A Couple Sued Airbnb Homeowner After They Found Something Horrific at the Apartment
Many backpackers would opt to stay at a rental home rather than a typical hotel for a number of reasons. Firstly, the former is way cheaper than other options and, secondly, because they get access to more amenities typical of a home.
And there’s no website for finding the best and cheapest accommodation as popular as Airbnb. However, if you’re planning on renting a home for your next vacation, you might be taken aback by a recent lawsuit filed by a couple who made a horrific claim against their Airbnb host.
A couple decided to book a place in Clairemont, San Diego in November last year; the room they rented was actually a garage converted into a studio apartment.
On their third day at the accommodation, they noticed something suspicious: there was someone watching them. They decided to call the attention of the authorities, who confirmed that the place was indeed rigged with hidden cameras.
There were two in the bathroom, one of which was so carefully hidden that one of the guests had to point it to the responding police, and another one in the bedroom.
The couple is suing Paul Vukelich, who denied that there were cameras in his unit, for invading their privacy, distributing the materials, and causing emotional distress to the anonymous pair.
The guests’ lawyer, David Beavans, said his clients were left with emotional trauma after realizing that their private activities during the stay were recorded.
To think that this happened a year ago, the guests were still reeling from the stressful event with the attorney sharing that one of them had become paranoid about the way people looked at him.
Airbnb said that once they were informed of what happened, they immediately removed Paul’s listing from the site. The spokesperson further reiterated that cameras in the properties to be rented out are never allowed and that the privacy of the guests is the company’s top priority. Despite the rental website’s strict policy, there have been many reports of hidden recording devices on other properties.
A family also discovered the horrifying truth about their European stay after finding a hidden camera in the case of the smoke alarm. Upon confrontation with solid evidence, the owner admitted to the crime. The guests immediately left the property and checked into a hotel, with Airbnb reimbursing them for their stay.
Ways to Know
This issue might be owed to the fact that cameras are now cheaper and smaller, which means they are easier to hide inside rental homes. Because of this, Identity Theft Resources Center CEO Eva Velasquez explained that checking your rented home for recording devices has become the norm.
She also advised that you should look for any red flags once you set foot in the property, including the smoke detector above the bedroom ceiling, which was where one of the cameras was found by the couple.
There are ways you could check if you are being watched live by the owners of the place. SecurityScorecard expert Alex Heid suggests to find the internet’s router and turning it off. Wait until the owner complains about what you did, if he did, that means he is monitoring the WiFi using another device.
There are also other apps that monitor other connected devices on the internet. The expert also advises using a virtual private network to hide your browsing activities.
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