Booking inquiry from "Anonymous" -- How is that even possible?

So, some with a profile name “Anonymous” wrote in asking to stay for Memorial Day weekend. Of course, I told him he’d have to complete the verification process (including government ID, etc). My question is, who is an “Anonymous” profile even possible? Is this something that he/she simply typed in when filling an Airbnb guest profile. Needless to say, the profile is brand spanking new and with no reviews. This person is from overseas. Is this simply a newbie faux pax on the guest’s behalf or do I need to be super suspicious?

Thanks in advance

I think people can call their account anything they like. So you might find yourself communicating with Superman, Pinocchio, or Godzilla. However, most people go by more conventional handles, usually their first name.

Ask Mr (or Ms.) “Anonymous” for his or her full name.

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Well, I guess I finally had to read through Airbnb’s terms of service closely:

This is what they say in terms of requirements for membership eligibility:

"For users in the United States, Airbnb will, to the extent permitted by applicable laws and if we have sufficient information to identify a user, obtain reports from public records of criminal convictions or sex offender registrations of the user. For users outside the United States, we may, to the extent permitted by applicable laws and if we have sufficient information to identify a user, obtain the local version of background or registered sex offender checks in our sole discretion. You agree and authorize us to use your personal information, such as your full name and date of birth, to obtain such reports, including from Airbnb’s vendors.

And later they add:

“When a Booking is requested via the Site, Application or Services, we will share with you (i) the first and last name of the Guest who has requested the Booking…”

So, wouldn’t misrepresenting yourself be a violation of Airbnb’s terms of service?

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Did “Anonymous” make a booking request, or was it an inquiry? In the former case, you should be sent their full name, yes.

Some people are very spooked at the idea that they can be tracked online. I wouldn’t see it as a problem because as @faheem says, when the guest books you get their first and last names.

Same with photographs - some guests just don’t want their faces shown on a public website. One of my nicest ever guests was the Taj Mahal. :slight_smile:

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Romaga – If you get a Request to Book, not just an Inquiry, simply tell the guest that, for legal reasons, you require the full legal name and home city of any guest who stays with you

If I don’t have someone’s names I don’t book them.

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Suprised I have to say this but anyway:

For those of you concerned about people’s names I hope you realise that even if it says Paul Smith it might not be their actual name. I recently had a guest who when she turned up informed me she uses a completely fake (and 100% believable) name because she’s a teacher and she doesn’t want her pupils stalking her Airbnb page.

Names that look real are giving you a false sense of security; if you’re mega concerned about identity you’re going to need to check ID at check in like @faheem does.

My two pence? It doesn’t bother me… the person who is going to be destroying my place is going to be using a fake account with fake ID so none of this will protect me in the slightest in any case .

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The require a credit card… for unpaid bills or damages.

I don’t think you need to be mega concerned to check id. It’s just a standard safety precaution, in my opinion. And I definitely think it’s worth it. If you will be checking id and potential guests know it, the more dodgy types are more likely to stay away.

Yep I will accept that though a thief comes prepared. If someone really wants it that bad they will do what they need to do. As it happens it seems live on hosts aren’t targeted as much as whole properties at the moment .

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It’s also worth noting that if you know someone’s real name, you can do a search for them on the net. It’s quite common for people to have a net presence. For example, professionals often have Linkedin pages, though it’s by no means universal.

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All you need to make an Airbnb account is a phone number they can call you back at (doesn’t have to be yours) and an email address. To actually book somewhere you need a credit card (doesn’t have to be the owners). You should probably ask the guest his full English name, look it up on the internet, see if anything he says matches. You can explain to him why you need to know. If he’s reasonable he’ll answer, if he isn’t then you don’t want him as a guest anyway.

More info:
They cannot do checks on people from overseas. Hello, sleeper cell terrorist!

I just got a booking request from airbnb. The profile picture shows a young Asian lady with a Chinese name ( I can read Chinese), in the description area, it says, " I am a 54 year old black lady…" and his person has verified government ID. How is this possible? I called airbnb and reported this user. Airbnb told me to deny it and will look into it.


I can’t imagine it’s to get around racism as I imagine people who hate 54yo black women enough to reject them would also not be whipping out the fortune cookies for young Asian guests either. sounds like a scam, lucky you are more educated than me :slight_smile: