'Unsafe and scary!': Airbnb renter finds over 10 HIDDEN cameras at property during girls' trip
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Airbnb is a popular option for travelers looking to have a more authentic experience during travels, but the home-sharing platform has not escaped negative reviews about safety and sanitation at their properties. A Twitter user recently claimed they discovered several hidden cameras throughout a property they were renting for a girls' trip in Philadelphia.
The Twitter user, who goes by the handle @foxytaughtyou, claimed in a series of tweets that an Airbnb she rented in Philadelphia had over 10 hidden cameras clandestinely placed throughout the house, including in shower heads and some even disguised as emergency sprinkler systems. Airbnb has a strict policy stating cameras are not permitted in bedrooms or bathrooms. The company also requires hosts to disclose if there are any security cameras that may be placed in outdoor areas or common spaces and whether any active recording is taking place.
The aforementioned Twitter user advised travelers to be "cautious" while booking accommodation with Airbnb, sharing pictures of what appeared to be cameras that she and her friends found "hidden all over the house" after booking to stay in Philadelphia. "We noticed these 'sprinklers' CAMERAS were placed in spots to get a perfect view of people. Luckily, it was a girls' trip so I wasn’t having intercourse… but I was naked and had to change in this room," the user continued.
We noticed these “sprinklers” CAMERAS were placed in spots to get a perfect view of people. Luckily it was a girls trip so I wasn’t having intercourse… but I was naked and had to change in this room😣 pic.twitter.com/9SHPLUEpkg— 🍒 (@foxytaughtyou) June 12, 2022
“The Airbnb was listed under a business name and we never met the owner,” she added. “Every time we tried calling them, even at our arrival they’ll never answer the phone. They only respond through message so we do not know how they look, sound, or if it’s a male or female.” According to the women, they were simply moved to another property after reporting the incident to the home-sharing platform as well as to Philadelphia police. “We reported this to [Airbnb] and to the police station Friday noon and still have not had an update on this case,” @foxytaughtyou tweeted on June 13. “We have no idea what footage this owner has and what he is doing with it! This is so UNSAFE, and scary! Thank God we noticed the cameras and got out of there!”
AIR BNB COMPANY DID NOT REFUND US! They just switched us into a different air bnb else where. We reported this to them and to the police station Friday noon and still have not had a update on this case. We have no idea what footage this owner has and what he is doing with it!!!— 🍒 (@foxytaughtyou) June 12, 2022
We also tried calling the philly police to have them on the scene, examine the cameras & make a police report. THEY DID NOT ANSWER. Sadly we had to go down to the police station.— 🍒 (@foxytaughtyou) June 13, 2022
This is so UNSAFE, & scary! thank god we noticed the cameras and got out of there! pic.twitter.com/XMbhFzvYDt
In a TikTok video that has garnered millions of views, the user explained that they discovered the devices after returning to the property in the evening and falling asleep on the sofa. The women noticed upon waking up in the morning that there was a crudely concealed camera on the ceiling pointing straight down at them. “We were creeped out and we decided to look everywhere in the Airbnb, all over the ceiling, and see if there’s any more cameras,” she narrated in the video. “We discovered that the sprinklers had a camera lens. We got on the chair and we did a flash test on these sprinklers and they are cameras.”
How we discovered hidden cameras in our air bnb…— 🍒 (@foxytaughtyou) June 13, 2022
WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS BEING DONE WITH OUR FOOTAGE! I NEED ANSWERS! NO UPDATE FROM AIR BNB OR POLICE STATION!!! pic.twitter.com/X3GKuHuVL6
Responding to the complaint, Airbnb confirmed the Twitter user was a customer and that they had taken action to assist her as well as reprimand the owner who she rented the property from. "Our policies strictly prohibit hidden cameras and we take forceful action in the exceptionally rare circumstances where this has been reported, including assisting law enforcement to help them hold criminals accountable," a spokesperson for the company told Entrepreneur in a statement.
"In this case, our Safety team has suspended this Host and removed this listing from our platform while we thoroughly investigate this report. We are also providing support to our guests, including a full refund. More information on our security camera policy -- including the ban on hidden cameras as well as bans on recording devices in bedrooms, bathrooms, or sleeping areas -- can be found here," the company added.