2 Nov. 2019
Allie Conti was feeling a bit suspicious of her hosts after she had a very bad Airbnb experience. She decided to investigate, and reported back her findings in a brilliant article on VICE.
If you ever booked a flat on Airbnb, you should read the article: this is what happened when she managed to reach someone behind the nationwide scam freshly uncovered:
Approximately 30 minutes after the call, I tried to go back on Abbot Pacific’s website. But I couldn’t. It had disappeared, replaced only five words in all caps: “THIS WEBSITE IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE.” I called “Patrick” back to ask what happened. “I think it went down yesterday,” he said. “We’re adding some new stuff to it. New properties and stuff like that.” When I told him that I had just been on the site moments before our initial conversation and found it strange that the website went down right after, he agreed that it was “weird.”
As surprising and fascinating as this whole scam operation is, I believe the most shocking part of this story is the lack of proper answer from Airbnb: their flawed verification process, their users getting scammed, they basically did nothing about the issues exposed by Conti.
“We are suspending the listings while we investigate further.”
The best part of the article is this update, added at the end:
The morning after this article was published, the FBI contacted VICE about the claims made above.
I am sure this is not the last time we hear about this.