A woman recently said, “My vacation was ruined when I stumbled into a nationwide Airbnb scam.”


“Ten minutes before I was set to check into a Chicago rental listed on Airbnb, I received a call telling me my planned visit would not be possible because of a plumbing problem.  He apologized and promised to let us stay in another property he owned.  We went there but it was a ‘flop house.’


“He promised to get us into another property of his but that never happened.”  She learned that there were hundreds of fake listings and spoke to travelers with the same experience with the same hosts.  One person found an apartment that was just beds.  When she asked Airbnb for a refund, they refused.  Instead, hosts said that they were scammed.  Airbnb knows the scam exists but lets hosts operate under aliases.


There are hundreds more people who find a place with no running water, no hot water, not safe, no air-conditioning, no heat, etc.  They list goes on and on.


If you go with a national hotel chain, you know exactly what to expect and that is exactly what you will get.  There is never a problem that can’t be corrected immediately.


I don’t know how much you can save by going with an Airbnb compared with a major, national hotel chain, but I will tell you this, if I were offered a property to stay at for free, I would turn it down.  The chances of it being exactly as described are slim.  If I’m going on a vacation or business trip, I don’t need one more thing to worry about.


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