The con person has been advertising Katie's mother's property as their own and has been booking stays for folks. The trouble is, however, that Katie and her mom are staying there, and guests keep showing up, leaving them with nowhere to stay.
And the TikToker says Airbnb is doing a terrible job of rectifying the situation.
Katie says in a video she posted about the situation, "Airbnb is literally the worst company ever for customer service. Long story as short as possible my mom has a guest Airbnb account and a host Airbnb account."
According to the TikToker, one of her mom's two accounts were compromised, and it has caused a litany of problems between her and the application: "Someone has taken over the host Airbnb account and listed our cottage for rent, for like, weekend stays and stuff."
Katie goes on to say that her and her mother are staying in the cottage while the person who has taken over her mother's Airbnb host account continues to list the building online for rent.
It's not difficult to imagine how incredibly frustrating it must be for Airbnb customers who've listed the cottage, only to learn that someone else is living there upon arrival.
But it's also frustrating for Katie and her mother: "So we're here living in our cottage, and people are showing up thinking they're going to have a weekend here."
Katie says that Airbnb hasn't been necessarily helpful in solving their problem: "We've talked to three people from Airbnb, I've tweeted about it, and they contacted me briefly and then started sending me automated messages."
The biggest issue that Katie and her mother have experienced is that even though they're the owners of the cottage and even though someone else had managed to gain access to their host account, Airbnb refuses to take the listing down.
This is in spite of Katie informing Airbnb several times that her and her mother are not the ones making the posting and that its an impostor pretending to be them and posing as the owners of the property.
"But they won't take it down no matter what we say. We're like 'this isn't us, this is not my mom posting this, they're using her face and her name, and our property but it's not her posting it. Like we are living here please take it down. And Airbnb has done nothing."
The TikToker went on to say that reps for the application kept giving her and her mother the run around, promising to respond during a specific time period, but never reaching out.
"They said someone would get back to us in 48 hours. 48 hours isn't fast enough like people are showing up here coming from far away, like the last group that showed up here drove two and a half hours to be here and they don't get to stay. Like they have nowhere to go."
Katie said that she feel helpless about the situation, stating: "I don't know what else to do. My mom doesn't know what else to do. Like we've contacted anyone we can contact and we're like hey this is not us posting this someone is posting where we are living right now and people showing up here expecting to live here and they won't take it down."
Frustratingly, Katie goes on to say that Airbnb doesn't appear to know how to handle an account being stolen and subsequently commandeered by a scammer.
Because the scammer was able to change the email address associated with the account and its phone number, it was impossible for Katie and her mother to verify whether or not they were the original owners, and said that Airbnb ultimately appeared to give up on assisting them with their issue.
"They're asking for us to like verify the email address and the phone number and we're like we don't have access to that. Someone changed those on us. Like we can't, we can't get into this account. We can't take it down. Why do you want us to give you the phone number the account's under when we don't have it? Like it's someone else's phone number now. It's not ours."
"I don't know, I don't know we've reported it too. I've talked to them on Twitter and they gave me like two helpful responses and then just started sending me automated messages and aren't answering me anymore. I don't know if you guys have any recommendations on what we should be doing, let us know."
Several folks who responded to the video urged Katie and her mom to call the police, while others said getting in touch with local news could be a good way to have Airbnb direct more of its attention on the problem.
"These stories are killing me, how hard is it for @airbnb to be better?" one TikToker wrote.
Someone else suggested that Katie and her mom change the code on their door for the rental, and to give Airbnb their phone number to see a documented history of changes on the account.
And then there were those who suggested Katie sue the application for damages in small claims court, at the very least in order to get the attention of the company so representatives take the matter more seriously: "Threaten to sue, that'll change their urgency real quick."
AirBnb says that no fraudulent activity took place.
AirBnb reached out to Distractify with the following statement: "No fraudulent activity took place. The Host neglected to take down their listing after they stopped hosting, and our team helped them to resolve it."
It seems as though this may have ultimately been a misunderstanding on Katie's mom's part, as she reportedly had another AirBnB account that she had forgotten about. We're hoping that everything has now been fixed and Katie and her mom are able to enjoy their cottage without any further interruptions!