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AIRBNB

Must Read: Airbnb Is Spending Millions of Dollars to Make Nightmares Go Away by Olivia Carville for Bloomberg (June 2021). A long expose. Sub-heading: When things go horribly wrong during a stay, the company's secretive safety team jumps in to soothe guests and hosts, help families - and prevent PR disasters.

SCAMS

According to one of the articles below, scammers all over the world have figured how best to game the Airbnb platform: by engaging in bait and switches; charging guests for fake damages; persuading people to pay outside the Airbnb app; and, when all else fails, engaging in clumsy or threatening demands for five-star reviews to hide the evidence of what they have done.

This article is about assorted Airbnb stays the author experienced that were not scams, but still missing things we usually take for granted - like a window. A word to the wise: 6 Airbnb red flags to spot before you make a booking mistake by Natalie B. Compton for the Washington Post. May 16, 2024.

The Airbnb Hell website claims to offer Uncensored Airbnb Stories & Reasons Not To Use Airbnb.

The website InsideAirbnb claims to be "a mission driven project that provides data and advocacy about Airbnb's impact on residential communities."

Why movies about deadly Airbnbs hit such a nerve right now by Joe Berkowitz for Fast Company (September 2022). While the article is about Airbnb themed horror movies, there are also many useful links. Quoting: "Long before starting a partnership with Scream last year, promoting overnight stays at a house featured in the franchise, horror was already embedded in Airbnb's DNA. The company's very premise is a bit horrifying: You pay a stranger to stay inside their home overnight, because an unregulated third-party declares it safe ... Airbnb's faint illusion of safety has always provided thin cover for vulnerabilities that villains could exploit, and primal fears that horror filmmakers could play like a symphony ... horror stories about it are nearly as popular as the service itself .... Some horror stories ... [involve] surveillance, robbery, scamming, or getting stranded ... Several people have been murdered in Airbnbs, many guests have perished due to a host's deadly negligence, and ... the company handles thousands of allegations of sexual assault every year, many involving rape."

From Airbnb: AirCover describes their consumer protection policy. The name AirCover is new, they started using it in 2022. Important point: it requires guests to report problems within 72 hours of when they occur.

CAMERAS

Airbnb announced in March 2024 it has banned the use of indoor security cameras. See An update on our policy on security cameras from Airbnb. Vrbo and Trusted Housesitters have similar policies.

How to find hidden cameras in an Airbnb, according to a security expert by Andrea Sachs for the Washington Post. May 22, 2024. Most likely a hidden camera will need a power supply, so start with plugged in devices. Wi-Fi: scan for Wi-Fi networks that have a strong signal and are not the main one in the house. If there is a QR code on the bottom of a device, it may be there to connect to its Wi-Fi network. A cellphone flashlight pointed at a device can detect a camera lens, even very small ones. Use an RF detector to find devices with high RF. Use a thermal detector, connected to a smartphone to see the heat of devices. Cameras tend to be hot.

How To Tell If There's A Security Camera In Your Airbnb by safety.com (Jan 2021)

Four ways to find spy cameras in a hotel room or rented apartment. by Leonid Grustniy of Kaspersky (Dec 2021).

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