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Scammers to vulnerable hosts

I am not sure if these were instabookers or not - I don’t think so.

Couple prior to trip sent message saying we would not be up to snuff and that Jay has some massive stressors.

Felt bad, gave them a handcarved sloth keychain intended for my friend.

Tons of Air-documentation showing how I tried to help them get food in a massive storm, etc. Asked several times in person and in Airmail if everything was okay. Of course!

Then, vet friend over, talking, they walk by the deck I ask is everything good - all smiles and stuff.

Not ten minutes later I say to friend, “are they sneaking out?” He turns head and says it sure looks like it.

Owners send a follow up note, receive this response, rain down a sh&tstorm on their heads including legal action. I ask for my keychain to be sent back in a taxi.

Thanks to this Forum, I immediately recognized the scam. I gave them an all 1 star review with a slandering review calling them scammers, to warn other hosts. Not published yet:

Thank you for following through for feedback. We had no problem with Jay and the rain was actually a pretty neat thing to experience. The grounds of the property were quite stunning as well. I think the level of accommodations themselves were not exactly what we were expecting. We weren’t quite comfortable. We didn’t mean to upset Jay by cutting our time their short.

Unfortunately, we feel the accommodations were misrepresented based on the description and pictures. What I mean by this is more in what was not shown that we could not have known before we got there. The only picture of the building itself is from ~50 meters off through the bushes, which makes it near impossible to really see the place. The only picture of the bathroom shows the tile wall and the corner of the sink. What this leaves out is the rigged shower head with live electrical wires sticking out, exposed framing, and an ~8 inch hole in the floor behind the toilet which let in fire ants among other critters. The privacy of the cabin was inaccurate and the pictures do not show an accurate representation of the proximity to the main house. The internet either did not work or was spotty and very weak, which was communicated to us as a previously known factor to the hosts but was not represented in the ad. I say this not as a prissy tourist but as an international traveler whose only means of communication is through an Internet connection. This is the reason for the lack of coherent communication above. Since we could not connect to the Internet, we could only see the first 100 or so characters of any message as they come through SMS text message.

Perhaps the onus is on us to be more diligent in our assessment of housing options. We don’t feel this was made possible by the ad though. We have stayed in a number of places ranging from hostels to some of the nicer hotels in the area during our trip and the level of accommodations offered were closest to Rocking J’s hostel. While that in itself is not a bad thing, it was not reflected accurately and for $70 per night we made the assumption that everything “out-of-frame” would reflect a $70 per night room. We were able to go next door to the Villas Del Caribe and get a room for the exact same price that offered security, breakfast, clean rooms, adequate showers, working Internet, and a pool.

A personal email address we can be reached at is (email hidden)

Thank you for your time and communication. Hopefully this hasn’t disrupted your trip or upset anyone too much. I apologize if our assessment above comes off as harsh, we just want to communicate our feelings and impressions so that a similar situation can be avoided in the future, if possible.

Thanks,
Casey and Kyle

And they were our first and only instabook - jacked up the price to see what would happen…
J

They are threatening legal action against the owners? Why?

Maybe IB isn’t a good fit for you, since you need to maybe have a clear discussion about how rustic the accommodations are?

So I am confused. What do you think the scam was?

In all honesty, the email sounds pretty legit. Like they were just scared off by the things they mentioned? I remember seeing the open wire shower thing in an International House Hunters show. :smile:

Still $70 isn’t a lot by anyone’s standards, as long as they were given a clear and completely honest description, if indeed the accommodations were that rustic. Rustic is fine as long as it is disclosed. I feel somewhat rustic myself due to having water supply on a raintank.

Were they refunded by Air? If so, I wonder what legal action is that they are claiming.

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I’m lost. I feel like I am coming in half way through the story. Did I miss something? Who is Jay? Who are the “owners”? Are you talking about your own hosting experience or someone else’s?

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May be i dont have enough English to understand, but what owners are you talking about? And what law suit?
And what scam? It looks like its a continuation of another thread where you already told the story and now just adding details.
What does “snuff” and “stressors” mean?? I need to go back to school…

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At first flush I thought it was a reasonable email, then realized it had been cut and pasted from a Scammers blog

We would have done anything to make them happy but, I asked them verbally, in front of witnesses if all was well. And before they left they ripped some fixtures off and photographed the cabin.

I know it was a scam because I was here. They don’t get a read cent.

Apparently Americans are quite litigious and slander is a serious offense.

I’m happy the owners, surrounded by rich people and an Air cofounder… were on a cruise.
:smiley:

Jay is our sloth club property manager in Costa Rica. She lives in the main house next to a rustic cabin on the ocean. She’s been renting out the cabin on Air on behalf of the owners. She had recently put the property on IB and got these guests book that same night.

If Jay would write the story from her viewpoint more fully, I think it would not be as confusing.

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Sorry, popping in to be polite.

Hope to be in a position soon to rejoin the community more regularly.

What English am I not speaking?

Simply trying to warn other hosts, not garner advice or discussion @konacoconutz

ps, help me out @konacoconutz - want to be a resource for hosts like you were all for me. :slight_smile:

Understand but as you can see from the comments no one is really following you.

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yep, I get it

Guests checked in on instabook, acted all sweet. Messages between our homes from 10m away answered and then not.

Storm comes in knocking out wifi along the coast. Guests claim they couldn’t reach me to register concerns.

Guests all smiley and telling me all is good continually.

Then they destage the cabina, take pics and clean up. Like they are the did everything right and we did everything wrong.

Then send message which is cut and pasted from scammer sight.

Send it to us. Owners, who are very well connected and affluent, right back that they back off, AirFounder grabs their phone and calls their bluff.

They say they know this is a public scam, tell people to return the trinket I gave, them and write a five star review.

Airheads stay mum instead of addressing the issue. Owners write scathing 1 star review and threaten to publish it if they do not piss off and write a five star review for Jay.

Guests do not respond to repeated Air-buttons to write a review, nor in any other way.

There is a 1 star review warning hosts not to accept these guests and mentiones scamming. It will automatically upload when the time limit runs out - fourteen days?

So we called them on their obvious scam but they remain mute. They are in a load of trouble the Air world - they have not launched an Air complaint.

I hope that clarfifies.

If it does not, please dont’ post such until Saturday - I literally have no time/energy for the Froum right now, just trying to be polite to my fellow Forum buddies.
J

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Thanks, it now makes a ton of sense. Please turn off IB :smile:

Your not alone Catskills

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Ok. I think I’ve got it figured out.

The owners of the place are not on-site. They know one of the Air founders.

Jnjack (the poster here ) AKA Jay is their property manager and deals with the guests.

Kyle and Casey are the bad guests/scammers

Where do the sloths come in?

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That is the name of the place to be rented because sloths live there.

lol I still don’t get it, what scam ?? I give up. I still can’t understand all the names been thrown in

Are the owners actually blackmailing these guests to leave good review for property manager otherwise they will publish their bad review of guests??

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My understanding is the that the guests messed up the room and and made it look bad. Then they took photos of it and tried to say that’s how it looked when they checked in.

And the message the guests sent complaining about all the things they thought were wrong with the place was copied from a scam blog on the Internet.

I’m not 100% sure what a scam blog is, though.

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Ah!! Thank you! So succinct. I am disappointed that actual sloths were not involved, though.

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There is a sloth shaped key chain. Does that count?

The property manager gave it to the guests before she knew they were scammers. I think she felt bad, because they had bad weather.

After the guests left, the owners demanded that they send the key chain back via taxi, but I don 't think that has happened yet.

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So where exactly is the scam? Sorry…

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