It might be true that we’re all partial to a free lunch, but thankfully, most of us do not steal to get it. While lunches are one thing, what happens when fraudulent people turn their dubious skill sets towards a free short stay in your rental property? Sadly, these kinds of nefarious schemes are in place in Melbourne. Here’s what you’ll need to be aware of whilst combatting Airbnb fraud like a Ninja:
Stolen credit card details
Once in possession of a victim’s credit card details, fraudsters can use those details to nick all sorts of things, including accommodation. All it takes is a fake Airbnb account in the card owner’s name. So, what happens when the rightful account holder finds out? They will probably dispute the charge on their credit card and the issuing bank will revoke the payment. Property owners are left in the lurch with no recourse to rectify the injustice. And booking platforms have few controls in place to stop this from happening. You need to be proactive.
Ninja Tip: Face-to-face verification goes a long way toward combating this situation. Smart locks and self-access entries leave your pocket and your property vulnerable. Need ninja help to meet, greet, and verify? Get in touch with us today.
This point is closely related to the one above. If fraudsters are masquerading as the innocent credit card victim, it’s near on impossible to hold them accountable for damages to your property. That lush new sofa can end up stained, ugly or, even worse, sticky… And that huge LCD TV the guests love might find itself checking-out with the thieves. Hell, they might even take the essential Nespresso machine with them.
Stuff like this leaves property owners in a dire catch-22 situation. Firstly, they’re out of pocket because of the replacement costs and secondly, without replacement, the rental property’s nightly value is negatively affected.
Ninja Tip: Make sure that someone is with the guests when they check-out and can check the property. While most guests are kind, decent people, there is always the chance you’ve hosted a fraudster in disguise. Time poor and can’t get to the property for every check-out? KeyNinja can help, just ask us how.
Remember, you might not be the only one affected…
Here’s the rub: If you’re renting short-stay accommodation, you might be held accountable for damages to common areas in apartment buildings or damage to the neighbours’ properties. If your sneaky guests have endangered others, you might even have to face the music for them.
Property laws are surrounded by some serious muddy waters, and you really don’t need to be mired in them.
Ninja Tip: You guessed it. Make sure a human person checks your guests in and out. There’s no substitute for face-to-face key exchange. If the fraudsters have destroyed common property, get the police on the phone ASAP.
Get your Ninja on and watch out for these signs
Avoiding the pointers we discussed above requires some serious vigilance, start combatting Airbnb fraud like a Ninja by watching out for these tell-tale signs that something is amiss.
Firstly, a disclaimer: Not every guest who makes a last-minute reservation is troublesome. But, it must be said that properties accepting eleventh-hour bookings are more susceptible to the tactics of fraudsters.
In a rush to accept the reservation and get the rental income, standard verification checks may fall by the wayside. Keep your ninja eyes out for arrivals at shifty hours, too. Is there a legitimate reason for the guests checking-in at 3 am?
With KeyNinja, you can now accept those last minute reservations safely and we will let you know if there’s something to worry about after we meet your last minute guest.
Self-check-in properties are risky
Ah, the effortless joys of key safes and door codes. So simple, so cheap, so easy. Right? Yes and no. It might be simple and cheap, but ask yourself what these self-check-in procedures might cost you in the long run. It’s a fact that properties without human verification systems in place are far more vulnerable than those with in-person meet and greet procedures.
To err is human but if a guest’s credit card or cards are declined or reentered multiple times in one session, that’s suspicious! Why are they having such trouble with their card details?
No ID, no stay
Get IDs from your guests. If they won’t provide you with ID verification, it could be because some dodgy dealings are underfoot. Make sure someone looks at the guest and then looks at their ID — do they match? The name on the reservation and the credit card should match, too.
We don’t mean to scare you, and it’s true that most guests are lovely and mean you absolutely no ill-will. However, it’s equally true that some are on the lookout for more than a free lunch.
KeyNinja is your secret weapon when it comes to combatting Airbnb fraudsters and protecting both your property and bank account balance. Chat with us today to see how we can secure your interests.