How to Prevent Getting Scammed by Airbnb Guests?
Have you ever heard of Airbnb scams? Don’t worry; this is the right place to read about different kinds of Airbnb scams and different ways of preventing Airbnb guest scams.
As an Airbnb host, you’ll welcome guests with a wide range of backgrounds, manners, and cultures into your home. So, you can never know what will happen next! That doesn’t mean all guests are troublemakers, but you should prepare for any possibilities. There will always be scammers and con artists, regardless of where you go or what you do. But what are the best ways of preventing Airbnb guest scams? Stay tuned till the end to find out!
Most Common Guest-Side Airbnb Scams
In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn more about the most common Airbnb scams and preventing Airbnb guest scam methods.
Let’s start the list with the most common Airbnb scam that can happen to both guests and hosts! Whether you’re the host or the guest in this situation, you should never accept the request to communicate off the platform. You may receive many messages from strangers claiming to contact you via WhatsApp or other private messengers to get more information about booking your property, and they may tell convincing and genuine stories about why they’re asking you to do so. Still, these are all part of their scamming plan. Some hosts may be tempted to bypass the platform’s fees by communicating privately with their guests, but a serious warning here is that doing so can quickly get you in trouble. Don’t waste your time responding to these kinds of requests; instead, report and delete them ASAP.
Payment by Check
Sometimes guests ask to pay by check. It’s highly recommended to refrain from accepting the check. Do you mean all guests who want to pay with checks are con artists? You may ask. Certainly not! But there is no guarantee, though! In this scenario, Scammers will typically contact you and tell you they will send a payment check on behalf of their firm or an organization they claim to work for. Their story could get you to accept a check instead of cash. Following that, you will receive a payment check that is significantly larger than it should have been. But it’s a trap! In the next step, they will ask you to return the difference quickly. So, you return the difference, expecting the check to clear in a couple of days, but it never does. And the end of the story!
Freeloaders take advantage of others’ kindness to get services for free! Freeloaders are professional Airbnb scammers because they know the fact that Airbnb will take the guests’ side and return the money if there is a complaint about impairment or lack of hygiene. They often brought cockroaches, mice, or other evidence to support their claims. They usually do this on the last day of their stay. You can raise the possibility of preventing Airbnb guest scams by disabling the instant book feature on your profile account and thoroughly analyzing each potential guest before accepting their reservation.
Bad Review Threats
Similar to the previous Airbnb scam, this one follows the same pattern. In this scam method, the guest starts complaining about the services or the property in the last few days to get a refund. Most hosts refuse to accept the refund request, and as soon as they do so, they receive a bad review threat from guests. Believe it or not, bad reviews impact your character as a host and can change other guests’ minds about booking your Airbnb. Keep everything that could be used as evidence, even messages of the threat.
Credit Card Fraud
This occurs when someone books a reservation and pays with a stolen credit card. Always remember to keep all of the recordings and documentation so that you can avoid any potential issues in the future.
Sneaking In Extra People
It’s not uncommon for guests to reserve for one or two but then sneak in more guests once they arrive. This isn’t a major Airbnb scam, but it’s a common irrational way for some people to save money. Installing surveillance cameras and making your property rules and regulations very clear can help you avoid this from happening.
Read another article by marveloushost: Airbnb Guest Refunds: All Hosts Need to Know
How to Identify Potential Scammers?
The first step for preventing Airbnb guest scams is to identify red flags and signs of scammers. Here are the most important signs of potential scammers.
There’s No Previous Booking
However, most first-time guests are entirely legitimate, but a brand-new profile can also be one of the Airbnb scammers’ signs. This is because scammers create many fake accounts to reserve vacation rentals.
An incomplete guest profile is another common sign of scammers. This indicates that the guest differs from who they say they are. Check out the guest’s profile to see whether they have any previous bookings and reviews from other hosts. Also, check their profile pictures, descriptions, and personal information.
Unreliable method of Payment
When a guest asks to pay through an untrustworthy payment method, such as a wire transfer, it’s usually a clue that they intend to defraud you. This is because various payment methods are untrackable and can be undone.
Uncommunicative guests who disappear for extended periods and you can’t easily reach them may be potential scammers. Con artists typically vanish when questioned about their reservation and personal information details because they have no honest explanation.
Overpayment Followed by a Refund
As mentioned before, overpayment followed by refund demands is a common tactic that Airbnb scammers use. This method is tricky to spot because it usually looks like an honest mistake. If you have any doubts, you can ask guests to show evidence of the overpayment, such as a copy of their bank statement.
Preventing Airbnb Guest Scams as a Host
Sometimes con artists are so good at covering their tracks that you won’t notice them immediately. Preventative steps are the most effective way to prevent possible scams in these cases. Fortunately, there are a few simple precautions for preventing Airbnb guest scams.
Make No Concessions
Don’t take this rule too seriously; professional hosts usually bend their rules a little for their guests. However, some might need to go further with this. Sometimes, a guest’s request can go beyond the host’s responsibilities, such as when the guest asks for the host’s personal information or requests pricey supplies. To avoid current and future scams, be logical and make smart decisions while compromising with your guests.
Change Locks and Passcodes Regularly
Regularly changing your locks and passcodes is an excellent way of preventing Airbnb guest scams. For a rental property, it is recommended to change physical locks on a regular basis, even though this can be both costly and tedious. To guarantee the highest level of safety, you should change the passcode for the keycode entry system after each checkout.
Checking in guests in person is one of the most effective ways to protect your Airbnb and ensure that appropriate people stay there. In-person check-in allows hosts to meet potential guests and check their identification information before deciding whether or not to give them access to the house. Using a lockbox or other remote key handover may put you at risk, especially if you don’t change the passcode after each checkout.
Avoid Off-Platform Contact
Typically, guests may need to contact you before, during, or after their stay; avoid any off-platform contacts. Airbnb will secure any data you share within the app that can be used to settle disagreements, but any agreements made outside of Airbnb are considered invalid and unreliable. Being cautious is the best way of preventing Airbnb guest scams. The key is to spot the red flags of a scam and set up precautions to stop it before it occurs.
Only Accept Guests with Complete Profiles
Ask all guests to submit a picture and some information about themselves. This way, you can be sure you’re renting to a real person and not a scammer.
Check Guests Reviews
It’s essential to read reviews left by previous hosts before renting to a potential guest. That’s how you can tell if they’re honest or just trying to attempt a scam.
Only Take Payments Made Through Airbnb Platform
Only take payments made through Airbnb platforms. Never take cash or wire transfer because they are untrackable and can be easily reversed.
Communicate with Guests to Know More about Them
Keep in touch with guests while the reservation is being processed. This guarantees they are who they claim to be, and no red flags are raised. One easy method to do this is to ask customers to specify their trip’s purpose when making reservations. If a guest is uncommunicative or unresponsive, this could indicate that they are trying to commit some scam.
Read another article by marveloushost: How to Prevent Bad Reviews on Airbnb
Are You a Victim of a Scam? What to Do Now?
If you believe you have been a scam victim, you should first contact your payment processor. They can help you track down the money and determine if it’s stolen. You should also report the incident to Airbnb and your local police department. By taking these steps, you will be helping to prevent other hosts from becoming victims of the same scam.
All Airbnb scams can be prevented if you follow the tips provided in this article. If you have fallen into a scam trap, you should report the incident to Airbnb and the police. By following these procedures, you’ll be doing your part to protect other hosts from falling for the same scam. Have you ever had a scammer guest? What is your suggested method of preventing Airbnb guest scams? Please share your related experiences and questions in the comment section below.