person ringing Airbnb doorbell (l) person holding card with number blurred on it and Airbnb logo above head (c) person upset speaking (r)

Ink Drop/Shutterstock @bryanthediamond/TikTok @bryanthediamond/TikTok

‘She scammed me’: TikToker says Airbnb host wouldn’t let him in unit without paying an additional $5000, after paying through Zelle

‘Never agree to send money off the app.’


Braden Bjella


A TikTok user has gone viral after claiming that an Airbnb host offered him a discount to pay for his room via Zelle. However, once he actually arrived at the listing, he was allegedly told he needed to pay an additional $5000 for a security deposit — and until he did, he would be locked out.

In a series of TikTok videos, user Bryan (@bryanthediamond) lays out his whole situation, from his initial interactions with the host to his interaction with the police and more.

The first video currently has over 1.3 million views.

@bryanthediamond Besties she said there’s no refunds & won’t let me in what do I do?!? 😭😭 #fyp #scammed #losangeles #bryanthediamond ♬ original sound – Bryan 💎

In the first video, Bryan says he paid the Airbnb host via Zelle. The apartment cost a total of $5000 for the length of Bryan’s stay, though the TikToker claims he received a discount for paying via Zelle. This plan was discussed via text message, Bryan says.

Once he discovered he would not be let into the apartment without paying an additional fee, Bryan says, he decided to call the police.

@bryanthediamond I really thought LAPD was gonna get my money back… 🙃 #fyp #scammed #lapd #losangeles #bryanthediamond ♬ original sound – Bryan 💎

The police were not able to assist Bryan, he claims, telling him to take his host to court.

Later, Bryan offered an update, saying he had yet to receive a refund for the money he paid to the host via Zelle.

@bryanthediamond Besties I need legal advice what do I do? I feel so dumb for going off the @airbnb app i wanna cry 😭 #fyp #lawyersoftiktok #besties #scammed #bryanthediamond ♬ original sound – Bryan 💎

In this TikTok, Bryan says that the host also demanded an additional $5000 for allowing him to film videos in the unit for TikTok and Instagram. At this point, he had still not been allowed inside the unit.

“She thinks that I’m going to send her an extra $5000 when she won’t even let me into a unit, when I gave her five grand already?” Bryan asks. “She’s saying that that is required, that I have to give that to her or she will not let me into the building, even though that was not the original agreement at all.”

Bryan says he has exhausted all of his methods of recourse, receiving no help from her, the police, Zelle customer service, and the HOA board members in the building.

Concerning the latter, Bryan claims he was also informed by the HOA members that this host was not allowed to run an Airbnb from her unit. He alleges the Airbnb host was also a board member of this HOA.

“A board member. And she won’t refund my money?” Bryan questions.

@bryanthediamond Reply to @notalexander They literally told me short terms Airbnb stays are PROHIBITED in the building 😳 #fyp #lawyersoftiktok #besties #scammed #bryanthediamond ♬ original sound – Bryan 💎

After learning all this, Bryan attempted to reverse the charge on his bank account.

However, as Bryan paid through Zelle, the bank stated that the payment could not be reversed as it was similar to a cash transaction. Zelle also offered no support, saying that Bryan would have to resolve the issue with his bank.

@bryanthediamond Reply to @kaleeann04 I even tried to call back & press zero it literally hung up on me #fyp #lawyersoftiktok #besties #scammed #bryanthediamond ♬ original sound – Bryan 💎

On TikTok, users sympathized with Bryan, but stated that he should not have gone off-app.

“Oh honey… you NEVER go off the app. EVER,” one user wrote.

“Dude…. Never agree to send money off the app,” another echoed. “I wonder if that apartment was even theirs to begin with?”

Above all, viewers agreed that Bryan should pursue further legal action.

As one user wrote, “You need to take her to court. Good luck!”

We’ve reached out to Bryan and Airbnb via email.

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