So last week I had an interesting situation with two "first responders" trying to book one of my listings from April 20-23.
On April 13 I got this message:
"Greetings! Due to the situation in the world, I was sent from my firm as a disease specialist to your area. I really liked your accommodation, it seems very nice. It will be very appropriate for me. I’m already waiting for this trip. But I have a few questions. Please text me at W * hhat s ap Pl uu s 4 elGh t fl ve 7 7 ni-ne fiv E 0 SeVv en zeerro ..." (I removed the phone's last number for privacy reasons)
I did not reply and reported it to Airbnb.
Then on April 15 I got this message (for the same listing and same dates):
"Hey, how’s it going? Due to the situation in the country, I was sent from my company as a medical doctor to your area. I really liked your place, it seems very cozy. It will be very convenient for me. I’m already waiting for this trip. But I have a few questions. Please text me in VVh * aaats a-p number plusš F0-ur, tvvo and 0, then sееve’ntys even, then goes tth_ree, 0n=e, f I’ve and 0ne, ТН.Rее, ends with ... See you soon!" (I removed the phone's last number for privacy reasons)
I declined the booking and reported this message again to Airbnb but got no reply.
I want to clarify that these two people tried to book for 1 guest only and that the COVID-19 situation in my city is very much under control.
Does someone have any idea what were they trying to do here? I'm afraid I will not be accepting any "first responders" anytime soon.
Take care everyone!
@Eliana97 This could be a well known scam, similar have been doing the rounds since before Covid-19. Don't think ill of first responders, this scammer will not be a first responder, he's just using the situation to con you....
At best it could be a genuine person, trying to save money by coming to a private arrangement off platform, unaware that this is not allowed.... But it's more likely to be a scam like this one: https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Hosting/Beware-the-quot-Let-s-split-the-payment-quot-scam/m-p/12...
I just received the exact same inquiry from a “disease specialist”. I replied to say that I wouldn’t communicate outside of AirBnB and I am waiting to see if I get any response before I report it. Since I have to respond in 24 hours, I will just decline the reservation if I don’t hear back.
This “specialist” supposedly has no profile info and just joined AirBnB in April 2020.
Thank you. Yes, I would suggest you decline the reservation. I reported it to Airbnb and did not reply to the inquiry. I did not get any answer from Airbnb and my response rate is sadly down now...
@Eliana97 I would advise responding (in future circumstances) so you don't lose your 100% response rate.... Just write they are welcome to book if they use the required method, via the platform. I'm sure they will just go away!
(With an 'enquiry' rather than 'request to book' you don't need to accept or decline. Just a written reply - anything- is enough NOT to lose your 100% response rate.
I received the same message today, their name was simply 'Lawyer' (LOL) and they only joined AirBNB this month. I didn't even answer, I just reported as spam and carried on with my day. It happens!
I suggest you decline the booking. I did the same as you and now my response rate is 90%... didn’t get any answer from Airbnb yet, unfortunately...
When you report someone, you can choose to block them. They cannot book with you so it's automatically declined. (Also, I'm not concerned about stats as I'm closing my account in September. Freedom!) All the best, good luck!