Top tips to avoid secret recordings in your holiday Airbnb rental

We are sharing a series of online content this week to raise awareness of the growing issue of hidden cameras found in Airbnb rentals with recommended preventative tips for Airbnb guests to avoid being secretly recorded in their vacation rental.

Several recent news stories showcase this growing problem:

We recommend the following tips for Airbnb guests to protect their loved ones from being recorded in their rental:

  • Tip 1: Inspect Bedrooms & Bathrooms Carefully. Bedrooms and bathrooms – the rooms where you are at your most intimate – are key areas where creepy Airbnb hosts have installed cameras to secretly record guests. Hidden cameras have also been found in dens and living rooms. 
  • Tip 2: Know What Items to Check. Keep an eye out for any objects with a black circle or hole that looks like a lens. Common items to have hidden video cameras include smoke detectors, electrical outlets, alarm clocks, books, motion detectors, stuffed animals, night lights, screws, and nail heads. If you find a suspicious screw or nail head on a wall or ceiling by itself, cover it up with masking tape. Unplug alarm clocks near your bed and use your smartphone instead.
  • Tip 3: What to Do If You Find a Hidden Camera. Call the local authorities. Do not call your Airbnb host! It could be dangerous. You should also contact Airbnb for a refund and have the host removed. However, Airbnb has made it clear they are not responsible nor liable for bad behavior by their hosts, so set low expectations that they will take any action.

For more tips, Mashable posted an article earlier this month How to check if your Airbnb host is secretly filming you that provides additional ways to spot hidden cameras.

“Unfortunately, Santa and his elves aren’t the only ones watching Airbnb guests this Christmas,” stated AirbnbWATCH. “More and more creepy Airbnb hosts are being caught red-handed secretly recording guests with hidden cameras and we want to raise awareness among consumers to take precaution.”


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AirbnbWatch is here to support and give a voice to residents dealing with the negative impacts on short-term rentals. Your story is critical to raising awareness to the issue and keeping your concerns in the debate with policymakers and the media.