Corp Comm Connects

Sleepless in Stouffville: Airbnb scam brings unwanted guests to home
August 7, 2017
By Tim Kelly

A Stouffville resident isn't getting any sleep these days. And she has Airbnb, the international private accommodation online booking service to blame.

Christina, a married mother of two who did not want to give her last name or address, said, "you never know who is going to be behind the front door," since the time three weeks ago when a man showed up claiming he'd booked a stay in her Stouffville home through Airbnb.

"He didn't want to leave, but finally he did," Christina said.

Then came Saturday when three couples showed up in succession, two girls from France, a couple from Whitby, and, the capper, a couple from Pittsburgh at midnight, all saying they'd booked stays through Airbnb.

"It's very unnerving, it makes me question how valid things are on the internet," Christina said.

"You never know who's going to show up. I can be as nice as possible, but if I'm home alone, that scares the bejeebies out of me," she said.

She captured an image of the person to whom her home was reserved through Airbnb and under the name 'Yun' it shows a picture of the well-known actress Naomi Harris.

What bothers her more is that when she typed her address online and linked it to Airbnb she said more than 20 listings popped up, causing her to worry more people will be traipsing to her door.

She has asked Airbnb to de-list her home from their service and has been told they've done so. Airbnb has said it has removed her listing from the service, but Christina isn't convinced it will do the trick.

She has also reported the activity to York Regional Police.

"They've opened a fraud case and have told me to keep reporting it to them every time it happens. Airbnb has also told me to get in touch with their security component each time something happens."

In the meantime, she waits.

"I just hope at midnight tonight I don't hear the ringing of the doorbell and get some randoms. I won't sleep."