Hidden camera disguised as wall adapter (l) shower in Airbnb (c) man holding hidden camera wall adapter to reveal SD card (r)

@mitchollow/TikTok

‘There’s really no way to pin down how it got there’: Guest claims to find hidden camera in his vacation rental

'I had one in my apartment! Let’s just say I didn’t trust people.'

 

Natasha Dubash

IRL

Posted on Oct 5, 2022

Airbnb has a checkered history when it comes to its hosts using cameras to spy on their guests. In a viral video, a TikToker claims to have found yet another instance of a hidden camera in his vacation rental property.

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The two-part video has gone viral since being posted, with the first video amassing over 11 million views and the second having around 1.6 million views. In the first clip, TikToker Mitch Hollow (@mitchollow) points to what appears to be a black wall adapter to charge phones, but he says it’s actually a hidden camera.

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@mitchollow found a hidden camera in my vacation rental bathroom #vrbo #hiddencamera #rental #airbnb #vacation #shower ♬ original sound – Mitch Hollow

The camera, he says, was “pointed directly at the shower in the bathroom that my girlfriend and I have been using all weekend.” Mitch pans his phone from the charger to the shower area, showing his audience the secret recording device’s direct point of view.

Mitch claims that he’s stayed at many Airbnb and VRBO properties before, but he’s never encountered a hidden camera in his vacation rental. He brings up the charging adapter closer to his phone camera to show what he says is a tiny lens just above the USB port. He also says that he thought that the charging block had been left by someone by mistake. When he noticed it “looked weird,” he unplugged it and noticed that it had a small memory card in the back.

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In a second video, Mitch shows his audience the footage that was allegedly on the secret recording device. “It’s pretty much what you would expect,” he says explaining that there was no footage from before his stay at the rental property, which led him to believe that it was put there before he and his girlfriend arrived. 

@mitchollow Footage from a hidden camera in my vacation rental #vrbo #hiddencamera #airbnb #foundfootage #sdcard #part2 #pt2 ♬ original sound – Mitch Hollow
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The footage Mitch supposedly found on the hidden camera shows someone using their phone in the bathroom and, separately, a blurry figure showering. Mitch also claims that the property management company said that they didn’t know how the device got there, as the rental had only been visited by a third-party cleaning crew in the past few months. Mitch allegedly also contacted the cleaning company, who denied having any knowledge of the device.

“In the end,” he says, “there’s really no way to pin down how it got there but we did get a full refund on our stay.” He says that he’s probably going to leave the incident at that but asks viewers to leave comments if they think he should take further action. 

Now before anyone is incensed, it appears that the video does not depict a real-life incident. Airbnb does have a documented history of guests finding hidden cameras, with this USA Today report even providing a how-to for spotting hidden devices. However, Mitch’s TikTok bio clearly states that videos on his page are “produced for entertainment purposes only.” However, that didn’t stop viewers from sharing their thoughts. 

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“Looks like a law suit to me!” said one comment, which the creator liked.

Many viewers suggested that he call the police. One person even urged Mitch to look for other hidden devices at the property. “Check your electric clock too. Use a flashlight to shine on it and the camera lens will show up. Also the smoke detector, if it’s in an odd spot,” they said.

After seeing the alleged footage from the hidden device in the TikToker’s second video, many viewers tried to persuade Mitch to press charges.

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“Don’t just leave it at that,” one user said. “Someone is lying. You owe it to the next victim to press charges and get these people taken out.”

Surprisingly, some expressed that the property owners had every right to use hidden cameras.

One user said, “Yeah it’s [there] because people steal stuff in the bathroom like towels.” He continued to asset the rights of property owners to use hidden cameras saying, “Don’t rent a airbnb if you don’t like it.”

Another user shared their own experience using a hidden camera explaining, “I had one in my apartment! Let’s just say I didn’t trust people.” 

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However, many people caught on to the fact that the video wasn’t real. One user called out Mitch. “Based on your account you do technology reviews. Going to assume this is your camera,” they said. 

“Watch his only other two videos. What a coincidence that they’re also him finding a hidden camera,” another extremely skeptical user added. 

The Daily Dot reached out to Mitch via TikTok comment. 

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*First Published: Oct 5, 2022, 5:56 pm CDT