Scam alert! How can I make sure a listing is real?


Scam alert! How can I make sure a listing is real?

This will be my first time using Airbnb so I'm a bit weary about listings being fake.


What can I do to make sure a listing is real and not a scam?


What should I be looking out for?



1 Best Answer
Level 10
Vancouver, WA

Welcome to Airbnb!


Here are a few things you can do to make sure the listing is real:


(1) Look at the reviews and make sure they seem to talk about the same place you are booking

(2) If the listing says anything about contacting the host outside of Airbnb before booking, DO NOT - this is a well-known scam.

(3) Look at the listing - if it seems "too good to be true" (aka luxurious penthouse for a super low rate) it probably is!


You can also post the link here and we can weigh in on our thoughts.

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811 Replies 811
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Kim207  You can enter any dates when you would like to book (you can change them later if you like and the listing is available then) and send an inquiry to the host. This doesn't require you to pay up front, or make any kind of committment. You can simply exchange a message or two with the host to get a feel for whether they sound legit and professional. If the host mentions anything about paying outside of airbnb, that's a huge red flag, and you can hopefully pick up on anything else that sounds sketchy.

Many of us hosts who list a bedroom and shared space in our homes, as opposed to a whole house or apartment don't use instant book for a similar reason- we don't want just anyone being able to book without a little vetting first.

Level 10
Langerak, South Holland, Netherlands

Hi @Hayley45,


When I look at the link and the associated image, all alarm bells should go off!

The link is definitely NOT Airbnb!!!!!

I.e. It is not in 1 of the legitimate domains, used by Airbnb.

So a 99,999% chance for a scam!


See also:


Best regards,


Level 2
Dubrovnik, Croatia

@Admir1 I am not entirely sure why you posted that link, since you did not provide any comment or question.


That link is at the very least is a legitimate link to an Airbnb listing.

The listing is somewhat new, so no other travelers have provided reviews.

If you are concerned about staying at a brand new Airbnb listing, you might want to instead choose a listing with a large number of reviews and an experienced host.


@Matthew285  I was wondering if this listing is looking real or not because of no reviews. I want to be sure.

@Admir1 every listing starts out with no reviews. The host just joined Airbnb this month (April 2018) so it makes sense that the listing is new since the host is completely new.


It is difficult to be sure until other people have stayed in the listing and left reviews. This is why new hosts often offer discounts when they are new, to encourage guests to take a chance on a listing with no reviews.


@Matthew285 Thank you for the good advice.

Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Admir1   I suggest that before you actually book the place, you submit an Inquiry, which does not in any way obligate you, and you will not be charged, but can ask the host some questions, and exchange a few messages with him/her to decide whether this is a place you want to book. If the host responds quickly and to your satisfaction, there is no reason not to book it, unless you just don't want to take a chance on a place with no reviews yet.

@Sarah977 Thank you so much.

hello, this guy profile says he lives in the us and he is hosting in montreal and got no reviews how can i make sure he is real? please i need your help

Level 10
Langerak, South Holland, Netherlands

Hi @Carl138,


It’s indeed a bit odd, the host is an Airbnb member for 2 years already.

And he hardly has any verifications (No e-Mail and no telephone number apparently).

He has some unavailability early August though.


Obviously it can happen that a place does not have reviews yet.

When you are not comfortable with such a listing, then just select another listing.



A host does not get paid until 24 hours after check-in.

So in case it is a scam, you can always contact Airbnb about this. On the other side: You still would not have a place to stay.



@Carl138  It's a real listing and he is priced way too low. I doubt he knows the weekly discount rate gets put in on top of the new listing 20% discount. You might want to be a nice guy and tell him and not take advantage of a brand new host. 

Level 1
Toronto, Canada

Do you think this is a scam?

No reviews, description uses poor english, fairly low price for this type of property... perhaps too good to be true?

@Ellen248  This is a legitimate listing- it's on the official Airbnb Canada site.  If you look at the host's profile, the listing is brand new-  August 2018. That's why there's no reviews yet. And the poor English- the host's native language may not be English.

And prices are often low on new listings to attract business. Did you enter the correct number of guests to get a total price on that? If you're interested in the place, why not send an Inquiry to the host for more information?