Connect with us

Travel

AirBnb’s May Not Be As Safe As You Thought

Just because an Airbnb has good reviews, doesn’t mean you can’t be a victim, so be aware of the dangers lurking when on vacation.

Published

on

Just because an Airbnb has good reviews, doesn’t mean you can’t be a victim, so be aware of the dangers lurking when on vacation.  Imagine, you are on vacation and you make a horrifying discovery in your rented Airbnb, someone has been secretly recording your every move.  What would you do if you found hidden cameras in your rental property?  That is exactly what happened to an Indiana couple who was using the popular vacation rental website while taking a trip to Florida.  Luckily, Derek Starnes worked in the tech field or he may have never noticed the tiny hidden cameras recording him and his wife.

 

Starnes told Tampa ABC Action News, that he noticed a smoke detector had a weird black hole, so he investigated it closer.  When he looked inside the hole, he saw a tiny camera connected to an SD memory card.

The camera was pointed directly at the bed and this sent shivers down his spine. He searched around the rented home and found two other cameras, one pointed toward the living room and one in the bathroom.  

Starnes and his wife rented the townhome in Longboat Key, near Sarasota, FL through the Airbnb website.  He immediately called the police.

 

 

Wayne Natt was arrested and charged with video voyeurism and may be charged with more once all the evidence is collected.  The 56-year-old tried to tell police that he only recorded consenting adults, but that doesn’t really hold any water.  There was footage fo Starnes and his wife, and they definitely did NOT consent to be videotaped.

Lt. Bob Bourque of the Longboat Key Police Department told ABC Action News, “We seized a lot of computer storage devices, hard drives, computers, laptops, SD Cards and anything that would store data.”

He went on to say, “We don’t know if there are local victims, someone who may have been dating him or a companion that doesn’t realize they are being videotaped, and then we have the other side of who he rented to through Airbnb.”

 

The police are asking any Airbnb guests who may have stayed at Mr. Natt’s home at 623 Cedars Court in Longboat Key, FL, to come forward.  You may have been taped illegally as well.

Airbnb took swift action once they learned of this heinous act and immediately banned Mr. Natt from the website permanently.  

Airbnb spokesman, Benjamin Breit made a statement, “We are outraged at the reports of what happened; as soon as we were made aware, we permanently banned this individual from our community and fully supported the affected guests, privacy issues extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy against this behavior.”

 

Starnes is feeling distressed because he knows the camera caught him walking across the bedroom nude.  Can you imagine knowing that you were filmed in your most intimate and vulnerable state?

How To Prevent This Type of Thing From Happening to You

 

CAMERA DETECTOR

If you are worried about being secretly recorded when you are staying at a hotel or Airbnb, simply buy yourself a Camera Detector.  A low-cost camera detector will run you around $30 and uses a laser to look for hidden cameras.

 

TELL THEM YOU PLAN TO SWEEP THE ROOM

This may make you sound paranoid, but who cares, it’s your personal safety we are talking about here.  If someone was planning to film you, announcing it will most certainly scare them off.  

 

USE A FLASHLIGHT

The flashlight can help you find the tiniest of hidden cameras.

Simply turn off all the lights, and slowly scan the room with the illuminated flashlight, looking for glints of light coming from a camera.

 

REVIEWS MEAN ALMOST NOTHING

Sure a review will tell you certain information, but in this situation, it tells you nothing.  If someone found a camera before, the property would already be shut down.  Don’t take ratings and reviews as the gospel.

 

This isn’t an isolated incident, as there have been several Airbnb guests who have been arrested for the exact same thing.  A Montreal Airbnb host had a hidden camera in a bin next to the bed, catching all sorts of vacation revelry.

An Airbnb host in Japan is falling under scrutiny as there were hidden cameras found by a Korean couple who was staying at the apartment.  This case also involved a smoke detector with a hidden camera installed.

 

According to Starnes, the Airbnb was well reviewed and there was no other evidence that something nefarious was going on.

Be careful out there, the world is full of many sick and twisted people.

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Travel

Don’t Break The Bank When You Travel

Check out these great money saving tips so you don’t go broke taking your next vacation. 

Published

on

There’s really no way around it: traveling is expensive. On top of the obvious charges like flights and hotels, there will always be the little daily expenses that you didn’t fully prepare for when you were preparing for your trip. But the last thing you want to do is just not think about it and throw money around like a madman. There are definitely still ways to save money while traveling. And here they are!

THE TUESDAY RULE

I have to admit, I didn’t even really know about this “rule” before I started writing this article. But, for the most part, the cheapest flights of the week are almost always on a Tuesday. So, if you can, try to schedule all your flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This can dramatically lower the cost of your vacation.

DON’T BOTHER WITH HOTELS

Thanks to rental services like Airbnb and VRBO the hotel industry has really taken a hit. And prices have gone way up because of it. So, no matter how bad we may feel about their declining business, they’re just not the best option anymore. You can find a great deal with all the service and amenities you need from one of the vacation rental sites. There are even a few sites that deal in “house-swapping” where you basically just stay in each other’s homes during simultaneous vacations and don’t have to pay a thing!

BOOK DIRECTLY THROUGH THE AIRLINE

Many of the flight booking sites like Expedia or Travelocity actually don’t offer as many options as are available to you if you book through the airline. There are other services like Google Flights and Skyscanner that find the cheapest flights being offered by the airlines, and then you can just contact the airline yourself and book those specific flights. It’s a little extra work, but it can end up saving you more money than you think.

A LITTLE SPONTANEITY NEVER HURT ANYONE

Sure, doing your homework and planning ahead can most certainly help you save money on a vacation. But sometimes there are last minute deals made available when airlines are just trying to fill out their flights. So if you have a favorite airline, sign up for the mailing list. This way you’ll know when they are offering really cheap flights. And if you’re in the mood to just get out town regardless of where you’re going, this is a really cheap and fun option.

Continue Reading

Travel

Stocking Stuffers For Kids Who Love To Travel

If you’re a parent with kids who love to travel, here are some great stocking stuffer ideas to make sure your next vacation is a huge hit!

Published

on

Traveling as a family can be wonderful. It’s a great way to get closer as a family and create memories that will last a lifetime. But it’s always tricky with the kids! Sometimes it seems like you’re constantly walking on eggshells just waiting for one of them to decide they’re not having fun and promptly throw a loud and public tantrum.

So what better way to keep them calm and having fun than gifts! So this Christmas season, fill your kids stocking with some of the awesome travel-oriented gifts that will surely keep them happy for months to come!

FIREFLY FLASHLIGHT

First and foremost, this is just an adorable flashlight. It looks like a little firefly! So clever. But it’s also great for the camper kid in the family. Some kids just love sleeping under the stars or in a tent outdoors. So having a flashlight is key. And giving your child their very own flashlight is a cool way to make them feel important and independent.

RAINBOW WATERCOLORS MOVE ACTIVITY TRACKER WATCH

Just like with the flashlight, giving your child a watch is a great way to make them feel important, independent, and more like an adult than a child. Especially as it tracks steps taken, distance traveled, and sleep time. Just like mom and dad’s fit bits! Plus this watch just looks so cool. They’ll certainly love it.

GOPRO HERO

This may not feel like the best stocking stuffer for your children, but they’re so easy to use and can be really fun for your kids. It’s waterproof so it’s perfect for goofy fun at the pool, lake, or beach. And if your kid is into biking, skateboard, and the like, this is the perfect stocking stuffer as it can be easily attached to their helmet and help them make awesome compilations of their adventures.

They are a little expensive though. So this is definitely for the kid that has been really good this year.

COZYPHONES

It’s amazing that these awesome headphones aren’t a much bigger deal. They’re basically just adorable and cozy headbands that also have headphones in them! Brilliant idea right? They keep your child’s head cozy and warm, allow them to express themselves by wearing some wacky, and keeps them distracted and comfortable because they’re listening to their favorite music! It doesn’t get much better than that.

TRAVEL SPIROGRAPH

I don’t know about you, but I used to love spirographs! They’re so much fun and great time killer. So if you’ve got a long flight or road trip ahead of you and you’re worried about your kids not having fun, these are a great stocking stuffer. Also, as a creative release, it’s a great mental exercise and obviously a better use of their time than just watching that movie they’ve already seen a hundred times before on a tablet.

TRAVEL BINGO

This travel Bingo set is another great time-spender on long trips. It’s extremely simple but extremely fun. As you see any of the things pictured on the card, you flip down the marker. Then, once you have a straight line; BINGO! And just like with the travel spirograph, it forces your children to be more active and use their minds, which is always a huge plus.

 

Continue Reading

Travel

Travelers! Never Leave Home Without These 5 Essential Travel Items

Traveling can be extremely stressful and uncomfortable. These five items will help make your traveling experience an easy one.

Published

on

Everyone loves (and needs) a good vacation every now and again. Getting out of town and exploring new areas is good for the soul. But the actual traveling part can be extremely stressful and uncomfortable. A lot of people are so stressed out by it that they don’t even bother traveling at all. But, have no fear, help is here! Check out these five must-haves for any and all travelers.

 

SLIDER SANDALS

This may seem simple and not all that worth it, but they can make that terrible security check process so much easier. No more untying and retying your shoes. No panicking that you’re holding up the line as you do so. Just slip these bad boys on and off and you’ll be through that line in a breeze. Also, as long as your comfortable in your socks in front of strangers, going shoeless while you’re on the plane feels great!

PACKING CUBES

This one is for my fellow OCD types out there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been lugging my suitcase around just thinking about how all that wonderful folding I had done was completely going to waste. But getting packing cubes like these completely changed my traveling experience for the better. You can keep everything organized and separated perfectly, while also maximizing your luggage space! Even the laziest and most unorganized of us can benefit from these beauties.

PASHMINA WRAP

This might not be as necessary for any of you that run hot, but it can be a lifesaver for those of us that can’t stand how cold airplanes get! I don’t know why those overhead vents have to blast cold air at us like they do, but I’ll tell you right now I do not like it. So having a light wrap like this that is easy to keep in your carry on can make the flight so much more comfortable.

SKIN MIST

Traveling is a messy business. How many times have you gotten off a plane and felt like your face had never been dirtier or greasier? I’d say it happens to me about, oh… every single time I’ve ever stepped on the plane. Having a skin mist like this one on hand to freshen up does wonders for your skin and your mood. Everyone deserves to stay fresh! Throw this baby in your bag and thank me later.

PORTABLE CHARGER

I think we’ve all been in the apocalyptic situation where I phone dies. It truly feels like the end of the world. How will I call or text people? How will I call a Lyft? How on Earth will I post an Instagram?! Well keep one of these little lifesavers with you and you will never have to experience that terrible fear again. If you get a good one, it can fully charge a dead iPhone up to five times. Trust me. You need one of these, like, yesterday.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Tags

Trending