Here's what not to do when booking an Airbnb.
A TikTok influencer went viral this week over a series of rants where he alleges that an Airbnb host scammed him out of $5,000 by convincing him to use a third-party app to send money directly.
In a video with 1.4 million views, TikTok user Bryan The Diamond claims to be outside of a short-term rental in Los Angeles that he paid $5,000 to stay in, saying the host wouldn't let him into the unit and was requesting an extra $5,000 for a security deposit.
In a follow-up video, Bryan states that he contacted the LAPD to assist, but after waiting for four hours, they told him he would have to take the host to court to settle the dispute.
Bryan later updated his followers in the TikTok added below, explaining the host was requesting the additional $5,000 because he filmed videos for social media for his fanbase which he refers to as his "besties."
"I literally don't know what to do. I don't know if I have a lawyer "bestie" that lives in L.A. that wants to help me but like this is $5,000 and this woman will not give it back to me," he notes.
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
Users in the comments offered their advice, suggesting that Bryan files a chargeback with his bank, or files a lawsuit against the host.
One follower commented, "Pretty sure that is considered extortion. You need to take her to court. Good luck!"
And another added, "Something similar happened to my family member, if you dispute it with Airbnb they will refund you and deal with her themselves."
Airbnb's official website outlines its community policy on ways to avoid "frauds, scams, and abuse."
They warn users that off-site payments are only permitted on special occasions like for a gym fee. In that case, Airbnb pre-approves the said external payment and the guest is made aware prior to booking. They do not allow extortion or any other off-platform activity.
"Hosts and guests must not communicate, share personal contact information, pay, or request payment for a reservation or experience outside of Airbnb's platform," their policy states.
Bryan The Diamond, whose real name is Bryan Whitman, made the news back in February when he attended a Zoom event hosted by Nicki Minaj for Black content creators during Black History Month.
He's also known for a viral rant posted in June 2021 in a Tesla, which led to a defamation lawsuit from a car wash.
At the time of publishing, the TikToker has not posted any updates on the status of his refund, or if the situation is being handled with legal action.
Narcity reached out to Bryan and the LAPD for comment with no response.
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