In an ideal world, every guest will be pleasant and legitimate. Unfortunately, this is not true- there are many horror stories of Airbnb scams from guests and hosts alike.
You may face a greater risk from scams than most guests as a host. Thankfully, avoiding scams and protecting yourself is easy if you know what signs to look out for.
Read on to learn how you can avoid scams on your Airbnb property.
Common Signs Of A Scam Guest
Many times, a scam guest will be easy to spot- much like any other online program, Airbnb has its share of bots attempting to farm information. However, some of these scammers are real people and can be harder to spot than a computer program impersonating a human.
- Fake Information
Fake information can be iffy- sometimes, information may seem fake but be genuine. However, it is easy to spot discrepancies; if an applicant’s email shows a different name than their profile, you may have a scammer on your hands.Additionally, a visibly fake name or an odd email address may indicate that your guest is using a false persona to initiate a scam.
- Asks For Excessive Information
When you’re booking an Airbnb, it’s good practice to get some information on where you’ll be staying, and any host should be more than happy to answer questions for potential guests. However, some guests may have excessive questions that may indicate a scam.If a guest begins to ask you questions such as if anybody else lives on the property and what time everybody is home during the day, it may indicate that they are planning to steal something from your property.
How To Avoid Scams
Sometimes, scammers hide their tracks well and you won’t be able to identify them at first. In these cases, the best thing to do is take preventative measures to shut down any potential scams. Thankfully, there are several easy measures you can take to keep your Airbnb property free of scammers.
Make No Concessions
Don’t take this measure too literally – as a good host, sometimes you must make concessions for your guests. However, some may take this a little too far.
A guest may ask for items or information that go beyond the duties of a host, such as personal information or expensive materials for the property.
To avoid immediate and future scams, use your best judgement when making concessions for your guests.
Change Your Locks And Passcodes
One of the best ways to avoid Airbnb scams is to regularly change your locks and passcodes.
Changing a physical lock can be expensive and time-consuming, but for a rental property, you should do it with some regularity.
If your property has a keycode entry system, you should change the passcode after every guest to ensure total security.
In Person Key Handover
One of best ways to secure your Airbnb and ensure the right guests are staying is to check in guests in person.
With an in-person check in, you can screen your guests, request ID verification and get a feel of who they are before letting them stay in your home.
Using a lockbox or other form of remote key handover opens yourself up to risks especially if you don’t change your lockbox code between stays.
If you’re unable to check in guests personally, we recommend checking out our Check In service.
Do Not Contact Outside Of Airbnb
Some guests will want to contact you outside of Airbnb, either before, during, or after their stay- do not allow this.
Any information exchanged through Airbnb is protected by the company and can be used to settle disputes, but deals made verbally or outside of the app ultimately mean nothing.
The amount of scammers in the world is unfortunately high- but that doesn’t mean you have to be a victim. By following these tips, you can protect yourself from any Airbnb scammer!