Woman discovers her home fraudulently listed on Airbnb


They had a reservation at this address, but it wasn’t theirs to stay in. 

A strange series of technical failings lead a homeowner and a group of relatives to have a very bizarre holiday season.

This Christmas, Philadelphia resident Molly Flaherty was coming home from a family gathering when she discovered a woman and her parents attempting to get into her home, the group convinced that they’d rented it on Airbnb, the Philadelphia Inquirer first reported. And indeed, they had, but the listing was not put up by Flaherty, who at once began trying to have the scam listing for her home taken down. 

She was initially unsuccessful, only getting the platform to stop advertising her home after the Inquirer reached out to the company about its protocols for incidents such as this. Only then did the short-term rental company stop advertising her house, and Flaherty claimed that she was never directly notified, which concerns her greatly.

“I don’t know if this [listing] is going to pop back up or if there’s still people that have future reservations and think they have a reservation in my home,” she told the Inquirer. 

As for Nicole Brunet, who rented Flaherty’s place for her parents, “there really was no way to tell” the listing wasn’t real, especially considering it had more than 100 reviews and a 4.7 out of 5 average rating, she told the publication. 

molly flaherty airbnb philadelphia
A false listing for Flaherty’s home.
Courtesy Molly Flaherty
molly flaherty airbnb philadelphia
A note Flaherty posted following the incident.
Courtesy Molly Flaherty
molly flaherty airbnb philadelphia
The since-removed listing.
Courtesy Molly Flaherty

Airbnb told The Post the incident was a rarity, Brunet was provided with support and a full refund — and the listing has now been deactivated. The listing, the tech company insisted, was not fake but from a previous homeowner who experienced what is known as an account takeover

Flaherty, however, said she feels burned by the whole experience.

“I continue to feel frustration that Airbnb considered me, the actual home owner, a 3rd party which seemed to bear little to no consideration on their part,” she told The Post. “As a homeowner there is no way to prevent this. I have had friends tell me after hearing of this they checked Airbnb to make sure their home wasn’t listed.”



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