The Airbnb host became suspicious when she noticed her guests were wearing bumbags. Source: Supplied
A WOMAN who rented out her apartment on Airbnb became suspicious when her two male guests arrived wearing bumbags with no luggage.
She assumed they were drug dealers.
The reality was much more disturbing.
Nicole, from Washington DC, was renting out her one-bedroom apartment on the rental website to two men she had hosted previously with no problems, PandoDaily reports.
But when they arrived on Sunday to pick up the keys she noticed something seemed wrong. They didn’t have any suitcases.
“The thing that really made them look creepy was that they were wearing fanny packs,” Nicole said.
She went and spoke with her boyfriend in the car, who also felt that something was wrong. He guessed the men were drug dealers.
Her boyfriend searched one of the men’s mobile phone number on Google, and it came up on a website offering erotic massage services.
The website advertised “male-on-male nude massage services” ranging in price from $125 to $300. Services include therapeutic, erotic, and tantric massages or for the adventurous a session called “The Assmaster”. Customers can get discounts if they agree to appear on video.
Nicole noticed that the dates they were advertising for Washington DC corresponded exactly with the dates the men were staying in her apartment.
She had one of her friends send a fake booking inquiry, then called them herself.
“I just want you to know that I’m cool with your massage business,” she said, “but I can’t have you bring any clients over to my apartment.”
They said they wouldn’t. But not long after she hung up they replied to her friend telling him to come over.
Nicole called Airbnb customer service to report the incident, and the website cancelled the men’s booking and told them to leave the apartment. They also paid in full for the men’s eight-day booking and offered to pay for a cleaner.
Nicole is pleased with Airbnb’s efficient response but says she is done using the service.
“I really don’t think I’m going to use Airbnb ever again. Most people are normal, but it seems really easy for something like this to happen,” she said.
“I feel completely violated, and I don’t want to sleep in my own bed.”
Airbnb confirmed Nicole’s story to PandoDaily and said it was “extremely dismayed” by the incident.
“Incidents like this are incredibly rare and, consistent with our zero tolerance policy, we immediately removed the guests from the Airbnb platform,” a spokesperson said.
“Like other leaders in global hospitality, we are constantly evaluating new security measures and have begun work on new tools to give our users even more ways to build trust.”
The two men’s previous reviews on Airbnb painted a picture of tidy and courteous guests, except for a warning sign from one host.
“It was very difficult to clean up the oil marks.”