Woman in black blouse explaining her Airbnb experiences

sdx15/ShutterStock @carnationlegacy/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Someone tried to pull this exact scam on me’: Taylor Swift fan says Airbnb host tried to scam her after she had booked the place 6 months in advance

‘I’m scared to use Airbnb for this exact reason tbh.’


Melody Heald


An Ontario-based Swiftie (Taylor Swift fan) revealed in a viral TikTok how an Airbnb host allegedly tried to “scam” her while she was on her way to the pop star’s Eras Tour in New Jersey.

TikTok user Michaela (@carnationlegacy) recounted the incident in a viral clip, saying she drove two hours from Ontario to Ottawa and took a train to Toronto before flying to Jersey. However, during her night in Toronto is when things went south. According to Michaela, she booked the Airbnb “six months in advance,” but then on her train ride to Toronto, she received a notification from Airbnb. 

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Michaela shows screenshot messages between her and the Airbnb host in the video, where the Airbnb host informs her that they can’t host her due to “construction.” The host then told her to contact Airbnb about getting her a refund.

When Michaela checked the booking herself, she says it was labeled as “non-refundable.” This left Michaela in a bind, not wanting to cancel the booking herself because she wouldn’t be able to receive a refund. She says she tried to contact the host but they didn’t answer so she called Airbnb. She claims Airbnb insisted the host had to be the one to cancel so she could be refunded. 

Michaela says after relaying the information to the host via a phone call, he angrily reiterated about not being able to host her and that she would need to cancel it herself. The host eventually hung up after claiming he would cancel the booking but ultimately didn’t, the TikToker says. Panicking, Michaela says she went back and forth with Airbnb and was able to be refunded, along with being gifted a $30 credit.

In a follow-up video, the TikToker says they were not able to use the credit as she had already booked another Airbnb by the time the situation got resolved. She also addressed comments from viewers decrying Airbnbs, saying that this was her first negative experience with the home-sharing company and usually preferred them over hotels.

@carnationlegacy Replying to @I.smell.like.shweed🌱 #airbnb #airbnbhorrorstory #part2 #airbnbscam ♬ original sound – Michaela🇨🇦(Taylor’s Version)

The Daily Dot reached out to Michaela via TikTok comment and Airbnb via press email regarding the video. The video racked up over 718,000 views as of Saturday, where people stated this is a reason they don’t use Airbnbs.

“This is why I never wanna use airbnb,” one viewer wrote.

“Yeah this is why i only stay in hotels now,” a second stated. “Airbnb seems like a scam these days.”

“I’m scared to use Airbnb for this exact reason tbh. Especially in Toronto,” a third agreed.

In addition, others shared their experiences with Airbnb hosts.

“Last AirBNB we stayed at was out of all TP, towels, ect. It was only a 1 night stay. They did deliver said items about an hr before check out,” a person shared.

“I had an Airbnb host not answer me when I booked it weeks in advance the day of and left me stranded,” another commented.

Michaela wasn’t the only one to have a negative experience with Airbnb. A couple of fellow Swifties unveiled the sketchy Airbnb they had to book in order to afford floor seats at the concert. Other content creators claimed they were scammed, with one of them claiming a host used a creator’s address as their listing and another receiving the wrong address.

Update 11:38am CT, June 4, 2023: During an interview with the Daily Dot, Michaela shared how this took place in a span of a few hours. The issue was resolved within four hours. Even after the incident, she stayed in another Airbnb.

“Yes, we booked another Airbnb for the night right after we realized ours wasn’t available. There were cheap properties in the area and we didn’t have a lot of time to think about it or a lot of extra money since I didn’t know if or when I’d be receiving a refund,” she shared via TikTok direct message.

Despite the issue, the Airbnb is still listed. In addition, the content creator stated that she will continue to use Airbnb but it’s no longer her first choice.

“I’ll still use Airbnb if I’m desperate or for big groups or if for another reason it’s more convenient than a hotel, but it’s definitely no longer my go-to. This placed a lot of stress on me in the middle of travelling which I don’t want to experience again. We were traveling by train while trying to resolve this issue so the whole thing was a bit chaotic,” she said.

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