For those who have visited or stayed at an Airbnb know that Most have the traditional setup of what a household would look like.
They are equipped with all the furniture; and utensils a normal Nairobi residence would have.
Lots of socialites and internet influencers “wannabes” use these spaces to show off on social media as places they live.
With little clear distinction between a regular house and an Airbnb, Conmen and Thugs also take this advantage.
A trend has emerged whereby conmen use these apartments to steal from delivery guys.
How thugs use Airbnb
Case in point Is from one guy who has twice been a victim of what seems to be the rise of an Airbnb syndicate.
The thugs place orders with unsuspecting riders and direct the deliveries to the Airbnb apartments they have leased.
After receiving the item and placing it somewhere in the house, they pretend not to have the money on them. The customer asks the delivery guy to wait as they head out to withdraw the cash outside.
Meanwhile, the delivery guy is left stranded at the premises, waiting for the customer to return and complete the transaction.
Only to realize that, as time has passed, both the item and the supposed “customer” have disappeared.
A Nairobi-based Electronics and home appliances dealer named Jared Omondi narrated to us how he fell prey to this emerging trend.
His customers refer to him as Omosh.
Omosh tells us that he once lost a laptop and a phone to a man who pretended to be a Nigerian national.
He states that they have caught and handed over a couple of guys who were running this operation to the police.
Nonetheless, the authorities released these guys almost immediately.
Once bitten twice shy
Not long ago, someone nearly robbed Omosh of a PlayStation five gaming console and a 2023 FIFA game worth 98,000 KSH at an Airbnb apartment located in Nairobi’s South B Area.
A call came in for him to deliver the machine in South B, but he was a bit late due to traffic and other deliveries he had to make along the way.
Upon arrival, the customer received him and instructed him to enter the house.
However, he saw a red flag in this transaction since it was familiar.
And as the adage goes “once bitten twice shy,” he raised his guard.
“inside the house, I could see a white rag and because my shoes were dirty I couldn’t get in the house and risk soiling the nice carpet, he stated.
“However the customer was insistent, so I obliged but I could see the kitchen from where I was standing and it seemed a bit empty and there and then I knew this was a setup,
“After that, he requested for me to allow him to set up the machine for testing, he called an alleged cousin of his who set up the machine to confirm whether it works.” He said.
Then the customer admitted not having the money, so he told Omosh to leave the machine at the house and accompany him to an M-pesa shop around South B to complete the transaction.
Omosh outsmarts conman
At this point the ‘cousin’ had already left. Omosh who had already smelled a rat refused as he knew how things were going to unfold.
“So the guys realized I was on to him and asked me to wait there with the machine as he went to get the money to pay me,
“He left with an envelope in his hand, he was away for more than an hour so I decided to leave,
“at the gate, I decided to ask the security guard about the tenants of the house, and he told me that it was an Airbnb,”
Nevertheless, the 2023 FIFA CD disappeared; apparently, it was the item the “customer” had placed in the envelope he took with him.
He now calls on delivery guys and electronics shop owners to be more vigilant as this is becoming more rampant in Nairobi.