Airbnb's can be lifesavers. The service has helped to revolutionize the hospitality industry and has helped property owners monetize extra rooms or living spaces while giving travelers alternative housing solutions during their adventures.
Speaking from personal experience, I've had some truly great Airbnb stays and met some cool folks as a result.
But there are some people who've visited these privately-owned hotels and have made some unsavory discoveries, like this couple a few years back who found an alarm clock that was actually a hidden camera placed in a very strange place.
While the argument can be made that these cameras are put in places by homeowners to help protect their property in the event of damages from guests, it's kind of difficult to shake the feeling like you're being watched by someone when you paid to stay in their home.
No one wants to think that they're being watched by a stranger as they're getting dressed or going to the bathroom or dancing naked to David Bowie's "Magic Dance" off the Labyrinth movie soundtrack. You know, the kind of normal things we all do on a daily basis.
How would you react if you found evidence of surveillance equipment at your Airbnb? Arlen, who goes by the name of @coolstrawberry on TikTok discovered some receipts at the place she was staying when she noticed some receipts on the premises.
Receipts that had the names of surveillance equipment. Not exactly the kind of thing you want to see when you're chilling in your rental room.
What's really strange is that the receipt was all for audio equipment. The receipt read:
- Pocket keychain audio recorder
- USB Flash Drive Audio recorder
- iPhone Case Hidden Camera
- Power Back Hidden Camera
- 16 Hour Voice Activated Recorder Pen
And whoever purchased the equipment seemed pretty serious about it as they dropped over $1,900 on the goods.
They found the receipt under the bed, presumably during a rousing game of hide and seek or "hey let's see if the Airbnb hosts are trying any shady stuff with us."
Another interesting tidbit gleaned from the video is that the shipping address for the products were actually sent to an address down the street and not the Airbnb itself.
So we can surmise that either: A.) the Airbnb owner is the one who set this stuff up all over the property and happens to live on the same block in their own house. Or B.) there's a neighborhood creep who discovered there was an Airbnb nearby, rented a room, and hid that stuff there. Or C.) someone's cheating on somebody and that receipt dropped out of their bloomers.
Arlen says in the video: "What I think happened is that somebody took the equipment to the Airbnb and dropped the receipt. If you couldn’t tell, the price is over a thousand dollars. So it wasn’t just something somebody did for fun or to experiment. Somebody put a lot of money into spying on people."
Airbnb states that they're hosts must disclose any surveillance footage, security cameras, or other recording devices prior to renting out their buildings to guests.
Arlen called their safety line to alert them as what she found.
"They said they were going to contact the safety team and asked for the receipt. We received a call today from the lady from the safety team who asked a few more questions and said they would update us," Arlen said.
Tons of commenters urged Arlen to further document and report the situation, as well as looking under furniture and in little nooks and crannies to see if any surveillance equipment was taped to there.