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ShaggyBevo RIP

An expose on AirBnB scams/scam listings.

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

 

Quote

I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb

While searching for the person who grifted me in Chicago, I discovered just how easy it is for users of the short-term rental platform to get exploited. 

 
Oct 31 2019, 8:00am
 
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.
 

I had flown with two friends to the city in hopes of a relaxing end-of-summer getaway. We had purchased tickets to attend the September music festival Riot Fest, where Blink-182 and Taking Back Sunday were scheduled to perform. The trip had gotten off to a rough start even before the call. Around a month before, a first Airbnb host had already canceled, leaving us with little time to figure out alternative housing. While scrambling to find something else, I stumbled upon a local Airbnb rental listed by a couple, Becky and Andrew. Sure, the house looked a little basic in the photos online, but it was nice enough, especially considering the time crunch—light-filled, spacious, and close to the Blue Line.

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....

It is a magazine length article on various AirBnB scams.

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Sounds like he didn't really read their reviews before hand.  Multiple people talking about last minute rental changes should have been a huge red flag.  We've never had an issue going with places that have 5 star reviews.

Edited by kevwun

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they deserve it for flying out to see blink182 and taking back sunday

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49 minutes ago, ShaggyBevo RIP said:

We had purchased tickets to attend the September music festival Riot Fest, where Blink-182 and Taking Back Sunday were scheduled to perform.

💦

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Yea, book with "Super Hosts" and read the bad reviews.  Stopped reading after it was apparent he didn't do his homework (although I understand they were in a bind after original place cancelled a month prior).  

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39 minutes ago, kevwun said:

Sounds like he didn't really read their reviews before hand.  Multiple people talking about last minute rental changes should have been a huge red flag.  We've never had an issue going with places that have 5 star reviews.

Same.  I've stayed in them in countless cities and at least a dozen countries.  Never a problem if you read the reviews.

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When idiots write these stupid articles, I wish their editors would use the headline "GULLIBLE RUBE FALLS FOR LAME SCAM"

I mean seriously, who has to "scramble" because they don't have lodging in a gigantic ass city like Chicago 30 days before their trip? You still have literally thousands of options at your disposal.

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I booked a Hilton in Dallas and it was an uninitiated fucking disaster.  Who do I whine to about an expose?

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19 minutes ago, HenryJames said:

But maybe AirBnb shouldn't allow scammers on their site?

Their refund process does sound like it sucks balls.  At least the article exposed that much.

Edited by kevwun

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8 minutes ago, kevwun said:

Their refund process does sound like it sucks balls.  At least the article exposed that much.

Yeah that's pretty much the only thing worth a shit about that article. I know some people are not experienced travelers and lose their minds at the first sign of trouble, but to me you're screwing yourself the second that you step foot in, and especially spend the night in, a bait and switch property.

If that issue pops up, you immediately communicate in writing with photos that this property does not match the listing and that it is unacceptable. You can do that shit on your fucking phone in five minutes while you wait for an Uber to take you to the nearest Marriott for the night. I just don't understand this mindset of "It was terrible, but we had nowhere else to go so we stayed there."

FUCK THAT.

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Never used AirBnB. Have booked through VRBO and had mostly positive results.

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On 10/31/2019 at 12:37 PM, Js1 said:

Same.  I've stayed in them in countless cities and at least a dozen countries.  Never a problem if you read the reviews.

airbnb reviews are unreliable...some positive reviews can be faked, or if you have a negative experience their platform disincentives a traveler from leaving a negative review about a host

Quote

Airbnb uses a rating system in which both the host and tenant can publicly provide feedback to one another, which both parties then use to prove their credibility in the future. Because of that, there is a built-in incentive to avoid confrontation, which helps explain why Airbnb hosts consistently receive higher ratings than hotels reviewed on TripAdvisor, according to research out of Boston University and the University of Southern California. If a customer has a negative experience on Airbnb, they might be better off just moving on instead of leaving a negative review. Choose the latter option, and you could come across as too demanding to other prospective hosts, or, in extreme cases, even receive a retaliatory review.

 

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How could it be a retaliatory review when you can't read what someone reviewed you until after you post your review?

Had an issue with a property once but it wasnt a switch, it was just a property that was on a hill and the only road leading in got completely iced over so our car couldn't make it up there. Pretty easily got a refund and a new place within a couple of hours. A big thing is to keep calm and remember you're dealing with real people so don't be a raging asshole. Keep polite professionalism and you'll work it out. 

Edited by Junior Miller

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On 10/31/2019 at 2:17 PM, Lobo said:

I booked a Hilton in Dallas and it was an uninitiated fucking disaster.  Who do I whine to about an expose?

So there was no disaster?

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19 minutes ago, Chad Fuck said:

So there was no disaster?

No, I think he meant it was a disaster, and it had something to do with someone not being initiated before fucking. 
 

Was not aware of the initiation process and would like to know more.  

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7 minutes ago, Liquor and Poker said:

No, I think he meant it was a disaster, and it had something to do with someone not being initiated before fucking. 
 

Was not aware of the initiation process and would like to know more.  

Agreed.  Probably be better if it was initiated with pics.

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I have been using VRBO for at least 10 years and never encountered an issue until a recent trip where the condo owner "de-listed" their condo and didn't notify us.  Upon arrival is when we found out and it was an absolute shit show getting refund.

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Unmitigated maybe?   But spell check and my memory felt it was uninitiated.  
 

 

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the reviews on airbnb are about as useful as the reviews of products on Amazon. You have to wade through a swamp of bullshit to find a real review written by an actual consumer. 

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