How to verify that a listing is real?

Level 2
Long Beach, CA

How to verify that a listing is real?

I'm about to reserve a rental for 4 months and move some of my stuff there too, but the listing looks suspiscious to me.  Does AirBnB pay the host only when I'm able to get in the property and satisfied with the conditions, since I cannot visit!


Also, I found pictures of the common area that are the same with 3 other properties that has different dots on the map so they look like 4 different addresses.


How can I reach AirBnB to verify those 4 with the same host (that writes like a foreign virtual assistant).  New listing since 3 months and no reviews yet.


If this host is not real, I want to report it so nobody gets scammed.  How to?

5 Replies 5

Hi @Nadine61 Airbnb generally releases the payment to the host about 24 hours after the guest's scheduled check-in time. This system helps ensure that guests have successfully checked in and found the property as advertised before the host receives payment.


However, if you have concerns or issues upon arrival, such as the property not meeting the standards advertised, it is crucial to inform your Host and contact Airbnb support. 


If the listing appears suspicious, it's wise to take additional precautions, such as reviewing the host's profile for previous reviews, verifying photos, and communicating with your Host via Airbnb, to ask detailed questions about the property. This can help ensure your security and satisfaction with the rental. Hope this helps!

Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

What in your opinion makes the listing suspicious? And why would you make a long term commitment too book a listing which in your opinion is suspicious @Nadine61 

Level 10
Charleston, SC


Airbnb pays host on the second day of the guest stay. 

A listing that has no reviews after 3 months and some red flags with the photos and description will be higher risk for being a scam. 

Some other common tactics for scammers:

* Try and communicate with guest off the Airbnb platform. 

* Try and get guest to book and pay outside of the Airbnb platform. They might offer a lower rate if they book off the platform. 

* They may try and contact you the day of the trip or just before and claim there was some issue with the listing you rented so are switching you to a different one. 


* Be aware with no reviews it could be a scam, and guest may be directed to a house that is owned by someone else that has no clue a scammer used their address. 


* Guest would be covered by Airbnb as long as the booking is made on the platform, and they will try and find you another place, but there may not be as many options for last minute booking, or if guest arrives late at night it may be difficult to find an alternative that late at night, could be freezing cold, or cell phone doesn't work.


---- You could also ask the host if they have a business license and permit. A lot of listings don't, but mine does, and they could verify this. I have a picture of my STR permit on my listing and host are required to include their operational  permit number on the listing description. This helps guest find listings that have been approved and passed local safety and zoning inspections. Otherwise it is a review based system and so a listing with no reviews would have higher risk. 




ETA: After making a reservation guest and host can see each others phone number. In this particular situation, a solo guest stying at a listing with no reviews,  could ask to talk with the host just to help verify the listing is legit, but still keep all the discussion on the messaging platform.  (And if some host calls you about some issue and wants you to switch places or something that would be a scam.)

You could send the host an inquiry and ask if they were ok with FaceTiming you to give you a quick tour of the place after the reservation yet still within your penalty free cancelation time.  



Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Nadine61 Is the price really good? New hosts may need to price slightly below those with excellent reviews but anything more than 10-15% could sound alarm bells. Remember if it is too good to be true then it probably is......