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Boy Scout troop finds empty lots instead of Airbnbs in Florida Keys

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 1:42 PM CDT
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MIAMI (WSVN) – The Boy Scout motto is “be prepared.”

But how do you prepare for finding empty lots where your accommodations are supposed to be?

“Exactly what is it that we’re supposed to be renting?” asked Scout leader Scott Mulkey as he documented his troop’s arrival in the Florida Keys from northeast Georgia.

“Explain to me, how is this not fraud? There is no home here. There’s no address here. There’s absolutely nothing here.”

Their skepticism started back home before they arrived.

The Scout leaders noticed something funny about their separate Airbnb reservations. It appeared they had rented the same house through different hosts.

“Pictures are all exactly identical and all for Big Pine Key,” Mulkey said.

They reached out to Airbnb and the hosts but were told the listings were legit, so they were hopeful.

The empty lots told a different story.

“It’s supposed to be a brand-new home near the beach,” Mulkey said.

The Scouts quickly pivoted and found rooms at a hotel.

An Airbnb representative said the Scout troop will get a full refund.

“This type of situation is extremely rare, but when it happens, we take action to protect the integrity of our platform,” an Airbnb statement said. “To that end, these listings have been removed and all associated hosts have been suspended pending further investigation.”

The Scouts say they won’t let this ruin their trip.

“Hit the waters and try and leave all this behind us, at least for now,” Mulkey said.

Airbnb is also giving each Scout’s family a credit to use on a future stay.

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