I've been an AirBnb host for almost 2 years and until today have had nothing but positive experiences. Our area has hundreds of families displaced by flooding so I decided to do the neighborly thing and post my place as an Open Home. All the AirBnB information assured me that my potential non-paying guests would be vetted and I trusted them.
My first guest attempted to book today. Initally I accepted because of the assurances from AirBnb. My gut told me to ask questions, I asked for full names of all adults and did a quick search on ODCR. This vetted guest has a string of felony convictions including felony stalking, manufacturing meth and recent protective orders. He and his wife were evicted in December. When I contacted AirBnB they assured me he was clean and wondered where I got my information.
So, moral of this story is, if you are going to be generous do your own background checks before committing to someone "in need". Luckily I had that gut feeling and cancelled before they got in my home.
I hope you asked them where they got there information, did you?
It certainly pays to do background checks, I often go through Google of the country the person is from rather than local online if they are an international - It's how I was able to confirm what one of my first guests 'issues' they had.
Take care & may others find your post very useful guidance.