in a faceless corporate chain.

I don't use AirBnB so don't know the answer to this: do the hosts rate the guests? EBay used to have a problem when sellers could rate buyers, where a poor review of a seller would elicit a retaliatory poor review of the buyer, so people were hesitant to down-rate a seller.


IIRC they both rate one another, but won't show you the other person's rating until after you've both submitted them.
 
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