Guest checked in the stole everything

We had a last minute reservation. Guest checked in they seemed a bit strange (always follow your gut). About 5 hours go by then I wake up in the middle of night to go to the bathroom (2:30am) and I see that Airbnb canceled the reservation due unusual activity! Im like what? Mind you this is in Mexico. I immediately check the outside cameras and see that everything is off line.
So now Im really panicked! I call the house admin to over there and check it out, meanwhile Im on the phone with Air bnb that says at this point involve the Police.
When they arrived we find that they stole everything possible.
Stove top, stove, microwave, TVs etc even the bedding from the beds! Towels, detergent-everything!!!
I reported it to the Police and now am waiting for Airbnb safety team to get back to me.
They even took the device that records the surveillance video so now I dont even have that.
Advice??? Help??? As is, covid caused major cancelations for March/April/May but now this!!

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Wow. Well, what’s done is done. You’ve contacted your insurance company? What did they say?

I’m a bit confused though. How did Airbnb know before you did?


My thought too! Maybe that “Neighborhood Support” page? They have a phone number on there now for people to report disturbances.

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Close down your listing as you shouldn’t be hosting at this time anyway unless you are vetting your guests and only hosting essential travel, medical professionals and so on. The scammers are working overtime to take advantage of people at this time. It’s horrible but it is what it is. The risks are too great, especially if you don’t even live on site. I’m able to continue hosting because I live here and I don’t have a video device that they can remove the video from.

One of the things you can do is get a different video set up.

As for Airbnb, hopefully they will reimburse you. It’s going to be a long and painful process in normal times and this is probably going to be much worse. You need good records and reciepts for everything.

Sorry this happened to you. It sucks.


Airbnb should reimburse you. They claim to cover hosts up to a million dollars. Put in a claim ASAP.

Airbnb is NOT and never has been homeowners insurance! If you have been operating without real homeowners or commercial insurance which covers STRs, and are “depending” on Airbnb cover you for something like this, you are in serious denial. for a rude awakening.


They probably used a fraudulent Credit Card and cancelled the reservation when that came to light.

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I hate to hear this. Awful. I am sure this is scary and difficult. I hope Airbnb can assist but they’ve never been easy or reliable for covering such events. May things go as best they can for you.

I agree

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It’s not clear what you really need help with.

I do hope you have dedicated short-term rental insurance since dealing with Airbnb’s “trust and safety team” right now might be much worse than usual.

If you don’t have your own insurance, I do hope Airbnb will reimburse you through their Host Guarantee. Make sure you stay on top of all of the information they request from you. What I’ve read in the past is that they request some information from the host and give a deadline of 2 days to provide the information, then the host provides the information and Airbnb doesn’t respond for 2 weeks. If the host fails to respond on time, Airbnb will close the case. Unfortunately, I would expect Airbnb’s response time to be much worse than usual right now. Get the police report, make an itemized list of everything that was stolen, and find receipts for as much as you can.

I know you’re hurting for business now and you may be shut down for a while simply due to the theft, but you might consider whether it’s worth it to even accept last-minute reservations. In this case, it appears the thieves were dependent on the last-minute nature to get in and out before they were discovered. Some hosts have good luck with last-minute reservations, but you need to ask yourself if last-minute reservations make sense for your listing.


Airbnb has some pretty cool algorithms to detect fraud. They actually work pretty well. We’ve had Airbnb cancel shady bookings a few times now. I’ve been pretty impressed with them.

This 100%. Use a cloud service or lock your NVR/recorder up where no one can access it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen criminals steal the recorder itself.

You’ve seen it? Why didn’t you do something sooner? (riffing on your teasing of Ken)

I have a Ring that records one part of the front yard and of course those go to the cloud. Then I have two mounted in front, high enough to need a step stool and they are tamper proof. They are on a DVR in the house. Best option would be for a criminal to cover them with tape. But stealing all record of entry would be impossible.


That’s awesome! I can take it if I can dish it out! :slight_smile: On a side note… I used to be a police officer. There was a guy in the jail where I worked. I asked him what he was in for and he said, “I witnessed a murder and failed to report it”. I later learned he was the one who actually committed the murder.

Re video, I have a similar setup. I have two Ring doorbells (I want closeups of faces), one on the main house and the other on the Loft. The rest are all hard wired tamper resistant as well. I did the same, the NVR itself is in my house in my office. Its so nice to have.

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So were you fired from the police force for stealing video recorders. :wink:

I live in a low crime area and got these cameras just for the dog boarding and Airbnb business. Things like the time a dog got locked in the outdoor shed and I thought he had somehow gotten out. I spent 15 minutes looking in front and in the neighborhood and looking on the video could have shown me he didn’t go out the front anywhere. Or figuring out the cops were talking to my guest in the middle of the night after I’d gone to bed. I wouldn’t be without them and when I see longtime members post here that they don’t have cameras, I just don’t understand. I guess it’s like people who think CV is no big deal until they or someone they know personally gets it.

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I guess perspective is what it takes for some people to understand. :slight_smile:

That’s great! It would be really interesting if you could let us know how they can tell what’s going on in a rental once the guests have checked in. I think there are many hosts here who’d be reassured by knowing this.

I think that many of us have had Airbnb cancel guests prior to check in which is excellent because it stops guests who may be up to no good getting into properties. But it’s interesting to know that they can detect unusual activity hours after check in.

My friends’ dog was missing for 2 days- a realtor had been showing a house around the corner from them, the dog wandered in the open door, and no one noticed. Neighbors heard it barking after 2 days in there with no food or water.

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He was drinking out of the toilets I imagine.

Yeah, it was this dogs first stay and I didn’t know him. I’d open the shed to get something and he’d gone in quiet as a mouse. Then I totally blanked out that I’d opened the shed door. So half an hour later it was time for dinner and he was no where to be found. I have an extremely well secured yard so I was freaking out. I was calling his name, looking everywhere. Finally after 20 minutes I called his owners who were in town. They said we will come right over. They also said he will go in a closet and be real quiet. Well they came over and we went first to the back yard and as soon as they called his name he scratched on the shed door and we heard him. I called…nada. Anyway I thought that would be the last of that client but he and his new packmate are still clients, 3 years later.

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Do not cancel any future bookings nor remove your listing. Airbnb will reimburse you for cancelled bookings.

I found myself under a similar situation. Luckily I had private insurance. The entire process took about 5 months.

In fact, I do have a claim comparison with Airbnb and private insurance. It is critical to have private insurance. Unfortunately, many hosts are confused with Airbnb’s protection policy believing they are protected. Airbnb needs to educate the public about their $1,000,000 host protection policy.

You will be assigned a claims adjuster who will ask you to fill out a form with every item taken along with purchase date, cost, and receipt.

It was a difficult 5 months. In my case, it involved prostitution, heroin, burglary, identity theft, credit card theft, and car theft.

I have photos, police reports, and the police sergeant also said the culprits was a probably a criminal gang that operate across the country targeting Airbnb properties.

Last year as a guest, I became very ill at a hosts property which resulted in a vermin or most likely a spider bite that landed me in the emergency hospital for 3 nights with a $20,000 bill. The property was leased by a guy from Shanghai who was leasing 9 properties in Hawaii. I was able to get $10,000 under the medical payments under the property’s insurance (not Airbnb). The overseas owners are buying properties and leasing to others for Airbnb.

Ten years as a host in San Francisco. I give Airbnb a D grade for their performance. I was one of the die hard fans that worked on the legalization, attended Airbnb Opens, HQ parties, etc.

Airbnb has no properties and have become billionaires from hardworking hosts. Airbnb encouraged and promoted hosts with tools to learn and operate multiple properties by leasing properties from owners or by purchasing properties.

Chip Conley who ran the Airbnb Open is rumored to be making 350 million in options after he left the company. The founders are all billionaires.

And what about the hosts?


Thank you for your help!