Airbnb users complete thousands of transactions renting out homes and apartments each year, but not all of them leave both host and renter satisfied. Airbnb has accrued quite the list of horror stories going back as far as 2010. Here are a few of the biggest headline grabbers (along with some other notable security stories from the past week).
Renters Vandalized and Stole from Home
This is one of the first stories to really generate powerful negative press for Airbnb: a host publicly blogged about how her renters had broken into locked areas of her home to steal family heirloom jewelry and personal information including her birth certificate. They also set fire to, and otherwise destroyed, most of her home. Airbnb was slow to respond, but the incident prompted a huge reworking of their host protection policy to make it stronger and more effective.
Read More at ZDNet.com
Guests Wreck $2.5 Million Condo
One Toronto luxury property owner, Ankkit Aggarwal, had his condos suffer $25,000 in damage in just three days, he claims. Although Airbnb disputes several aspects of his story, it’s clear that guests made a giant mess, ruined linens, and broke expensive furniture including a $6,000 Italian bed. Cleaning and repairs cost him tens of thousands, and the incident also resulted in his being banned from renting on Airbnb.
Read More at BusinessInsider
Renters Robbed and Damaged Home, Leaving It Littered with Meth Pipes
An Oakland owner who rents his home out on Airbnb had renters use a stolen identity on the site. They proceeded to steal valuables, cause thousands of dollars of damage, and leave pipes used for smoking methamphetamines strewn across the home. They also left signs that they were attempting to commit further identity thefts, including targeting him. It took him months to receive appropriate compensation for the damage and make his home safe again.
Read More at TechCrunch.com
Other Security News From Around the World
Caught on Camera: Cat Rescues Boy from Dog Attack
“My cat saved my son,” begins this heartwarming video caught on home surveillance cameras. A young California boy was playing in his front driveway when a neighbor’s unleashed dog launched an unprovoked and vicious-looking attack. Fractions of a second before he succeeds in dragging the boy off, the family cat Tara races in-frame and launches herself at the dog, knocking it over. Not only does she drive
the dog away and save the boy, she pursues it, chasing it off the lot. The boy only required minor medical attention.
Read more at Jezebel and watch the harrowing footage below:
Surveillance Camera Footage Exonerates Wisconsin Woman Hit by Police Car
A Wisconsin woman was involved in a serious car accident in February of 2013 when a police officer rolled through a stop sign and “t-boned” her car, breaking her neck and totaling the vehicle. Worse, the officer arrested her for drunk driving after the accident because “she looked like she was intoxicated,” although he couldn’t actually administer any sobriety tests because of her injury. Months later, footage from a nearby airport surveillance camera came to light showing that the officer ran the stop sign and was completely at fault for the crash. Not only has the evidence cleared the woman of blame, it has given her the evidence needed to pursue compensation from the county for the lofty medical bills stemming from her injury.
Read More at Ars Technica
Hidden Cameras Catch Dog Walker Stealing Pills
A New Hampshire resident installed hidden cameras because she was suspicious about her missing prescription pills. As she expected, the pair of cams caught her dog walker in the act. The motion-sensitive cameras alerted her via her smartphone that they had recorded action, which she reviewed and promptly alerted the police, who arrested the dog walker on two counts of felony possession of controlled drugs.
Read More at SeaCoastOnline.com
Indian Police Use GPS to Ensure Peaceful Elections
Wednesday saw major elections across India. Police in a few cities and districts who were tasked with watching the proceedings to keep them peaceful and uninfluenced were given GPS-capable cell phones; this allowed police in the central headquarters to keep tabs on patrolling policemen as they traveled from village to village, enabling quicker response times when problems arose, and also provided extra oversight that kept patrolling officers accountable.
Read More at The Hindu