A family who travelled from Spain to New Zealand has spoken about the horrific scam they were faced with when arriving at their Airbnb rental.
Having paid $17,000 for the rental property, the family arrived at the location only to find the listing was fake.
According to the New Zealand Herald, local authorities are having trouble pinning down the perpetrator as the amount was paid to a third party through an international bank transfer.
Speaking to The Herald, Amaia Ros, 19 said, “Thankfully we have enough money to stay … but imagine if this happens to a family that doesn’t have the money.”
“We were thinking of going back to Spain because of this, but then we met very lovely people and the community that helped us,” Ros added.
The family was temporarily relocating to Auckland on sabbatical and this scam had left them with no accommodation.
Cindy Walsh, principal of the local elementary school the children were to attend said the news shook the community.
“There was definitely some disbelief. I just thought they had got the address wrong – that this couldn’t be.”
“The community was so appalled to hear a family in our community had been treated that way,” Walsh said.
“It was so humbling to see it come together. (The family) had the most amazing attitude, it was a privilege to help them. They didn’t dwell on the negatives- but that doesn’t make it right.”
As per The Herald, a spokesperson from Airbnb has said “When we detect potentially concerning behaviour our team takes a range of actions including removing a user from the platform entirely,” the spokesman said.
“Building a safe, trusted community is our priority.”