Woodland Hills couple says they were hit by Airbnb scam

Ray Quiroga, who works at local hospitals as a medic, and his girlfriend Marsha Warren are angry. They had this great idea to do a little Airbnb summer adventure after moving out of an apartment. 

"We decided we were going to be at one Airbnb for one month; another one for one month... another one maybe on the beach... just float around for fun," Warren said.

"She picked this one that was really nice; a really nice house! Clean. They said they wanted $2,000 a month for it. Great," Quiroga said.

They applied for the property and Quiroga said, "The host accepted, and they pulled the money right out of the bank."

Everything seemed OK until they got another phone call telling them there was a pipe burst.

Quiroga says they were told there was flooding, they couldn’t move in, and would have to return their money. 

When they went to the house, there was no evidence of flooding. 

"No plumber, nothing," they both said.

We spoke with people in the current home. They said they’ve listed on other apps but not Airbnb. 

We also contacted Airbnb. 

They told us the case was under investigation and said the following: 

"We are very sorry that this guest encountered this situation. They were fully refunded for this experience and our team is in contact with them to help find alternative accommodations. This listing has been taken down and the host’s account has been suspended while we continue to investigate."

The couple says it hasn’t received the money yet just notifications that it’s coming, but the whole experience for the couple has been frustrating.

They say Airbnb did find them another location but about an hour away.

"I didn’t work as a medic to give my money away like that and get ripped off like an idiot," Quiroga said.

Airbnb also shared the following tips to avoid encountering a similar incident:

  • This type of situation is extremely rare, but when it happens, we take action to protect the integrity of our platform. We are currently still investigating this situation.
  • Misclassified listings are prohibited on Airbnb and AirCover covers a guest if the listing’s description or depiction of the accommodation is inaccurate. If a guest ever shows up to an Airbnb reservation and the listing is not what they expected, we want to help and we recommend contacting Airbnb as soon as possible.
  • Once a booking is made, we withhold payment from the Host until 24 hours after the guest’s check-in time, which gives the guest time on arrival to ensure everything is as it should be or to report any issues to us. This is a significant deterrent against scams.