First time booking, worried it is fraudulent

in
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 1
848 Views

I could really use some help. We have just started letting our holiday house out through Airbnb and we have had a booking through instant book that I am unhappy with.

The profile says that the guest is from London, British educated yet his message did not have perfect English: “hey looking forward to stay with my family”. He has no reviews and the picture is grainy so looks suspicious to me. No reply to my message either. The account does says verified though.

Is there a way of cancelling the booking if you are concerned about a booking being genuine without getting bad feedback. I have already declined a few requests as they have asked for less days than our minimum so it hasn’t been a good start.

Any advice greatly appreciated! 

9 Replies

Re: First time booking, worried it is fraudulent

in
Republic of the Congo
Level 2

Bonjou!

 

Moi je souhaiterai avoir plus de details sur l'identité de la personne avant de lui laisser votre maison.Votre esprit vous donne dejà un signal fort sur la personne,merci d'écouter ce que l'esprit vous dit.Veuillez proceder à plus de vérification sur son identité

Re: First time booking, worried it is fraudulent

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Kathryn260

  1. you have to set up your min stay requirement so nobody is able to instant book or send you requests for shorter stay.
  2. Inquiry and booking request is not the same thing. you can decline as much inquiries as you want but if you decline few requests in a row then your search rank position can drop and you can lose instant booking option
  3. there are lot of first timers on Airbnb, we constantly get bookings from them, they have no reviews and often are not verified by anything more then email. We don't care because all our guests have to show us their photo ID on arrival and we have to register them to police anyway. You can do the same but you have to have it written in your house rules.
  4. many guests don't have airbnb application and don't get notifications when you send them messages. Sometimes they don't read it until the day of their check in. It is frustrating but it is common.
  5. do not ever cancel the booking by yourself or you will be punished with 50-100$ fee, will not be eligible for superhost status for a year, those days will be blocked on your calendar and you will get aautomated review that you cancelled. If you have VERY GOOD reason why you don't want or can't host a guest then you have to contact Airbnb,explain what happend and let them cancel with or without penalties for you.
  6. browse through this community forum and read as much posts as you can. It will help you to find out what situations can happen and what to do if they happend.
  7. Read Airbnb TOS as well
  8. Happy hollidays 🙂

Re: First time booking, worried it is fraudulent

in
Belgrade, Serbia
Level 2

Hvale vredni saveti.

Posebno za pocetnike.

Puno pozdrava iz Beograda.

Slavko

Re: First time booking, worried it is fraudulent

in
Seattle, WA
Level 10

@Kathryn260

I too cringe when the message opens "Hey"

I am NOT their homie, nor am I a mark for a vagrant trying to bum a dollar.

Unfortunately, Airbnb introduces us  with a default "Hey, I'm xxx" in our intro page.

Chalk it up to California, cool, hipster internet verbiage 😞

Just imagine being a restaurant being forced to serve these oblivious Airbnb employees.

"Hey dude, bring me coffee"

 

As for cancelling, with instant book you are allowed to cancel a limited amount of times if you are uncomfortable with the listing.

Re: First time booking, worried it is fraudulent

in
Watsonville, CA
Level 10

You can message the guest and ask for more information about themselves, their travel plans, their reason to stay in your area and to upload a better photo.  If you have an actual booking you have the guest's phone number.  Call them and talk to them.  If you are still uncomfortable after that then call Airbnb and ask them to cancel.

Re: First time booking, worried it is fraudulent

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 5

try to contact the guest through his phone number to be sure that it is his profile

Re: First time booking, worried it is fraudulent

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 5

You can call airbnb for them to contact the guest. If you are concern about it as your listing is on instant booking airbnb should be able to cancel it penalty free. Dont press the cancel button but call them

 

Re: First time booking, worried it is fraudulent

in
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Kathryn260  If you're looking for guests that only write perfect English you're not going to be successful as an Airbnb host.  "British educated" means nothing, unless one is a complete snob.  I've had plenty of "home-grown" guests who can barely string a sentence together.  They paid, they were fine guests, all was well.   I've also had more than my fair share of well-spoken guests who were absolutely horrible.

 

A major part of hosting is communication.  You need to initiate this and do the work to find out if this guest will suit your place.  Airbnb is a platform, that's all.  You haven't given enough details to back up your suspicion that this is fraudulent.  You're on instant book so the guest assumes (rightly) that all is ok.  He is under no obligation to message you.  If you want more control over who you accept, switch off instant book.   Actually, you REALLY need to switch off IB because you're not ready for it.

Re: First time booking, worried it is fraudulent

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

 @Kathryn, I never look too deeply into an Airbnb profile, mainly because they provide little to zero info. Some could say your profile is "suspicious" because you say you have stayed in many Airbnb cottages yet you have no reviews. Communication is key. Try to contact the guest again, through the phone number provided if need be. I had a guest once who simply booked with one word: "vacation." I was more annoyed than anything; where were her manners? But she turned out to be a great guest and left me one of the nicest reviews. Turns out using/communicating on an iPhone while traveling just wasn’t her thing.

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