Guest claims to find hidden camera in his vacation rental

Airbnb has a rich history of its hosts using cameras to spy on their guests. In a viral video, a TikToker claims to have found another case of a hidden camera at his vacation rental.

The two-part video has gone viral since its release, with the first video amassing 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 found a hidden camera in my vacation rental’s bathroom #vrbo #hiddencamera #rental #airbnb #vacation #shower ♬ Original sound – Mitch Hollow

The camera, he says, was “pointed straight at the bathroom shower that my girlfriend and I have been using all weekend.” Mitch swings his phone from the charger to the shower area, showing his audience a direct view of the secret recording device.

Mitch claims he’s stayed in many Airbnb and VRBO listings, but he’s never encountered a hidden camera at his vacation rental. He brings the charging adapter closer to his phone’s camera to show what he says is a tiny lens just above the USB port. He also says he thought the charging station had been accidentally left by someone. Noting that it “looked weird,” he unplugged it and noticed there was a small memory card on the back.

In a second video, Mitch shows his audience the footage allegedly on the secret recording device. “It’s pretty much what you’d expect,” he says, explaining that there was no footage from before he stayed at the rental property, leading him to believe it was put there before he and his girlfriend arrived .

@mitchollow Footage from a hidden camera in my vacation rental #vrbo #hiddencamera #airbnb #foundfootage #sdcard #part2 #pt2 ♬ Original sound – Mitch Hollow

The footage Mitch allegedly found on the hidden camera shows someone using their phone in the bathroom and separately a blurred figure taking a shower. Mitch also alleges that property management said they didn’t know how the device got there because the rental apartment had only been visited by a third-party cleaning team in recent months. Mitch also reportedly contacted the cleaning company, who denied having 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 likely leave the incident at that, but pleads with viewers to leave comments if they think he should take further action.

Now, before anyone gets outraged, it appears the video isn’t depicting a real-life incident. Airbnb has a documented history of guests finding hidden cameras, with this USA Today report even providing a guide to finding hidden devices. However, Mitch’s TikTok bio clearly states that videos on his page are “produced for entertainment purposes only.” However, that didn’t stop viewers from sharing their thoughts.

“Looks like a court case to me!” said one comment, which the creator liked.

Many viewers suggested he call the police. One person even urged Mitch to search the property for other hidden devices. “Also check your electric watch. Use a flashlight to shine on it and the camera lens will appear. Also the smoke alarm if it’s in a weird spot,” they said.

After seeing the alleged footage of the hidden device in TikToker’s second video, many viewers tried to convince Mitch to press charges.

“Don’t leave it at that,” said one user. “Someone is lying. You owe it to the next victim to report them and make sure these people are taken out.”

Surprisingly, some commented that property owners had every right to use hidden cameras.

One user said: “Yes, it is [there] because people steal things in the bathroom like towels.” He also stressed property owners’ right to use hidden cameras, saying, “Don’t rent an Airbnb if you don’t like it.”

Another user shared his own experience with 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 conduct technology reviews. I’m assuming this is your camera,” they said.

“Check out his only other two videos. What a coincidence that they are also he who finds a hidden camera,” added another highly skeptical user.

The Daily Dot contacted Mitch via TikTok comment.


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*Initial publication: October 5, 2022 at 5:56 pm CDT

Natasha Dubash

Natasha Dubash is a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles. She loves covering entertainment, television and pop culture.

Natasha Dubash Guest claims to find hidden camera in his vacation rental

Jaclyn Diaz

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