Make sure to check for suspicious hardware
Even though peer-to-peer businesses are booming, there are risks associated with entrusting total strangers with your safety and privacy. Airbnb has revolutionized the way that people travel and experience their world, however, staying at someone else’s home can get weird. In addition to bad guests, Airbnb has been known to attract a few bad hosts; hosts who use the room and house renting service to lure people into a web of depravity.
One married couple on a tropical getaway was viciously violated when they realized they were being watched during their most private moments.
A Strange Device
Derek Starnes and his wife just wanted a few relaxing nights in a lovely Airbnb in Florida, but their vacation became a nightmare once they saw a very suspicious device in their room. Derek, who works in the tech field, knew that the little hole in the smoke detector on the wall across from the bed was hiding something.
He hopped on a chair to get to the smoke detector, dismantling the device only to find a tiny camera and microphone recording onto an SD card. After calling the police to the house, they found yet another smoke detector camera.
Frank knew for a fact that the camera had recorded him in the buff.
The police immediately went after the home’s owner, 56-year-old Wayne Natt. They charged him with one count of video voyeurism, but they believe there could be hundreds of victims. His home has been listed on Airbnb for two years with dozens of glowing reviews.
Lt. Bob Bourque of the Longboat Key Police said about the complaint, “We seized a lot of computer storage data devices, hard drives, computers, laptops SD cards anything that would store data. We don’t know if there are local victims someone who may have been dating him or a companion that doesn’t realize they are being videotaped, and then we have the other side of who he rented to through Airbnb.”
During their investigation, police found videos dating back to 2008. Frank said about his horrific experience, “My wife and I are distressed by this situation. I hope more victims will come forward.”
Lt. Bob Bourque interviewed Wayne, asking why he installed the surveillance cameras in his house. Wayne’s answer shocked everyone.
He claimed that he regularly hosted wild s*x parties at the house, and that everyone there knew about the cameras. Lt. Bourque said, “He said it was for recording s*xual activity, and his only response was it gave him a better angle. If people are consenting to recording s*xual activity, why was it in a hidden smoke alarm?”
Airbnb isn’t buying Wayne’s story either. “We are outraged at the reports of what happened; as soon as we were made aware, we permanently banned this individual from our community and fully supported the affected guests. Our team has reached out to local law enforcement to aid them with their investigation of this egregious offense and we hope justice is served. We take privacy issues extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy against this behavior,” the corporation said.
Do you love to Airbnb, or do you think that it’s just too dangerous to shack up with strangers? Let us know your opinion in the comments and SHARE this story!