Woman Discovers $175 Airbnb Gift Card Can’t Be Used In Viral TikTok, Blames Airbnb

A woman on TikTok alleged that when she tried to use an Airbnb gift card, she was informed it had already been redeemed and no actions would be taken to fix the issue. The now-viral video posted by @trash_unreal describes their unsuccessful attempt to redeem a $175 Airbnb gift card.

She’s seen holding up the Airbnb gift card and saying, “Do you want to know what the worst company to exist is? It’s this one.”

In her TikTok video, @trash_unreal states that she received the gift card from two of her friends and their mother during the summer. She wanted to use the card to book accommodation for her upcoming college graduation on Airbnb. However, when she tried to redeem the card, she was informed that it had already been used.

“I was like, ‘Well, that’s funny, because this particular gift card has this little scratch-off mechanism on the back, and I had to scratch it off one minute prior to trying to use it, so it’s been hidden this whole time,’” @trash_unreal said. “How could someone have redeemed it?”

According to @trash_unreal, after receiving the error message, she reached out to Airbnb for assistance.

However, Airbnb reportedly directed her to a third-party company, Launch Gift Cards, who apparently provided the gift card. But, the company told her that it only distributed digital gift cards, and then directed her back to Airbnb.

The TikToker said she told Airbnb it was wrong to send her to Launch Gift Cards and asked, “Can someone help me understand how someone out there was able to redeem these numbers when they have been in my possession this entire time?”

According to @trash_unreal, Airbnb said it would investigate the matter. However, when she asked if the company could find out who had fraudulently redeemed the gift card, Airbnb allegedly referred to her as “Christina” (which is not her name) and directed her to her own Airbnb profile’s payments, which she claims showed that the company did not understand the issue.

“Christina—that’s not my name. That’s no. 1. That’s the bare minimum level of respect that you can give someone. … In a text chat interaction, my name is right there!” @trash_unreal said. “No. 2, that’s not what I asked.”

After further discussion, according to @trash_unreal, Airbnb informed her that the gift card had been redeemed on July 30, 2022, and that the company could not disclose who redeemed the gift card. This marked the end of her interaction with Airbnb.

“They don’t want to hear anything else from me. They won’t do an investigation. They won’t look into it, and now my friends and myself are out $175,” @trash_unreal said. “So, fuck you, Airbnb.”

Unfortunately, this form of gift card fraud is prevalent.

According to ABC affiliate WKBW, “Kathy Stokes, AARP’s Director of Fraud Prevention Programs, said there have been situations where people will walk to the rack of gift cards in a store and quietly grab a stack. They will then record all the card information. If any PIN number or code on the card needs to be scratched off, a hacker will scratch it off, copy the number, then put another silver scratch-off sticker over the number. Those stickers are sold online, and it makes the gift card look as good as new.” Stokes continued, “the hackers [then] have the technology to track when the card is activated. Once alerted that it’s activated, the thieves will drain it clean.”

@trash_unreal speculated in a follow-up video that she may have been a victim of this type of fraud.

@trash_unreal

Replying to @littledovexo thank you!! BE CAREFUL WITH GIFT CARDS! #giftcardscams #giftcards

♬ original sound – RG

“Gift cards hanging on racks out-in-the-open may be vulnerable to tampering, so you should buy gift cards online whenever possible,” author Jackie Callaway advised.

In her video, @trash_unreal suggested uploading gift cards immediately to reduce the chance of someone else redeeming them.

Many viewers commented that they felt Airbnb could have handled the situation differently.

Even though @trash_unreal’s situation seems difficult, there are still options available for people in her position.

You Can View The Full Video Here:

@trash_unreal

♬ original sound – RG