Booking request flagged "Be careful with this request"

Does anyone know what this means? I called Air but their answer didn’t make sense- new member, hadn’t finished verification process yet, wouldn’t be able to complete booking until id verified… Why would that require me to be any more cautious than usual…? Isn’t verifying members something they do?
Also I’ve seen it once before on a request, and that guest was far from brand new/ unverified… Is there something about a guest that makes them more concerned than usual about potential scams?
Thanks in advance!

We just had a reservation like this last week.

We also were confused as only guests with a good track record could book our accommodation. However, they couldn’t finalise their reservation because the guest was supposed to provide their ID.

We were taken aback because that guest had good reviews BUT wasn’t making any reservatins for two years. Since during this time, apparently, some rules have changed, the guest is now supposed to provide ID (which they apparently didn’t do before) in order to finalise a new booking.

To make matters ‘worse’ the guest kept writing to us in the chat asking if it’s ok for them to book our place. Since it was out of our hands and actually they were supposed to take action (and provide ID to Airbnb) the booking was on hold.

The guest did retract their request twice and again sending a new request which really made us feel like that they were trolling us - especially since after every request the dates got blocked in our calendar and no other reservations could be taken during that time.

I called Airbnb who eventually reached out to the guest and walked them through the ID verification process. I don’t understand how this could have been such a complicated matter for the guest but once they arrived here (and everything went well!) I noticed that some people are just not tech-savvy enough to manage such requests. :man_shrugging:

So, initially, I would have preferred to decline the guest, which, Airbnb advised me NOT to do but instead just let the 24 hour window pass (which was given to the guest to provide their ID) - so that the request would automatically expire and the dates would be released. Which we did. But the guest did continue to make request and therefore continued to block the dates. It was kind of nerve wrecking and funny but in our case it turned out well.

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No, it doesn’t indicate a scammer- in my experience, it is just the Airbnb algorithm picking up something in the guest’s message to you that it thinks is a phone number, even if it isn’t.

Just another example of their ambiguous messages, like telling guests or hosts the booking is “unsafe” or sending guests whose attempts at booking result in being flagged by their “party” algorithm (even if it’s a perfectly okay booking) to " pick another place or a hotel", without telling them why.

Remember that most of these messages are automatically generated. After all, if Airbnb was employing many, many staff members to send out messages and other currently automated actions, none of us would be able to afford to use the company - their wages bill and thus their fees would be huge.

As @muddy says, some automated system has caught something in the message that could, possibly, but not necessarily indicate something that isn’t quite usual.

It is no sign of a scam. (Unless you believe that guests bypassing Airbnb is a scam - which it isn’t to the non-Airbnb brain).