A guest claims to have found a hidden camera in his vacation rental
Airbnb has a checkered history of hosts using cameras to spy on their guests. In a viral video, a TikToker claims to have found another example of a hidden camera in his vacation rental.
The two-part video has gone viral since it was posted, with the first video garnering over 11 million views and the second around 1.6 million views. In the first clip, TikToker Mitch Hollow (@mitchollow) points to what appears to be a black wall adapter for charging phones, but he says it’s actually a hidden camera.
@mitchollow I found a hidden camera in the bathroom of my vacation rental #vrbo #hidden camera #rent #airbnb #holidays #shower ♬ original sound – Mitch Hollow
The camera, he said, was “pointed directly at the shower in the bathroom that my girlfriend and I used all weekend.” Mitch takes his phone from the charger to the shower, showing his audience the direct view of the secret recording device.
Mitch claims he’s stayed at many Airbnb and VRBO properties before, but he’s never encountered a hidden camera in his vacation rental. He pulls the camera charging adapter closer to his phone to show what he says is a small lens just above the USB port. He also says he thought the charging pad was left by someone by mistake. When he noticed it “sounded weird”, he unplugged it and noticed there was a small memory card in the back.
In a second video, Mitch shows his audience the footage that would have been on the secret recording device. “That’s pretty much what you’d expect,” he says, explaining that there was no video from before her stay at the rental property, leading him to believe she had been placed there before he and his girlfriend arrived.
@mitchollow Footage from a hidden camera in my vacation rental #vrbo #hidden camera #airbnb #foundfootage #SD card #part 2 #pt2 ♬ original sound – Mitch Hollow
Footage Mitch allegedly found on the hidden camera shows someone using their phone in the bathroom and, separately, a blurry figure showering. Mitch also claims the property management company said they don’t know how the device got there, as the rental had only been visited by a third-party cleaning crew in the past few months. Mitch also allegedly contacted the cleaning company, who denied knowledge of the device.
“In the end,” he says, “there’s really no way of determining how it got there, but we got a full refund for our stay.” He says he’ll probably leave the incident on it, but asks viewers to leave comments if they think he should take further action.
Now, before anyone gets mad, it looks like the video doesn’t depict an actual incident. Airbnb has a documented history of guests finding hidden cameras, with this USA today report even provide a handy guide to spotting hidden devices. However, Mitch’s TikTok biography makes it clear that the videos on his page are “produced for entertainment purposes only.” However, that didn’t stop viewers from sharing their thoughts.
“It looks like a trial to me!” said a comment, which the creator liked.
Many viewers suggested he call the police. One person even urged Mitch to search for other devices hidden on the property. “Also check your electric clock. Use a flashlight to illuminate it and the camera lens will appear. Also the smoke detector, if it’s in a weird place,” they said.
After seeing the alleged footage of the hidden device in the second TikToker video, many viewers tried to persuade Mitch to press charges.
“Don’t settle for that,” said one user. “Someone is lying. You owe it to the next victim to press charges and get these people out.
Surprisingly, some said homeowners had every right to use hidden cameras.
One user said, “Yeah, that’s [there] because people steal stuff from the bathroom like towels. He went on to claim owners’ rights to use hidden cameras, saying, “Don’t rent an airbnb if you don’t like it.”
Another user shared his own experience using a hidden camera explaining, “I had one in my apartment! Let’s just say I didn’t trust people.
However, many people realized that the video was not real. A user called Mitch. “Based on your account, you do technology reviews. I guess it’s your camera,” they said.
“Watch his only two other videos. What a coincidence that they also find a hidden camera,” another extremely skeptical user added.
The Daily Dot reached out to Mitch via a TikTok comment.
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*First published: October 5, 2022, 5:56 p.m. CDT
Natasha Dubash is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and writer. She loves reporting on entertainment, television and pop culture.