Could the algorithim downgrade listings that are repeated unwitting victims of scam inquiries?

I’m still investigating the cause of the drop of my listing in search results.

Another question has come to mind. This year for the first time I have had a rash of inquiries translated from Chinese requesting stays of 3-4 months during the low season. These inquiries follow a similar pattern and invariably ask to communicate over phone or WhatsAp. Airbnb removes these users and sends me an email warning me about how to deal with such requests. I have not engaged with these users outside of Airbnb and I report them when I get the inquiries. Could the algorithim hold these scam requests against me? for instance, perhaps the algorithim does not parse out the nature or origin but simply takes note that my listing has a higher than average rate of scam inquiries?

I don’t know the answer to this, maybe someone else does. Airbnb usually does allow me to engage in messages on the platform with such guests.

I recently had such an inquiry and entertained questions off the platform just for their entertainment value.

The most recent guest played the usual scam. They said that the Corporate office would send them a check just a few days before check-in. [I had already stated on the platform that we would only accept payments on the platform; no checks.]. Then they sent me a picture purporting to be them in the hospital, said that they were hit with by an SUV, had just woken up from a coma, was afraid they would lose their legs and asked if I would stay up and text back/forth with them all night to comfort them!

Then they sent this!


I don’t see how Airbnb would have anything to gain from doing that, but that said, it’s possible an algorithm could have a bug that negatively affects you due to flagged inquiries. Airbnb changes their software very often, they break things very often, and they aren’t clear on how most things are actually supposed to work, so anything is possible.


Do you answer the inquiries? I could imagine the algorithm downgrading search ranking if it picks up that you didn’t respond. (Of course, if Airbnb has warned you that it is a scam, and/or you report it as such, it’s ridiculous for this to happen, but Airbnb’s programming leaves a lot to be desired and is often glitchy)

If you don’t answer the scam inquiry at all, I suggest you do. You can just say “No”, or “Go away scammer, you’ve been reported”, or whatever, but at least that way the algorithm picks up a response.


I’ve always used IB so there are many hosts here who know more about the request side of things. But I’d continue what you’re doing and report these messages to Airbnb.

However,. as @muddy says, it’s important to reply to requests even if it’s a ‘get lost’ message. (paraphrasing there :slight_smile: )

Remember that the search algorithm is merely a computer and not as sophisticated as some might imagine.

Rather than investigating something that you might never solve, you might find that your time is better spent promoting your listing.


The guest said their feet were in casts & they couldn’t walk. I guess they think no one would recognize socks & sequential compression devices. People, just people….I don’t know whether to SMH or LMAO.


Best advice ever—you will never know the answer so move on to something that could be productive.


As far as I’m aware, these scam inquiries always come in the form of inquiries, not booking requests. Therefore, it is only necessary to respond once, however briefly, within 24 hrs., and never decline. Any return message will satisfy the response algorithm.


OMG that is hilarious! Thank you for the comic relief!

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Believe me, I am following every avenue for promotion as well as considering what has caused the problem. This has actually been an excellent kick in the butt for me to review and reconsider everything. I’ve found lots to improve. Thanks!

Thank you for this :rofl:

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OMG this is so funny. It is so comically over the top that I can’t even. I would have DEFINITELY stayed up to text with that person. (Usually what I do with scammers is propose increasingly improbable scenarios and get them to agree with them… much entertainment ensues.)

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Yes, there were a number of crazy messages, including his showing me pictures of his two-story home in Manhattan, which he said he designed himself and looked out of Architectural Digest [I don’t know if there are two-story homes in Manhattan]. And after he showed me he had $5,000,000 he assured me he had more! [Our Airbnb is not THAT expensive.]. He also wrote that he is slowly regaining his consciousness [!]. Just as I was losing mine!

Anyway, I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like where is he going with all this??

Yes, it’s been fun but a little time consuming though I’ve cut him off several times, like when he asked me to tell him a story. [I gave him a link to short stories on the web.]


I’d tell him to call the Crisis line. There are people who are trained to talk on the phone with people like this.