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Men enter 84-year-old's home in Billings in potential Airbnb scam

Posted at 5:29 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 10:41:09-04

BILLINGS — An 84-year-old Billings woman had the shock of her life Monday when she saw two unknown men standing in a dining room they thought was in their Airbnb.

Karin Kaiser has never stayed in an Airbnb and has certainly never listed her residence on the site and was shocked when she saw the men standing in her home near downtown Billings.

"I was sitting there watching TV, and my little dog started barking like crazy, and I didn’t get up right away because I thought it may be some of my kids coming over. He just kept barking though so I came out and there were just two guys standing in my dining room looking around. Of course I was scared," said Kaiser.

The two men entered through the backdoor on Aug. 1 and put ice in the freezer before apparently realizing their mistake. However, Kaiser doesn't feel like the story adds up.

"They were looking for number 28 and there isn’t even a 28 on this street anywhere. So I'm not sure where they were supposed to be," added Kaiser.

It wasn't just an unsettling moment for Kaiser but for her daughter as well.

"Somebody just walking into her house that she doesn’t know, that was automatically scary for me. Somebody is casing her house. That’s my first thought," said Kathy Swenson, Karin's daughter.

Kaiser immediately contacted police and said they believe it was a scam. Her daughter shares a similar sentiment on the unusual encounter.

"They were the ones that got taken but the fact of the matter is of they walked into my mom’s house. That was the scary part for me. I do believe it was a scam and people need to be aware that you could be the next victim of this," added Kathy.

Although she isn’t sure if her mom was the intended target, Swenson wonders if the men who walked into the home may have intentionally been given the wrong address. Despite that, she's just happy her mom is all right.

"Anything could’ve happened. They could’ve hurt her, they could’ve taken anything they wanted out of the house if they were thieves. That was an open situation for anything to happen and I don’t even want to think about those kinds of things. There are way too many things that could’ve happened and luckily for us it didn’t," said Swenson.