Nothing brings greater joy than having guests constantly booking your property when you are an Airbnb host. And most of the time, it is guests genuinely interested in staying there. However, there have been several instances where guests have received booking requests that were scams. While it is common to find guests looking for red flags in Airbnb listings, hosts should also be on the lookout. If you are a host, here are some red flags to help make your Airbnb guest screening job easier.
A clearly fake name
The first red flag that can help you in knowing an account or profile is fraudulent is the name. A fake name or joke name is something like ‘Barack Obama’ or ‘John Doe’. Usually, such names come from unreliable sources. Dig deeper into such profiles to establish whether they are legit. Sometimes, maybe it is individuals with unfortunate names. Confirm that the personal names are genuine by checking their personal information and whether they have been verified by providing legal identification.
Odd email address
Another thing you should check is the email address used for guests’ profiles. An email address that does not match the name used in the profile or joke emails should be taken as a red flag. If email addresses differ from last or full names, this could indicate that these are not who they claim to be. Joke emails are like joke names. So if you feel that the given address is questionable, tread with caution before agreeing to rent out your property to a stranger.
💡 The first email sent from space was from the Atlantis crew.
Provides too much information
This is something that most people may not consider as a red flag, yet it can be. Be cautious when a guest is oversharing when you ask questions. Is the guest getting personal in a bid to try and guilt-trip you into renting out your space? Scam emails will have a lot of unnecessary information about guests, like why they are visiting your area, where they are coming from, and what they plan to do during their stay. They might even create a sob story to trick you into accepting their request.
💡 Don’t Share Information That Could Affect Your Personal Life.
Last minute booking
Often, most people will plan their stay months or weeks earlier. Watch out for people who book a listing at the last minute. That does not mean all last-minute bookings are scams. Some people are spontaneous travelers, and you cannot overlook that. However, it is good to probe a little to know why someone is booking at the last minute.
Do not want to use secure payment
You can pinpoint potential scammers if they do not want to use a secure mode of payment. Hosts often get to decide their preferred mode of payment. The most common methods include PayPal, credit card, and debit cards. Anything besides this is unreliable. Also, do not accept wired transfers or cash directly from guests.
💡 The creator of email was Ray Tomlinson
Offer to clean instead of paying
There have been cases where some guests have offered cleaning services in return for staying at a property. Not only is the method unreliable, but you cannot expect someone to do a perfect job like what your Airbnb cleaner does.
Knows nothing about your property
When guests send you emails and find errors regarding your property details, be careful as this could be a scam. Maybe they refer to your property being in the wrong location or the size. As much as making mistakes is normal, it might be a scam email being sent to multiple hosts, hence the error.
Airbnb guest screening is important in protecting hosts. Scammers will waste your time or even lead to financial loss, especially when you hire an Airbnb cleaner thinking someone is coming to stay in your space only to find it was a scam. Be vigilant and watch out for the above red flags to avoid this problem.
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