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Am I being targeted by scammers?

Hi everyone, I am looking for advice from seasoned STR/AirBnB landlords as my sense tells me I am being targeted by a lot of scammers lately. I can’t figure out their end game, so not sure if I am being paranoid or if it’s real scam going.

I have a furnished 2B/BA condo for STR, it’s not in a vacation destination market so my target audience is with monthly rental for traveling professionals, nurses, insurance rental. After being booked solid for 7 months I now had my first opening starting in January and I have been receiving what seems like a barrage of requests from the AirBnB platform for several weeks. Each by itself doesn’t appear fishy but I have received multiples in a row now, almost daily. I reply to all, we have a basic convo going and even pre-approved some, and then crickets. The communication stops, they never book. Most of them seem a bit off, and if it’s a scam I can not figure out their angle.

-Ex. I approved a booking for 3 week duration for 2 coworkers + spouses + 1 dog traveling for work for some painting company, communication seemed a bit weird (right away said their business credit card may not work, so they can try other cards for booking) but I decided to let them book and and see if they actually go through with it. Then almost instantly AirBNB locked the booking and their profile got flagged/hidden. AirBnb support would not provide me with an explanation only said it’s between them. Then they re-appeared like 1-2 days later on the platform and started pestering me with messages to allow them to rebook. Had to block their number.

  • All of them appear from relatively “new” users with 0-2 reviews.
  • All requests are anywhere from 3weeks+ to 1,2,3 month long stays. Seems like an enticing bait to say yes to.
  • Some use wording that is peculiar, ex. a travel nurse saying “looking for a cozy comfortable place …” – my wife is a nurse herself and said the travel nurses don’t look for “cozy”, they look for clean & cheap price to save perdiem costs as they do it for solely for business not pleasure. That word just jumped out as a red flag to her.
  • One “nurse” recently claimed to have a “possible” 3 weeks contract coming up. According my nurse wife. It is very not normal as nurse contracts almost always are 13 weeks.

Thanks for advice guys.

As you can clearly see what the red flags are why are you pre approving these bookings/communicating with these scammers?

They are likely to be trying to get you to accept payment off platform with a dodgy credit card.

I just report them to Airbnb .

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Whenever Airbnb cancels a reservation on you and won’t tell you why, in my opinion, it’s in regards to fraud payment but Helsi is also correct, they could then try to have you book off platform.

Enticing bait? No it’s not. Airbnb isn’t set up to offer protections to hosts for long term bookings.

It might be folks that have been evicted with bad credit and are looking for a place to stay. Be careful of squatters.

Perhaps your wife is a little out of touch with current travel nurses. Neither of the things are a red flag for me.

Our apartments stay full at a premium rent with travel nurses who specifically say they picked it because it was cute and cozy. Granted we do get younger nurses so it may be an age thing. The young ones we’ve had are most certainly doing it for fun (and money) and are living well during their contracts. Covid rates for nurses are very high and the housing stipends I see are in the $4000-$4800 range.

Contracts are typically 13 weeks, however, during Covid it has not been uncommon for contracts to be shorter. Some nurses are doing short contracts in between longer ones because there is so much demand right now. It is also always common for a nurse to extend a contract by 2 or 3 weeks. If they had already given notice to end their lease when they decided to extend then they would need new housing for the extension. We just had that happen, we had already re-rented the apt when our nurse tenant took her extension.

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All three of my traveling nurse roomies had their contract length cut during their stay, but this was in 2018 and 2019.

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