Strange Booking Enquiry

in
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level 10
518 Views

I've just had this strange booking enquiry below which concerns me because the enquirer sent me a coded number to reply to.  Has anyone else had this sort of enquiry and am I right to be worried?!  No reviews and I'm not sure where the person is from.  Is it a scam?  Why couldn't he ask the questions directly on messaging?

 

Hello, how are things going? My company will send me as a medical doctor to your region soon. I really liked your accommodation, it seems really nice. It will be very appropriate for me. I’m already waiting for this trip, but I have several questions. Please text me in       Thanks!

 

This was my reply

Hello        Many thanks for your enquiry & I'm really pleased you like the accommodation. Unfortunately I do not deal directly with guests, only through the AirBnB platform so if you have any questions, please message me here and I'll reply in due course.
Best wishes

 

Jillie

 

 
 
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10 Replies

Re: Strange Booking Enquiry

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

@Jillie1 

 

He's trying to deal outside of Airbnb. This practice is prohibited. Report it to Airbnb.

 

Ricardo

 

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Re: Strange Booking Enquiry

in
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level 10

Thanks @Ricardo85    That's what I was afraid of and I will report it. 

 

Best wishes,

Jillie

Re: Strange Booking Enquiry

in
Whitehaven, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Jillie1 This is a well known scam. There are umpteen other posts here on the CC reporting similar, & others have explained in detail how it's not even an attempt at a real off platform stay, but a money laundering scam involving weird & (not so) wonderful ways for you to lose your money!

 

You were right to respond as you did!

 

Type 'scam' & 'whatsapp' & other key words into the search top right, for all the excruciating details!

Re: Strange Booking Enquiry

in
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level 10

Oh dear @Helen350 !  All very worrying and what with the pandemic worries too, we need danger money for hosting don't we?!

Re: Strange Booking Enquiry

in
Katoomba, Australia
Level 10

NEver do business off the AirBnB platform. You will never be insured and in some situations you may need to serve an eviction notice and lose out big time. These people can also do as they please, damage property and you will be left to chase them up in a lengthy court battle just to get what is owed. Absolutely forget about it!

Re: Strange Booking Enquiry

in
Whitehaven, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Russell49 Airbnb does not provide insurance! - Of course we can do business off platform, there ARE other letting sites you know!

 

I often host guests from a British site which ONLY puts people in touch with each other - No 'host guarantees', entirely up to the host to decide who they wish to accommodate.... But I home share & in the UK we ALWAYS have the right to tell guests to leave, they have NO rights at all, regardless of how long they stay. (In entire places, they DO gain rights, but only with a proper LTR contract, not if they overstay a STR.)

- But it would be rude of us hosts to allow an off platform booking, in a situation where the Airbnb platform was used to find us!

 

Jillie's example above is not a genuine attempt to book off platform - it's a money laundering scam, which has been well documented on this site.

Re: Strange Booking Enquiry

in
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level 10

Don't worry @Russell49  it's absolutely forgotten!  Since I told the enquirer I only operated through the AirBnB platform, I've heard not a squeak from him since!  😉

Re: Strange Booking Enquiry

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 2

I had a Booking Enquiry from a guest saying:
- "My name is Ahmet akarli. My aunty Judith is going to visit london between July 14 and August 6. We would like to rent your property for her entire stay here in london. You can reach me on (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) to discuss logistics etc. Best regards. A"

- Because the guest showed intention to contact me directlyoutside Airbnb and had no reviews, I declined his booking. 

- After two messages from the guest followed saying:
"have you declined the offer please? It has gone through my credit card. Please let me know. A"

I didn't reply and contacted Airbnb. They told me to block the person and that they will get in touch. 
One day later I got an email from Airbnb saying:
"Your listings may be suspended"

- Got in touch again with Airbnb and this was their reply "since when you are going to decline your guest request every time you will feel unsafe it will really affect your rates."

This is ridiculous. I need to feel safe and feel confident that I have the choice to select a guest that I am confident with. Airbnb can't use coercion and force the host to take a guest we are not comfortable taking. And if we don't take it we are going to be punished...

 

I am frustrated by the lack of support from Airbnb. How will you deal with a similar situation? Thanks

Re: Strange Booking Enquiry

in
Leslie, MI
Level 4

@Alicia340  Reading your post that is definitely a scam.  You can tell by him saying Have you declind the offer please?  What is with please?  I have found, a lot of scams, when they speak don't use full sentences or they are odd like above, miss words, and use words like best regards.  To me people inquiring about a place isn't going to use best regards at the end.  They will use thank you, ty, or use only their name.  Just my experience outside ABNB when I have gotten scams. Kellie

Re: Strange Booking Enquiry

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 2

@Kellie104  I agree it was a bit of an odd request...

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