Scam warning as couple left ‘penniless and homeless’ by vicious Facebook Airbnb scam | Personal finance | Finance

Appearing on BBC’s Rip off Britain, the couple issued a warning about fraudulent and dangerous online adverts. Clare and Darren had lived in Benidorm with their two children, working in care and as DJs respectively.

“We had several conversations with the owner, who was delighted to have a decent family to live there.

“We had absolutely no suspicions. We were so excited to be together as a family, very excited to be there.

The owner explained that she had used Airbnb to rent out the property in the past, directing them to the old listing.

However, at the critical moment, the landlord requested a bank transfer of the deposit and two months’ rent.

Excited to move into their new home and confident that everything had been checked out, Clare and Darren made the transfer and began a four and a half hour drive to meet.

When they arrived at the property, there was no sign from the owner or the Airbnb rep that she had promised to be there to meet them.

After several hours, a worried Clare called Airbnb’s head office directly.

She said: ‘The poor gentleman on the phone must have told me the news.

“He said, ‘There’s no easy way to tell you this, but you’ve been scammed’.

“I broke down, I completely broke down, and I had to run around the corner so the kids couldn’t see. I then had to go back around the corner to tell Darren, to his parents and our children that we had nowhere to live.

“At first the kids didn’t know what was going on, but I was a total mess and I don’t like kids seeing me like that.”

The Airbnb rep tried to calm the tense Clare as she aired her concerns.

The ad seemed legit, however, the person Clare had spoken to was a scammer with no connection to the real apartment.

It appeared that they had copied the listing and put it on Facebook Marketplace as bait for a scam.

The couple were now “penniless and homeless”, worried about their future, said Gloria Hunniford.

Desperate for help, the couple contacted the local council to see what could be done.

With most of their savings now in the hands of the crooks, they were placed in a local hostel while they tried to get back on their feet.

Reflecting on their experience, the couple stood in front of what should have been their home.

Darren remarked, “As I stand here now, I am filled with anger, shaking with anger and tears.

“It makes you think how different things could have been, had we got to where our life would have been.”

Airbnb said they failed to provide support that met its usual standards when Clare made contact.

To help smooth things over, the organization said it had offered a goodwill gesture to reimburse the couple for the money they had lost, adding: “Bad actors operating on third-party websites don’t nothing to do with Airbnb”.

Facebook told “We’re sorry to hear that people are being misled in this way. We don’t want fraudulent activity on our platforms, and we continue to invest in people and society. technology to eliminate scams.

“We urge people to report any suspicious listings, accounts or posts to us and the police, so that we can take action. We have also donated £3million to Citizens Advice to set up a program anti-scam action group in the UK to help victims and we have joined Stop Scams UK to help identify and remove scams at the source.” has contacted Airbnb for comment.

Comments are closed.