Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

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Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Sammy Sofa » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:37 pm

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43k7 ... -on-airbnb

I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb

The call came about 10 minutes before we were set to check into the Airbnb. I was sitting at a brewery just around the corner from the rental on North Wood Street in Chicago when the man on the other end of the line said that our planned visit wouldn’t be possible. A previous guest had flushed something down the toilet, which had left the unit flooded with water, he explained. Apologetic, he promised to let us stay in another property he managed until he could call a plumber.


Now, we were facing our second potential disaster in 30 days, and I couldn’t help but feel slightly suspicious of the man on the phone, who had called me from a number with a Los Angeles area code. Hoping to talk in person, I asked him if he was in the area. He said that he was at work and didn’t really have time to chat. Then he added that I needed to decide immediately if I was willing to change my reservation.

As if he could hear me calculating in my head how much of a hassle it would be to find a hotel instead, he then added something else to his pitch.

“It’s about three times bigger,” the man said. “That’s the good news.”

The bad news, which went unstated, was that I had unknowingly stumbled into a nationwide web of deception that appeared to span eight cities and nearly 100 property listings—an undetected scam created by some person or organization that had figured out just how easy it is to exploit Airbnb’s poorly written rules in order to collect thousands of dollars through phony listings, fake reviews, and, when necessary, intimidation. Considering Airbnb’s lax enforcement of its own policies, who could blame the scammers for taking advantage of the new world of short-term rental platforms? They had every reason to believe they could do so with impunity.


We popped the new address into Uber and took off, but when the driver approached the drop-off location, we noticed something odd: That exact address didn’t exist. After walking up and down North Kenmore Avenue, we were able to find a guest house hidden in a back alley that had a keypad on its front door. Once inside, we discovered what looked more like a flophouse than someone’s home. While, at three levels, it was quite big, almost everything else seemed off. The pantry housed a single bottle of soy sauce. The couch looked nothing like the one in the photos. The bedrooms were filled with a large number of bizarrely arranged beds. The whole place felt grimy, and there was a hole punched in a wall. The only decor was a giant wooden cross and a few pieces of generic Chicago-themed artwork, and the dining room's Overstock.com barstools looked as if they would turn into dust if you sat on them.


Some of that good ol' DISRUPTION.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby cl smooth » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:16 pm

speaking of illegal airbnb horsefeathers:

NYC says brokerage firm ran $20 million illegal hotel scheme

story's from january of this year but still relevant.

also, let's not forget this nugget from a few days ago:

‘Horrific tragedy’: five dead at Halloween party in California Airbnb rental

i've only had good experiences with airbnb but these stories (and others) are really horsefeathers up.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Sammy Sofa » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:22 pm

Most people are going to have unremarkable or good experiences with the process, but it definitely seems to have gigantic holes in the oversight and regulation that would allow people to exploit it, from things along the lines of just scamming people out of some extra cash all the way up to being involved in horsefeathering human trafficking. Airbnb's whole hands off approach (much like Uber and Lyft) that essentially pits the seller against customer needs more of a safety net for the latter.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Banedon » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:38 pm

Sammy Sofa wrote:https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43k7z3/nationwide-fake-host-scam-on-airbnb


I saw this the other day. I know plenty of people that love airbnb, and I'm sure it's cheaper than hotels...but I just don't see it being for me. It just seems like shenanigans like this are way too easy.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Sammy Sofa » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:50 pm

Banedon wrote:
Sammy Sofa wrote:https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43k7z3/nationwide-fake-host-scam-on-airbnb


I saw this the other day. I know plenty of people that love airbnb, and I'm sure it's cheaper than hotels...but I just don't see it being for me. It just seems like shenanigans like this are way too easy.


Odds are definitely way in your favor that if you used it, even regularly, you're going to be fine and save money. It's just that the blind spot that leaves you SOL in the off chance something does happen is so much bigger than if you stay in a hotel.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Cubswin11 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:56 pm

Banedon wrote:
Sammy Sofa wrote:https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43k7z3/nationwide-fake-host-scam-on-airbnb


I saw this the other day. I know plenty of people that love airbnb, and I'm sure it's cheaper than hotels...but I just don't see it being for me. It just seems like shenanigans like this are way too easy.

Yeah I’m definitely team hotels. The “risk” of the AirBNB stuff doesn’t seem worth it too me. Unless there’s a major event going on and hotels are all booked up you typically can find hotels for good prices that the savings really don’t seem worth it for me.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby jersey cubs fan » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:03 pm

A guy from work just traveled to chicago and had his airbnb cancel the day before he left. I've used it a couple times but really don't like it. Unless you really know the area you're going I'd be very hesitant to use it.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:03 pm

I've found that rentals are the most useful when location is very important to the enjoyment of your stay, and with longer stays where you can save a lot of money by having a kitchen and not eating out every meal. When I do go that route though, I use VRBO and not Airbnb.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby sneakypower » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:43 pm

we did the airbnb thing once on short notice and were on the outskirts of Milwaukee with the properties really bunched close together and poorly marked, poorly lit, having to trespass on people's properties to figure out which was ours even

was nice on the inside and a new, different experience altogether, but i might just still prefer staying in a hotel in most cases
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Sammy Sofa » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:55 pm

I prefer to do the Airbnb-style thing if it's with friends who have rented that property or from the owner before. Otherwise I'm going with a hotel.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Ding Dong Johnson » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:33 pm

I'm glad I have millions of Hilton points.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Sammy Sofa » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:11 pm

Ding Dong Johnson wrote:I'm glad I have millions of Hilton points.


Image
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby jersey cubs fan » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:03 am

Sammy Sofa wrote:
Ding Dong Johnson wrote:I'm glad I have millions of Hilton points.


Image

He’s referring to the number of views of her video on pornhub
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby WrigleyField 22 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:07 am

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:I've found that rentals are the most useful when location is very important to the enjoyment of your stay, and with longer stays where you can save a lot of money by having a kitchen and not eating out every meal. When I do go that route though, I use VRBO and not Airbnb.

Yea I've used Vrbo plenty and never really encountered anything shady. Worst is cases of "pictures not representative of property", but that can be somewhat true of hotels too.

Tried using airbnb once and the owner didn't accept my request.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Derwood » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:16 am

I've been in enough people's houses to know that I never want to sleep in one. Now if it's a stranger's house in a different city...nope, gross
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby big ball chunky time » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:07 am

I've only had outstanding airbnb experiences so I really can't complain. But once in Denver as soon as we stepped off the plane we got a message from the woman renting us our place that it had bad water damage from a busted pipe (it was winter) and so she was moving us to her parents' larger place a couple streets over. Obviously we had 0 options because our entire stay was predicated on staying downtown so we just went with it.

We got to the place and it was really nice and we had a great trip with no problems. But I couldn't help but notice that after the trip was over and we went to leave a review, someone had posted like 7 weeks earlier that they had a nice stay but they were a little peeved that the woman had informed them that at the last second that there was bad water damage in her place. Seemed like a scam but I can't tell what the scam was.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Sammy Sofa » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:17 am

big ball chunky time wrote:I've only had outstanding airbnb experiences so I really can't complain. But once in Denver as soon as we stepped off the plane we got a message from the woman renting us our place that it had bad water damage from a busted pipe (it was winter) and so she was moving us to her parents' larger place a couple streets over. Obviously we had 0 options because our entire stay was predicated on staying downtown so we just went with it.

We got to the place and it was really nice and we had a great trip with no problems. But I couldn't help but notice that after the trip was over and we went to leave a review, someone had posted like 7 weeks earlier that they had a nice stay but they were a little peeved that the woman had informed them that at the last second that there was bad water damage in her place. Seemed like a scam but I can't tell what the scam was.


Sssssssecret porno.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Cubswin11 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:21 am

Derwood wrote:I've been in enough people's houses to know that I never want to sleep in one. Now if it's a stranger's house in a different city...nope, gross

Ummm, what do you think people do in hotel rooms?
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Derwood » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:22 am

Cubswin11 wrote:
Derwood wrote:I've been in enough people's houses to know that I never want to sleep in one. Now if it's a stranger's house in a different city...nope, gross

Ummm, what do you think people do in hotel rooms?


I can pretend that the former guests of my specific rooms only slept or held bible study
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby JudasIscariotTheBird » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:34 am

big ball chunky time wrote:I've only had outstanding airbnb experiences so I really can't complain. But once in Denver as soon as we stepped off the plane we got a message from the woman renting us our place that it had bad water damage from a busted pipe (it was winter) and so she was moving us to her parents' larger place a couple streets over. Obviously we had 0 options because our entire stay was predicated on staying downtown so we just went with it.

We got to the place and it was really nice and we had a great trip with no problems. But I couldn't help but notice that after the trip was over and we went to leave a review, someone had posted like 7 weeks earlier that they had a nice stay but they were a little peeved that the woman had informed them that at the last second that there was bad water damage in her place. Seemed like a scam but I can't tell what the scam was.

...out of curiosity, what was the address?
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby JudasIscariotTheBird » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:46 am

The fam and I almost exclusively do AirBnB on vacations for the last 7 years. Even the experiences that are weird still normally add to the vacation. Like, we stayed in a place in Bruges where there were stained glass windows with the hosts' kids depicted on them. Another place in Seattle that was an apartment built on top of a tree, and another place in Hawaii that was engulfed by lava before we arrived. Much more plausable excuse than a burst pipe. The only negative experience was a different Hawaii location where the lady tried to pretend we stained every cloth item in the house, which was [expletive]. When he told her to pound sand, and that we would retaliate with the entirely true story that we found some joints of mary jane in the house (which we totally threw away) she relented and sent a stern warning to never stay there again. :-$
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby ChiCubsFan » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:44 am

Yeah I’ve used airbnb dozens of times (maybe even close to 100?) and never had a problem. I don’t know anyone who had a problem either, and pretty much all my friends use it. Some weird people I’ve communicated with for sure, but no scams.

My wife did get scammed on VRBO for a bachelorette party she planned (she actually sent someone money via Western Union). Luckily she figured out the scam early enough to book an Airbnb for a fair price and received a full refund.
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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby Banedon » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:09 pm

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Re: Guess what an idiot with a fraudulent Airbnb did THIS time...

Postby jersey cubs fan » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:10 pm

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